What You Need To Know About Haute Couture

What You Need To Know About Haute Couture

Haute couture is the most prestigious fashion item. The name Haute comes from a French word that refers to "high" and "elegant." Couture means "high fashion designing and dressmaking" and it has been used to describe the business of creating and selling custom-made high-fashion women’s clothes. According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, it also refers to high-end garments which combine fashion and costume.

The art of couture, which is strictly  controlled and invite-only, is a highly controlled application. It is governed by Paris's Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, with a wide influence on the fashion industry.

However, you may have been apprehensive about the history of Haute Couture when you first heard of the name. This article will explain its origins, including France, as well as how it has evolved and stayed modern. The article will also address why Haute Couture is always pricey. You can now appreciate Haute Couture without feeling confused and be able to make an informed decision about your purchase. Keep reading to learn more as you’d discover some key facts about Haute Couture.

Origin Of Couture

Haute Couture offers a world of exclusive fashion and tailor-made clothing. The word originates in French and literally means "high sewing" or "high dressmaking". This term is synonymous with Haute fashion. It can be used to refer both to individual designers as well as high-end clothing. The term haute couture in the United States is sometimes abbreviated as just couture. A dress created by a designer is typically of high quality and is considered high-end couture if it is produced using the highest quality materials and techniques.


Charles Frederick Worth was born in England and spent his early adulthood working for textile merchants and studying art history in museums. In 1858, he moved to Paris and opened a clothing shop, which he called "The Happy Few." Worth and Otto Bobergh, his Swedish Associate, quickly gained fame and became partners in the business. They also received recognition from royals and other prominent figures. Over the next decades, Worth's and Boberghs' business grew and became Worth's sole venture. He sold his finished clothes to customers and had famous designs that were modelled by real models. He is considered to be the founder of Haute Couture.

FRENCH Origin Of Couture

Haute Couture's history can be traced back as far as the 19th century. The clothes that were the most popular on 1950s fashion pages were made by French couturiers. Fashion press and commercial buyers were the primary customers for the house. The situation was even worse after the war. Chambre Syndicale was the trade association that represents French haute couture. It set a schedule for fashion shows to be shown for both commercial buyers and private customers. The idea of an haute couture dress being unique to each woman remained in practice. The Chambre Syndicale also opposed the relocation of haute couture to Berlin.

Worth lobbied for the establishment of a guild for the fashion industry in 1868. This organization was an extension of the guild system in the medieval era. The guild members were granted a legal status that allowed them to bargain collectively for their fellow dressmakers. It also advocated for issues that affected the industry such as taxation and labor. Its members were also responsible for developing the standards for Haute Couture.


Two distinct historical periods have been marked by the emergence and rise of Haute fashion as well as the rise of ready-to-wear. Haute couture was known for producing limited-edition, one-of-a-kind clothing that was expensive. Both types of clothing can be made at factories today and are sold at lower prices. Both types of clothing are considered high-end, but the difference between the two is the process and materials used.

Couture's history dates back to the 1920s when French designers attempted to redefine women's fashion. They emphasized the connection between fashion and art. They gained significant professional recognition for this relationship. This relationship has evolved in recent years to be more inclusive and streamlined, while still maintaining the same sophistication. Modern day designers have taken the concept of haute couture to the next level and introduced more affordable materials, while still maintaining the same level of luxury and sophistication.

Couture Clothing Requires a Painstaking Craftmanship

Haute couture clothing is handmade from scratch and requires about three fittings. It also requires a painstaking process as it is constructed by hand from start to finish. So it’s important to understand that a piece of couture dress can take between 100 and 400 hours to make, considering the material and made-to-order design.

Photo of Fashion Designer Measuring Clothes Niva Fashion House

Up Market Research ranks among the top market research companies in the world. Their reports provide crucial insight into Haute Couture markets, as well data for regional and country markets. These insights are useful and can be applied to real-world situations. The report discusses supply and demand, challenges and opportunities, and even identifies potential risks and threats. It also includes information about the competitive market landscape. You can use this data to make an informed decision based on the information in the report.

Couture House Has Strict Regulation

"Haute couture" is a legally protected term that was established in 1945. For this reason, a business must be a member of the Syndical Chamber for Haute Couture (HTC) in Paris to be considered an haute couture house. This is regulated by the French Department of Industry.

Each member must have at least 15 people working for them and present their collections two times a year. At least 35 separate outfits must be presented for each presentation, including daywear and evening wear.

Couture Is Not Mass-Produced

Couture is a handmade garment that's tailored to the wearer. You won't find it mass-produced in a department shop. Couture designs are common in bridal gowns and ceremony gowns during major awards events such as the Oscars and Grammys. Top designers across the globe create couture designs for select clients. Couture clothing is intricately designed, detailed, and made from expensive fabrics.

Why Haute Couture?

Depending on the part of the world, there are no clear data to ascertain the demand for Haute Couture. In UAE however, its relevance is rapidly gaining momentum as women continue to appreciate the craftsmanship and grandeur involved in a couture dress.

What Does Couture mean to the people in the MENA Region?

Women in the MENA region have been known to be the world’s biggest buyers of high fashion. Whether she's from the royal family or a public figures and the average woman, Arabic women are usually open to big spending for a piece of high fashion, as a subtle way to show class. According to a report by Reuters, "the Middle East is likely to remain the top couture client for the foreseeable future."

Haute Couture Design Process

  • Consultation
  • Consultation
  • Finding inspiration
  • The sketching stage
  • Choosing the perfect fabric
  • Picking colors
  • Silhouette measurement
  • Sampling and prototyping

How Does NIVA Fashion House Fit In?

At NIVA, we are proud of who we are: a Dubai-based luxury womenswear label with a long list of clientele that cuts across the Middle East region and abroad. With our luxury and avant-garde collections, NIVA already has the couture DNA running in our designs.

Our beautiful pieces are painstakingly and carefully created with attention to detail to compliment and flatter the NIVA Woman. Each piece boasts intricate details and embellishments, specifically made for the catwalk, fashion shoots, engagement shoots, pre-wedding and reception, as well the red carpet. Of course, you can’t go wrong wearing our couture-inspired pieces for prom, birthday celebrations, and other major ceremonies. Simply contact us or find out how you can place an order for our couture pieces by filling out the form below.


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