Many times we encountered this important term in high fashion world. The name itself, Haute couture came from the French word for “high sewing” or “high dressmaking”. Many designers made clothing from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finish, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques only available for their respected clients through orders.
It originally referred to Englishman Charles Frederick Worth’s work, produced in Paris in the mid-nineteenth century. In modern France, haute couture is a “protected name” that can be used only by firms that meet certain well-defined standards. However, the term is also used loosely to describe all high-fashion custom-fitted clothing, whether it is produced in Paris or in other fashion capitals such as Milan, London, Rome, New York and Tokyo.
The term haute couture is also defined by the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris based in Paris, France. Their rules state that only “those companies mentioned on the list drawn up each year by a commission domiciled at the Ministry for Industry are entitled to avail themselves” of the label haute couture.
Members of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture
As of the 2008/2009 Fall and Winter fashion season, there are eleven names officially representing the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture (with additional foreign correspondent members and guest members). The following are the official eleven who have earned the right to call themselves haute couture by French law.
Jean Paul Gaultier
Anne Valerie Hash