Wednesday, January 23, 2013
On the Red Carpet before the Golden Globe Award ceremony, Jennifer Lawrence was asked, "WHO are you wearing?" (The "who" part of the question always causes peals of laughter at my house; Les and I envision a designer physically on the dress!) Ms. Lawrence answered, "It's Dior haute couture, but I don't know what haute means." That candor was refreshing, although I detested her dress with the projectile bosom! I knew that haute couture, was a legally protected label but learned that to be able to be allowed to use the term haute couture, a designer must be approved by the regulating commission Chambre Syndicale de la haute couture of the French Ministry of Industrie which has specific standards and definitions and stringent rules:
1. A designer must create made-to-order items for private clients which require more than one fitting.
2. Maintain an atalier (workshop) in Paris which employs full-time at least fifteen people.
3. Twenty full-time technical people must be employed in the atalier.
4. For each season (twice a year), the designer must show a collection to the press of Paris and each presentation must have at least 35 runs, combining both daytime and evening wear.
The designers are reviewed annually. In 2012 there were 12 members: among those were the well-known Houses of Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, and Jean Paul Gautier.
There is another designation in French fashion: Pret-a--Porter which means "ready-to-wear". Those designs are still costly, but available to a wide market, unlike haute couture.
Taylor Swift said she was wearing atalier Donna Karan (atalier means "workshop" in French). We do not have haute couture in our country, but we obviously like to use the pretentious French terms for our designers!
When Anne Hathaway was asked WHO she was wearing, she answered: "Vintage Chanel"! Les erupted with laughter, "I wonder if the corpse of Coco Chanel is ON her!"