Couture Dresses & Gowns
Couture translates literally from French as “dressmaking.” However, couture may also refer to clothes making including fashion, sewing or other needlework. Couture is also often the common abbreviation for haute couture, which means “high dressmaking” or “high sewing.” The term haute couture has generally come to mean anything “high fashion.”
What Makes Haute Couture Special
Haute couture is special because it is a specific “made-to-measure breed of French fashion,” as noted in an article by The New York Times Style Magazine. Haute couture gowns and clothes are made in the bespoke fashion – entirely by hand. Each garment is made for a single, dedicated client. Sometimes this involves hundreds of hours of work for a single garment. A recent Chanel press release, published in Fashionista, noted that for their “Neon Baroque” collection, the hidden seams alone required upward of 35 hours of work in the atelier. The release also listed a wedding dress and cape (1300 hours), a couture evening dress (190 hours) and its embroidery (350 hours). Every single garment is a work of art, an intensive, time-consuming masterpiece of the fashion craft.
Haute couture is actually a legally protected term only granted to designers or houses by the French Ministry of Industry. According toThe New York Times Style Magazine, to get the true label of haute couture, a label must “maintain a Parisian workroom with a minimum of 20 employees, and it must produce at least 25 outfits per season.” The rules have changed over the years since their inception in 1945, with some rules being broken and allowed only when deemed appropriate by the Fédération Française de la Couture, the governing body of haute couture law. Haute couture is about attention to detail, using the highest quality materials and evoking a true sense of individuality.
When to Wear Couture
For most, buying and wearing true haute couture in real life is impossible, due to their astronomical price tags or extravagant designs. As seen in a Harper’s Bazaar, wearing true haute couture in real life is something of an improbable dream. In that example, the haute couture gown is a billowing, diaphanous confection, sweeping far wider than the wearer is tall. For daily life, it is as utterly impractical as it is stunningly beautiful.
Luckily, many excellent designers have taken note of the key points of haute couture and have created their own lines of couture-inspired wear. These designers combine elements of couture such as attention to detail, high quality, and individuality and apply them to price points and designs which can reach a wider client base. Their designs may include extravagant haute couture-inspired gowns, dresses or other elaborate pieces.
Black-Tie & White-Tie
Designs inspired by couture evening dresses are usually perfectly suited for any formal event such as white-tie and black-tie occasions. White-tie is the most formal evening dress code in Western high fashion. Floor-length dresses are an absolute must for white-tie. As such, gowns and dresses from couture inspirations fit the dress code well. Black-tie occasions are not as strict as white-tie affairs, and tasteful shorter dresses or pantsuits may be worn as well, depending on the event. Here, a couture evening dress inspired look may range from intricately detailed cocktail-length dress to a bespoke pantsuit.
Couture Collections at NewYorkDress
NewYorkDress carries many high-end designers who create gorgeous gowns. Those designers with the highest quality, finest attention to detail and individuality are in our Couture Dresses & Gowns collection, which takes inspiration from haute couture. We carry the following high-end designers in our couture dresses online marketplace: Edward Arsouni, Saiid Kobeisy and Beside Couture. Each of these designers brings their own unique style to couture inspiration.