Is Couture Still Alive in Fashion Today?

Individuals in the fashion industry have begun to wonder if haute couture is still of importance today. Decreasing interest shown by customers has led to this question. Couture is really about tailor made clothing, designed to fit specific individuals. What the industry did not foresee was the future where clothing would be designed in a range of sizes. This meant that most people did not bother with tailor made designs as they could normally find clothing to fit, and this clothing was normally cheaper than tailor-made clothing.

The decreasing interest in haute couture is linked to the cost of the clothing and the time it takes to have a garment made specifically for you. It is so much easier, quicker and cheaper to walk into a department store and find your size, buy it and you are all set. The pace of the modern world is much faster than the olden days with people wanting their clothing and other items as quickly as possible. Time is often not available for the average person to go through a series of measurements and fittings. Even though couture has always been more for people of higher income levels, many of these people may not have the time today even if they have the money to pay for such clothing.

Backstage at Christian Dior Couture Spring 2017

Christian Dior and Pierre Balman realized that they had to join the movement of ready to wear clothing. Couture is still alive today although not as popular as the past, and certainly it is in a much more limited market. Some in the fashion industry maintain that couture is returning, however only time will tell if this will be the case. The reality is that people who wear couture have to have money and time, and the question becomes if there are enough of those people left. Aside from celebrities preparing for awards shows or other special events, the market is limited. Even big couture fashion designers have recognized that in order to stay afloat economically that they have to expand into the heavily commercialized retail department store market.

Even though haute couture may seem less significant it can serve as a starting point for clothing that becomes mass produced. Awards show dresses for instance can motivate other designers to create similar products that can be made in several sizes and sold at a lower cost to the average person. Fashion shows highlighting designs can serve the same purpose. Even though many people may not buy these expensive clothes does not mean that they won’t look for a similar design or fashion in a retail store. The truly smart fashion houses are those that have recognized this trend and do not simply limit themselves to couture anymore. Haute couture also has a role to play in artistic expression of young designers, whose ideas can be showcased on runways around the world. Fundamentally even though couture may not be as important as in the past it still serves some purpose in the world of fashion, even today.