couture ('high sewing') originated in Paris in the late
a century and the playing field has been leveled.
fashion designers concentrate on more profitable lines - like
shoes, perfume, handbags and ready-to-wear.
runway creations? For the vast audience of fashion consumers, they are simply a means of bringing attention to what's
Similar to sparkling wine from the Champagne region, France still tries to protects haute couture as a "protected name" that can be used only by firms that meet certain well-defined standards. Today, however, the label is commonly given to any custom-made fashion line from New York to Milan or Paris.
still engage the top designers for a custom frock, but they basically remain
a very distinct and very small market.
Around the Web, find out more
about the world of high fashion with insider info on who's hot,
what's coming down the runway right now, or take time to window
shop online luxury stores with additional links
to the world's top designers.
- Discover all things design, with information on the major fashion houses in New York,
Paris, Milan and Tokyo plus more online browsing for the current
art & design scene, together with a directory of the world's most elegant and chic online shops.
York Fashion Guide
- From New York Magazine this guide features fashion news and celebrity
story articles, the latest fashion trends, and an extensive library
of designer bio's.
The Cult of Couture - Check out an archived survey from Forbes.com covering the insider world of haute couture fashion designers and their rarified customers.