Friday, 22 March 2013

Fashion Friday: Haute Couture and Ready to Wear

When it comes to Haute couture and ready to wear it can sometimes be confusing about the difference between the two, when I first became interested in designer fashion collections I know I was unclear about the difference and there is more to them than you might expect. So this week's Fashion Friday is dedicated to explaining Haute couture and Ready to wear, plus it's the perfect opportunity to show a few beautiful garments from Haute couture and Ready to wear collections for extra clarification.
 
Haute Couture is a collection of made to measure garments. A fashion house will design, make and present thirty five day and evening wear garments for each season. The garments will be made by at least fifteen members of staff in a Paris studio for the collection to be labelled as Haute couture. Haute couture collections tend to be extremely elaborate and extremely expensive! They include all manner of detailed embellishments such as exquisite embroidery and beading. Due to the time and materials used for Haute couture garments, many fashion houses do not gain large profits from Haute couture collections, in fact some fashion houses have been known to gain no profit from particular season's collections.
Elie Saab S/S 2013 Haute couture
Dior S/S 2013 Haute couture
 
Valentino S/S 2013 Haute couture
Ready to wear (RTW) is also known as Prêt-à-Porter. RTW garments are produced in standard sizes. RTW collections tend to be more simple and less elaborate than Haute couture collections however they do still include luxury fabrics and embellishments and are cut and tailored to a high standard. Although the garments are not made to measure the prices are still high but not as expensive as Haute couture. RTW garments will also be more frequently copied and interpreted by high street labels.

Elie Saab S/S 2013 RTW
Dior S/S 2013 RTW
 
Valentino S/S 2013 RTW

You may also notice from the images of the RTW and Haute couture garments that the Haute couture collections tend to be more elegant, classic garments in subdued colours. Although this is not the same for all Couture collections this seems to be the standard theme of many collections. In contrast, the RTW collections are more bold and experimental with silhouette, colour and style.

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