Haute couture

Haute Couture, derived from the French for "high sewing" or "high dressmaking", refers to the design and manufacturing of exclusive custom-fitted fashions. It originally referred to French fashion as a whole and in France, Haute couture is, itself, a "protected name" that can be used only by firms that conform to certain well-defined and extremely challenging standards. However, the term is often used freely to include all high-fashion custom-fitted clothing, whether it is produced in Paris or in other fashion capitals such as New York, London, and Milan.

Haute couture is often made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finish, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques.

Official members of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture

As of Autumn/Winter 2009/10, the members are as follows:

  • Adeline André
  • Anne Valérie Hash
  • Chanel
  • Christian Dior
  • Christian Lacroix
  • Dominique Sirop
  • Franck Sorbier
  • Givenchy
  • Jean Paul Gaultier
  • Maurizio Galante
  • Stéphane Rolland

Foreign correspondent members:

Giorgio Armani shows during the couture shows as a foreign member invited by the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, along with Elie Saab and Maison Martin Margiela. Valentino has also had a haute couture line for decades and is one of the most widely-respected designers in the world.

Previous members:

The Chambre also invites some designers to participate in the shows, even if they do not meet the strict requirements for entrance to the Chambre. The list of guests will fluctuate from year to year. Former members include:

  • Donatella Versace
  • Elsa Schiaparelli
  • Emilio Pucci
  • Lanvin
  • Nina Ricci
  • Paco Rabanne
  • Pierre Cardin
  • Yves Saint Laurent