PARIS FASHION WEEK
Fashion week in Paris! Oh, I would LOVE to visit the shows … But for now, I will have to settle with the pictures I find on the internet. A wonderful place to collect my favourite items is on a mood board on PINTEREST:
Paris Fashion Week is a clothing trade show which is held semi-annually (spring/summer and autumn/winter collections) in the beautiful city of Paris. Dates are determined by the Fédération française de la couture. This fusion of a trade union of high fashion and the ‘Chambre syndicale de la haute couture parisienne’ was created in 1973. The Federation also has a fashion school, the École de la chambre syndicale de la couture parisienne. The Federation has close ties to the Union Nationale Artisanale de la Couture et des Activités Connexes, a trade union of couture dressmakers in other French administrative regions outside of Paris.
Besides being responsible for setting the dates and locations of the French Fashion Weeks, the Federation also establishes industry standards on quality and on the use of the word “haute couture”.
This week, there are fashion shows in Paris from the haute couture ‘maisons’. Haute couture refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is fashion that is constructed by hand from start to finish, made from high quality, expensive, often unusual fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. A haute couture garment is often made for a client, tailored specifically for the wearer’s measurements and body stance. Considering the amount of time, money, and skill that is allotted to each completed piece, haute couture garments are also described as having no price tag – in other words, budget is not relevant. Each couture piece is not made to sell. Rather, they were designed and constructed for the runway, much like an art exhibition.
In modern France, haute couture is a “protected name” that can be used only by firms that meet certain well-defined standards. However, the term is also used loosely to describe all high-fashion custom-fitted clothing, whether it is produced in Paris or in other fashion capitals such as London, Milan, New York or Tokyo.
Besides the official schedule, there are many more shows in Paris at the same time. This works wonderful, because journalists from all over the world are present, and they might come to visit your show …
I’m very happy to see Dutch designers applying more and more embroidery in their collections. It adds some international glamour to our down-t0-earth way of dressing. In Paris, embroidery is part of the fashion history and people are not afraid to stand out or spend more money on exclusive fashion.
It will take some time for Dutch people to get used to this concept of personal luxury. I am convinced that in this age, with more and more attention to green fashion, durability and timeless wear, people are inclined to look for a different way to express their personality. Embroidery might be this way in adding a special touch to any garment.
“Couture isn’t about reality or wearability, it is freedom of thinking, my atelier, like a lab, is a place of discovery and development. After which a new journey begins to translate my couture to clothing for women.”
Saskia ter Welle designs Women’s Wear and Advises on Personal Colour and Style. She teaches French Haute Couture Embroidery techniques and organises inspiring events on Personal Branding.
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