October 3, 2011
1 Haute Couture
2 Haute Couture
‘Haute Couture’ is a concept designed for the world’s most privileged. ‘Haute Couture’ is the French word for the highest and most exclusive work a big fashion house produces – but is it art? In the 20th century, cinema became commonly known as the seventh art.
Although Haute Couture, as we know it today, was born in Paris, when an Englishman called Charles Frederic Worth opened a Couture House in 1958, it has not been until more recent years that Haute Couture, or made-to-measure tailoring, has emerged as a major form of artistic expression, and has been dubbed as being “the eighth art”.
Today there are approximately 30 Couture Houses in existence that present Haute Couture collections, although only 11 are official members of the ‘Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture’.
These members are: Chanel, Adeline Andre, Dominique Sirop, Givenchy, Anne Valerie Hash, Stephane Rolland, Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Lacroix, Maurizio Galante, Franck Sorbier and Christian Dior – all of whom provide tailor-made outfits to Haute Couture clients from around the world, of which only about 200 are regular ones.
Increasingly, Haute Couture is being the subject and focus in art exhibitions, such as the Blue Wrap Project, an installation of Haute Couture held at the Portland Public Library’s Lewis Gallery earlier this year.
The show directly portrayed Haute Couture as an art form, suggesting that out of all the major art forms, such as poetry, architecture, visual art, music and visual art, fashion is the most elusive, because, generally speaking, art viewers rarely get a chance to see this form of art.
The “eighth art” is arguably one of the ambitious art forms of modern times, as it is a fusion of modern techniques and traditional skills at the highest level. In conclusion, Haute Couture will always exist as long as true artists continue to use it as their main medium of expression.