Men's Fashion, Made Simple



3 Haute Couture Dresses

Haute Couture is loved by millions of people world-wide who love to stare in awe at the beautiful garments that are hand-made by the best dressmakers in the world. Haute Couture is seen everywhere in the fashion world, from Paris Fashion Week, to the Oscars and red carpet to weddings. You may not know what Haute Couture means, but you will have definitely seen some garments that have been produced by Haute Couture designers. In this blog post we will be going through the meaning of haute couture, some of the requirements you have to meet to become a Haute Couture designer, some of the most world-renowned Couture designers and the history of Haute Couture, so enjoy!

Meaning of Haute Couture

Haute Couture translates to high fashion, and it is when fashion houses create hand-crafted, high quality dresses that are fitted perfectly for the woman that is wearing them. These dresses that are made for the haute couture fashion shows start at around £20,000 and can easily cost over £100,000. They carry this heavy price tag because of the hundreds of hours that are put into making these dresses, from designing them, to hand stitching the dresses and then altering them so they fit perfectly. They are also made from the highest quality materials available, often using silks and crystals that are embedded into the garment.

Black Wedding Dress Style Haute Couture Garment

How to become a Haute Couture Designer

There is also a rather extensive checklist to be accepted as a member of the French “Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture” and there are only around 15-20 members. Once you are invited to become a member you are allowed to use the term Haute Couture for your garments, and allowed to host a Haute Couture Fashion Show in Paris.

One of the criteria’s to be accepted by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture is you have to have at least 15 full time staff that work as atelier and 20 full time staff that work as technical workers. The fashion house also has to create more than 50 original garment designs (day and evening wear) and display them in a fashion show in both January and July. As you can see, this checklist that you must follow in order to be accepted, becomes extremely expensive, which is why only a handful of fashion houses have been accepted by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.

Dior Haute Couture Dress Courtesy Photo of Dior

Haute Couture Designers

Some of the most well know fashion houses that have been accepted are: Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Fendi, Valentino, Armani and Versace. There are also multiple fashion houses that have been accepted that just focus on Haute Couture and don’t produce ready-to-wear garments, which is why they are less well known. These include houses such as Adeline Andre, Bouchra Jarrar and Schiaparelli.

Chanel’s Haute Couture with Karl Lagerfeld

As some of the return readers may know, Karl Lagerfeld is one of my favourite names in fashion and he is also the reason why Chanel is popular today. Karl joined Chanel as creative director in 1983 after being warned against it because Chanel was a “fashion house of the past”. Since Karl Lagerfeld joined, Chanel has become a massive name in the Haute Couture world and has created some stunning garments. Chanel has also become well-known for their over-the-top runway sets, with centrepieces such as a rocket that actually looked like it was taking off, wind turbines and a cruise ship! The YouTube video below gives a visual representation about how big these runways are and how intricate the designs for these garments are!

Chanel’s haute couture has also been seen being worn by celebrities on the red carpet. Jenifer Lopez was seen wearing a satin gown from their Sprint 2001 show at the Vanity Fair Oscars Party, Blake Lively was seen wearing a sequin dress from Chanel’s spring 2014 show and Margot Robbie wore a blue gown that featured in spring 1994 show for the Oscars in 2020. There have also been lots of other celebrities that have worn Chanel haute couture that I haven’t mentioned and some have also been in the fashion shows!

Dior Haute Couture Dress

History of Haute Couture

Charles Frederick Worth, who was an English fashion designer, is known as the father of haute couture. The House of Worth was created in 1858 and specialised in amazingly fitted clothes and impeccable hand crafted quality. This attracted interest from high class people in Paris including royalty. Dior, Chanel and many other fashion houses have followed in Charles Frederick Worth’s footsteps and his style of dressmaking. In 1945 the Le Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture was established and created their set of requirements that haute couture designers had to meet. In October 1973, Paris held the first haute couture fashion week which displayed some of the most intricate dresses to date. Since then, haute couture has been extremely popular with millions of people trying to bag a seat at fashion week to be able to see the garments up close.

Dior Haute Couture Dress

If you loved this blog post, why not check out one of our other posts, which tells you how the LGBTQ+ community has influenced fashion! Read it here: 13 Fashion Tips for Men


Most people will have heard of Haute Couture, but very few will actually know what it means because it is one of the most misused words in the fashion dictionary. Many people also think that haute couture is a dying part of fashion as some people think that the designs are old fashioned and outdated. But haute couture gives fashion houses the chance to prove to the world how well they can craft garments and gives them a chance to be creative and daring in their designs. Most people won’t ever get within 10 metres of a haute couture garment, which just shows how high class this style of dress making is and how rare they actually are.

I hope you have learnt something new in the blog post and if you have please share it with your friends and on social media!

Author: Freddie Ratsma

Published: August 2020


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