Exclusiveness. The measure. Garments made by hand and with little use of the sewing machine. Luxury materials hand-stitched carefully for a perfect finish. Costurers who develop new techniques that take a long time.
That is why it is said that Haute Couture pieces are priceless. The development of these bespoke designs is known worldwide and only a few privileged can afford. It is an exclusive design, made with the highest quality materials that will adapt to every inch of your body. Undoubtedly, Haute Couture is the dream of every woman.
Catherine Riviere is in charge of directing the Haute Couture of the house Dior. She controls the entire process, from being manufactured until the customer buys it. Her function is mainly to ensure that the house maintains the tradition but adapting to the modern. She does not talk about prices. She says that the price of a Haute Couture garment should only matter to the client who is going to buy the garment and that if she then wants to say what it has cost, say it. Despite not wanting to talk about prices, she gives a clue: from 40,000 €. However, a piece of what we know as prêt-à-porter, would cost us approximately 8,000 €.
But many will ask: What´s the difference between Haute Couture and prêt-à-porter? The materials used. But above all, the hours. Many will think that we talk about expensive clothes. And it is true. But it is what they cost. They may be working on a dress for a whole year, counting on the manufacture of the materials, the measurements of the client and the work of the seamstresses. It is a work of art, a way of being and thinking. It is something unique and extraordinary that will have only an individual experience. And that’s where the difference is made.
Prêt-à-porter (ready to wear) garments, would be the ones that are made, unlike the Haute Couture, with a certain pattern and with which they work according to the demand of the product. We could say that they are the clothes we usually wear on a daily basis (although some people can afford wear Haute Couture daily).
Not all luxury brands that most of us know work with Haute Couture garments. In fact, there is an union in which you must meet some guidelines to be part of this select club.
1. The first rule is that the house must design the client an exclusive piece and totally tailored, with one or more tests until the garment is perfect.
2. The second rule talks about the membership of a workshop or studio that is located in Paris and has at least 20 employees working full time.
3. The third but not least is that each season must present to the public a collection of at least 50 new designs of the brand.
All the houses that make Haute Couture, also make prêt-à-porter. In addition, the latest is the one that gives more income to the brands. It’s what sells the most and it takes less time to make it.
The official members of Haute Couture are: Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Stephane Rolland and Giambattista Valli. In addition, foreign members include Elie Saab and Versace.
During the 20th century Haute Couture suffered a significant decline. From 106 homes in 1946 to only 18 in 2000, reducing to only 9 in 2004 (Versace, Dior, Chanel, Valentino, Lacroix, Gaultier, Givenchy …).
Last Thursday, the movie The Devil Wears Prada, birth 10 years. On the occasion of its anniversary celebration, there is no better way to reminisce about the film that talking about the brand.
The famous luxury brand was founded in Milan (Italy) in 1913. Its creator was Mario Prada under the name Fratelli Prada (Prada Brothers). However, it was thanks to his granddaughter Miuccia Prada, when the brand became one of the premier international fashion. She did not seem very prepared for the position to occupy; however, she had a sense for aesthetics exquisite and different.
The brand began mainly with the production of handbags, luggage and shoes. Later, air travel began to be one of the first transports of this type of clientele. However, customers began to be unhappy because the material used for these bags was walrus skin and was very heavy. Thus, Prada focused more on creating hand luggage and suitcases, but this time leather and waterproof. Under the direction of Miuccia enters the field competence in the same sector: Gucci. Therefore, she decides to give a twist to the production of the brand and is when Prada begins to manufacture its luxury clothes ready-to-wear.
Following the completion of the first backpack by Miuccia, black and waterproof in 1970, arrived in 1985 one of the most emblematic of the history of fashion handbags: its black, classic and simple bag, which in turn was robust and functional. A bag was launched with an entry price quite high but also sold and soon began to have many imitators. The decisive year of the brand was 1989, in which Miuccia presented her first collection of ready-to-wear and was so successful that the brand brought up considerably.
Already in the 90s Prada was a globally recognized brand, not only for its high prices, but behind them are luxury materials, simple but at the same time we get in love with them. As main colors black, brown, gray, green and cream. All this made the brand has that special appeal and whose essence continues to this day. An exclusive brand season after season has managed to remain the brand to the concept of it.
One of its affiliates (Miu Miu), for younger people and low cost of Prada line, was created in 1992 and acquired Fendi, which then eventually sold to LVMH.
Later, in 2003, Prada began to collaborate with the Spanish firm Puig for the manufacture of perfumes and later in the 2006 is when The Devil Wears Prada premiere, a film starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway. After its premiere, the brand begins to have even more popularity. But however and although it seems a contradiction, the film does not talk about Prada. It was just a way of referring to it as something exclusive.