Legalities of haute couture

What is officialy haute couture.

Just because a certain dressmaker creates customized clothing for his or her clientele does not mean that he or she can call his or her work haute couture. In fact, in France, the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris has set some rules and regulations that govern the world of haute couture. In 1945, they drew up the criteria as to which shops can use the label haute couture. This criteria was updated in 1992.

Some of the requirements are:

  • Design made-to-order for private clients, with one or more fittings.
  • Have a workshop (atelier) in Paris that employs at least fifteen people full-time.
  • Each season, present a collection to the Paris press, comprising at least thirty-five runs with outfits for both daytime wear and evening wear.
  • Despite the efforts of the French government, however, the label haute couture has been rather loosely used by some high fashion designers. As such, there has been some misconception as to what haute couture really is.

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