According to Wikipedia, the term "haute couture" (which is French for
"high sewing" or "high dressmaking" refers to the creation of exclusive
custom-fitted apparel. Garments that are referred to as "haute couture"
are made-to-order for a specific customer, and are usually made from
high-quality, expensive fabrics and sewn with extreme attention to
detail and finish, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques.
The term haute couture originally referred to Englishman Charles
Frederick Worth's work, which was produced in Paris in the
mid-nineteenth century. In modern France, the label "haute couture" is a
protected term that can be used only by design houses 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 other fashion capitals such as Milan, London, Rome, New
York, or Tokyo.
Fashion-era.com, the word couture means dressmaking, sewing, or
needlework and the word haute means elegant or high, so the two combined
imply a very high level of artistry with the fashioning of garments. The
purchase of a haute couture model garment is at the top level of
hand-customized fashion design and clothing construction made by a
couture design house. A model haute couture
garment is made
specifically for the wearer's measurements and body stance. The
made-to-measure exclusive clothes are virtually made by hand, carefully
interlined, and stay taped and fitted to perfection for each client.
The fabrics available to couture houses are also very luxurious and
include the latest novelty fabrics, fine silks and wools, cashmeres,
leathers, suedes, and other
skins or furs. In the case of a famous design house, the design and
color of a particular cloth may be exclusively reserved for that
specific couture house.
Infoplease.com states that in order for a garment to regarded as
haute couture, the fashion house that created it must belong to the
Syndical Chamber for Haute Couture in Paris, which is regulated by the
French Department of Industry. Members must employ 15 or more people and
present their collections twice a year. Each presentation must include
at least 35 separate outfits for day and