Is haute couture dead?

In a recent interview with Vogue, Marc Jacobs said, when discussing his transformation of Louis Vuitton from a ‘company to a fashion house’ that he couldn’t justify a haute couture collection because; “With couture, one dress each season is photographed by a couple of magazines; there’s no advertising; it reaches 20 customers.” He claims he can explore all that he could in haute couture, the beauty, the fine detail, the craftsmanship, in his ready-to-wear collection. Jacobs’ poses an interesting question to the fashion world, is haute couture dead? As he says there is no advertising, thus there is no wide-spread knowledge of it, it reaches 20 customers so for those of us like you or me, we can simply watch at a distance, admiring the fine work on the pages of a magazine, but never, really, in reality ever consider it as the next addition to our wardrobes. Sure haute couture makes for beautiful red carpet moments, the fashion shows are breath-taking and for those lucky 20 clients, haute couture makes for a beautiful new addition to the their wardrobe, something special to wear. Personally I think that haute couture is not yet dead, especially as the fashion houses such as Dior, YSL and Chanel (to name a few), continue to create beautiful haute couture collections that gain huge acclaim for their beauty and detail, featuring on the red-carpet come awards season and gracing the pages of magazines, as well as having a place in the walk-in wardrobes of those lucky few. Although Jacobs’ claims he can’t justify a haute couture collection, his ready-to-wear collection does at times seem to resemble a haute couture collection, with his latest 2012 ready-to-wear collection featuring models riding a carousel whilst modelling the latest equisite, delicate designs from Jacobs, pearly colours, full skirts, embriodery; so Jacobs is possibly combining his haute couture and ready-to-wear into one, which in the current economic climate, is a smart fashion choice. Although haute couture is not yet dead, I do believe that increasingly, like Jacobs as Louis Vuitton, fashion houses will begin to move away from haute couture and focus more so on their ready-to-wear collections, which make money and appeal to customers. At the recent haute couture shows in Paris, the collections were already beginning to shrink, with some only featuring 15 to 20 pieces. But, haute couture is alive and well…for now.

Louis Vuitton ready-to-wear 2012.



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