Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The dream of Couture, is it over?

john galliano, raf simons, dior couture
Dior 2011 Couture fall 2010/2011 designed by John Galliano - Dior spring 2013 Couture designed by Raf Simons

The fashion month is about to start. In a few days we'll learn everything about future trends.
But before ready to wear walks the runway fashion stopped over Paris for Couture shows. A disconnected calendar marks the difference between the two worlds: high fashion on one side, ready to wear on another. Or maybe not. We can guess that wind is changing watching Dior couture show in which the theatrical and spectacular design by John Galliano has been replaced by a more wearable Couture signed by Raf Simons

Simons spoken about bringing more reality to couture (source of information style.com), like saying that couture is dated and needs to be reinvented.
Dior is not the only one who chose simplicity on the runway; maybe this new mood wants to make couture more understandable and justifiable to the eyes of clients.

Is there still a place for exaggerated dresses or wealthy women prefer precious, but pratical clothes?
Dior announced that sales of its couture collections went up by 24% in 2012 (source of information fashionologie) proof that Simons design is a winning one.
Moreover what kind of fashion can couture be if nobody wears it, is that something wrong if it tries to please its growing base of clients?

Couture is freedom of creativity, says Franca Sozzani Director of Vogue Italia in her blog. There is no industry asking for the figures. It’s sheer experimentation. This is why when I see too many compromises I feel disappointed.
It’s like having a dream knowing you have limitations. What kind of dream can that be?

Is the dream of Couture over?

The age of pure experimentation and free creativity might be arrived to an end.
For years fashion houses invested money to deliver the dream of couture.
Even with record sales we don't make any money out of it, said once Jean Paul Gaultier.
Even with high price tags Couture dresses are sold below cost prices (source Fashion Telegraph). So why is still going on?
Haute couture is what gives our business its essential essence of luxury, says Bernard Arnault in 2010, the head of LVMH. The cash it soaks up is largely irrelevant. Set against the money we lose has to be the value of the image couture gives us (source Fashion Telegraph).

Couture can't be a surrogate of ready to wear, says Giorgio Armani in an interview to m.o.d.a. If it has to be high fashion you have to take the risks of making a special fashion. Couture is for the woman that wants to stand out among other women, it's not democratic.

Do you love the new simplicity?
Is this couture modern and fresh or looks too similar to ready to wear collections?

Is there still a place for the dream of elegance or it's time to move on now that brands like J.Crew and H&M decided to show their collections during fashion weeks? (source fashionologie)

What do you think?

Il mese delle fashion week è ai nastri di partenza e in pochi giorni scopriremo tutto sulle tendenze di domani. Prima ancora che il pret a porter scenda in passerella la moda ha già fatto tappa a Parigi per le sfilate di Haute Couture. Il calendario, distante dalle altre sfilate sottolinea la distanza dei due mondi: da un lato c'è l'alta moda, elitaria e sofisticata, dall'altro il pret a porter. O forse no. Che ci sia aria di cambiamento si capisce guardando la sfilata di Dior dove il design spettacolare di John Galliano lascia il passo alla couture firmata Raf Simons, più indossabile e più vicina al pret a porter di quanto non sia mai stata.

L'obiettivo di Raf Rimons è quello di riportare la couture alla realtà (fonte dell'informazione style.com) come dire che il linguaggio della couture è datato e va reinventato e  Dior non è l'unico ad aver portato in passerella una nuova semplicità, un tentativo forse di rendere la Couture più comprensibile ed appetibile agli occhi dei compratori.
C'è ancora spazio per vestiti esagerati e spettacolari o le donne che comprano alta moda preferiscono abiti preziosi ma più pratici? Il design di Raf Simons sembra essere quello vincente visto che Dior  ha registrato un aumento del 24% delle vendite di capi di alta moda nell'ultimo anno(fonte fashionologie).
D'altra parte la moda è tale solo se viene indossata, che male c'è ad andare incontro ai gusti dei clienti?

L'alta moda è sperimentazione pura, scrive nel suo blog il Direttore di Vogue Italia Franca Sozzani, creatività in libertà e nessuna industria che reclami i numeri. Per questo quando vedo troppi compromessi sono delusa. È come sognare pensando che esistono dei limiti. Che sogno è?

E' finito il sogno della Couture?

Il tempo della sperimentazione pura, di Couture come esercizio creativo slegato dalle imposizioni di mercato potrebbe essere finito. Per anni le case di moda hanno investito denaro per nutrire quell'immaginario di lusso ed esclusività irraggiungibile che l'alta moda rappresenta.
Non si guadagna con la Couture, spiegava Jean Paul Gaultier, i costi di produzione dell'alta moda spesso superano i ricavi ma l'Haute Couture è quello che dà alla moda l'essenza del lusso, affemava nel 2010 Bernard Arnault a capo di LVMH, i soldi che spendiamo sono irrilevanti confrontati con il valore d'immagine che la couture ci restituisce.  (fonte Fashion Telegraph).

Non si deve considerare la Couture un surrogato del pret a porter, spiega Giorgio Armani  nell'intervista rilasciata a m.o.d.a. di La7. L'alta moda deve essere tale con tutti i rischi che comporta fare un'alta moda speciale. L'alta moda  è per quella donna che vuole azzerare le altre, non è democratica evidentemente. 

Quella che avanza è una nuova alta moda,  più essenziale ed aggiornata o rischia di diventare un doppione del pret a porter?
C'è ancora spazio per il sogno dell'eleganza o bisogna guardare avanti ora che brand come H&M e J. Crew decidono di presentare le loro collezioni in passerella durante le fashion week di pret a porter?


Unknown said...

Yes that's sad. I think this is showing up in all places. Everybody just wants to please everyone, there is no place for special clothes anymore. Now they want to make pieces just to be wearable.

Mlle W said...

to answer the blogpost: I hope not! Fashion or Haute Couture is about the fantasy and the fairytale. It's fun that some fashion has become accessable (eg MMM 4 H&M) but other factors should stay illusive for Vogue magazines and the tres riche

Danka said...

Good article about a very interesting debate. While haute couture doesn't specifically mean or require a fantasy or anything over the top this is very much what it is associated with. I think this change that is currently being seen everywhere actually is all about fashion houses going back to the roots of haute couture, which is high level craftmanship and sewing, rather than creativity per se. I really like it and I think Raf Simons SS 13 couture show for Dior does a beautiful job at it. The clothes have an incredibly exclusive feel to them thanks to the exquisite detailing and stunning tailoring, which is what haute couture should be all about (though in my opinion this doesn't need to exclude theatrical designs).

sepatuholig-Grace Njio said...

I love my H&M every now and than, its affordable and yet stylish... Haute Couture in the other hand is an art. combining art and fashion is fine, but than again walk in fairy tale or walk in life?

Unknown said...

Haute Couture transforms in to a pure art.. The calculations of customer demands say so...

Women's fashion

Paula said...

I agree with Danka in the fact that Haute Couture is not necessarily about how avant garde a garment is but the ammount of man hours that goes into finishing the eventual look. The craftsmanship is incredibly high, the materials unique or very high quality... some of these runway looks would have involved HUNDREDS of hours of artisan hand sewing to complete. Plus now the world is - apparently - heading out of recession high end clients may be looking for more sleek designs and less frills and escapism?

<3 Paula Shoe Fiend

Anonymous said...

It sounds likes they already have put a limitation on the dream in that it has to be wearable. I always saw couture as fine art rather than fashion. No one sees the work behind it any more, its sad.

Matter Of Style said...

@Paula and Danka I agree with what you both say but I think there is also an high level of craftmanship in some ready to wear collection like Balmain or Oscar de la Renta. The question is what is the visible difference between the two? Yes they are made in France and custom made for clients but with so good ready to wear collections I think Couture must continue to raise the bar of creativity and innovation.