While I am super proud of Rad Hourani being the first Canadian to be accepted as a member to La Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne (the governing body of the French fashion industry), I think Karl Lagerfeld makes a very good point about couture here:
“I think couture has a real reason to exist in a limited way, like Chanel or Dior, because they have a real couture house organization. Small designers who don’t have a real organization should do expensive RTW, because couture is not just the same dresses made-to-order, but it’s also the presentation, the fittings, the whole thing that goes with it. There is something mythical about it that cannot be improvised. You can make very good clothes at home on a limited scale but a real couture organization…there are very few left.” (WWD)
In recent years, La Chambre Syndicale has had to relax their rules in order to accept more designers to show haute couture, as the list was getting very short. But I must say that I sort of agree with Lagerfeld, in that it should be kept very, very exclusive and limited, and only the fashion houses with the correct skills can call themselves haute couture. That’s not to say that some of the smaller names on the schedule are not worthy, but I am pretty sure there are a few on there that are most likely closer to luxury ready-to-wear, than couture.
I studied couture at the schools run by La Chambre Syndicale (I’ve also been lucky to attend several couture shows), and I can tell you it is a very, VERY different story to ready to wear. And as Lagerfeld says, it is not just about the construction, it is about the presentations, the salons, and the history. It is quite sacred. For once, Lagerfeld speaks with reason!
Images from Style.com.