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Paris Haute-Couture Fashion

Paris Fashion Week

 Photographed by Simon Ackerman at Elie Saab, Paris Fashion Week

Photographed by Simon Ackerman at Elie Saab, Paris Fashion Week

Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week Shows

The world is in crisis, everywhere there are shops, supermarkets and factories closing down, but despite the world’s financial crisis a world of luxury and fantasy still fuels dreams. France is not immune to the financial crisis but Paris is still the capital of fashion and glamour, proof of that is the glamour of the haute couture seasonal collections.

Even for those who cannot afford the haute couture prizes Paris fashion is still a worldwide point of reference for what we will all be wearing in the next season. With a glance at some of the most important Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week Shows, you can learn what the basics of the new season will be. So you can be one of the first ones to buy them when the prêt a porter and the high street collections come out. And if you are good with your needles and scissors you might even find inspiration in here for making your own dresses.

Dress from The Valentino Spring Summer 2015 Collection, Haute Couture, Paris.

Valentino SS 2015 Haute Couture, Paris.

Valentino SS 2015 Haute Couture, Paris.

What Is Haute Couture?

“Haute couture” is a French term that literally means "high sewing" or "high dressmaking". This term refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothes which are hand made with high-quality, expensive fabric and very often other expensive materials like jewellery, feathers, etc .

In France the term “Haute Couture” is a term protected by the law since 1945. Only the fashion houses that fill certain criteria can use the name “Haute Couture”. For example, only those houses working in their own Paris based workshops, hand sewing, creating unique pieces made to measure and doing two catwalk shows a year (with a strict minimum number of pieces shown), among many other characteristics, can use the name Haute Couture for their creations.

As you have guessed “haute couture” is an incredibly expensive business which surprisingly enough is not essential –or profitable- for the great fashion houses in Paris. However, the Haute Couture Fashion shows serve as a "window" to show the world of fashion what is going to be fashionable the next season, and also serve to anchor the name of the fashion houses ready to commercialize their prêt a porter products.

ATELIER VERSACE Full Show Spring Summer 2015 Haute Couture Paris

Versace Haute couture

Ok, so I cannot really afford to upgrade my wardrobe with Versace Haute couture creations, but what I can do is take some hints from his creations to update my wardrobe. I like a lot the richness of materials used teamed up with delicate cuts and transparencies.

When Can I See a Haute Couture Show in Paris?

Historically, it was France who first organized a Haute Couture show. Now days, there are 2 shows for the Haute Couture Collections every year. The Spring/Summer collection is shown during January of that year while the Fall/Winter collections are presented in July for the season starting the following year.

Chanel SS 2015


Chanel 2015

The Chanel 2015 spring collection is simple and easy to wear. Mini dresses, light colours and flowers to lighten blak outfits. I love the transparencies. The block-colour wool suits shown are also easy to wear

Chanel Summer Spring 2015 Collection:

Karl Lagerfeld going for  floral theme for the creations of haute couture SS2015 of Chanel.

Karl Lagerfeld going for floral theme for the creations of haute couture SS2015 of Chanel.

Spring-Summer 2015 Haute Couture CHANEL Show

Spring-Summer 2015 Haute Couture CHANEL Show

I absolutely loved the flat, narrow leather sock-boot, I can see myself wearing them no problem. There was a lot of navel, "The new cleavage is the stomach," seems to be which is not good news for everyone. The color scheme however is a delight to draw inspiration for the warmer months I can see myself wearing sugary pastels, pops of electric blue, yellow and orange.


Dior SS2015

Dior, SS 2015

Dior, SS 2015

Dior SS 2015

For the Spring Summer 2015, Raf Simons, the artistique director at Christian Dior has drawn inspiration from the future but seen from the past –does that make sense? As Vogue put it, Raf Simons reimagined the past with the hindsight of the future.

Shocking bold hues and architectural silhouettes define what Simons believes is ‘decorated yet disruptive’. As he wraps up another fierce collection for the season, Simons gets the last word: ‘I really wanted to express something that felt relevant for today, learnt from then, from the point of view of now; something wilder, more sexual, strange and certainly more liberated.’

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Dior's Spring Summer 2015 Collection

Dress in black Wool, Dior 2015

Dress in black Wool, Dior 2015

Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring Summer 2015 Full Show Exclusive

Dior sunglasses

Jean Paul Gaultier's collection


Jean Paul Gaultier

One of the most feminine and daring collections for spring was the Jean Paul Gaultier collection which showed emphasis on transparencies, décolletage and swimming suit-inspired evening gowns.

There were also a lot of bullfighting and corsets influence which enhance a tall thin silhouette. Gaultier’s collection is rich in materials like embroidery, lace, tulle, feathers, velvet and satin. A mixture of styles and materials like the torero-style trousers made in see-through material are a clear example of Gaultier’s genius.

Jean Paul Gaultier's spring/summer 2009

 Former French fashion designer and model Ines de la Fressangea, a model and, right, French singer and actress Helena Noguerra, all wear creations from Jean Paul Gaultier's spring/summer '09 Haute Couture collection  Photo: REUTERS / GETTY

Former French fashion designer and model Ines de la Fressangea, a model and, right, French singer and actress Helena Noguerra, all wear creations from Jean Paul Gaultier's spring/summer '09 Haute Couture collection Photo: REUTERS / GETTY

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER Highlights Spring Summer 2015 Haute Couture Paris


photo: Alessandro Lucioni, Vogue .

photo: Alessandro Lucioni, Vogue .


Mini dresses with tight skirts. Clear colours, asymmetries, pale yellows, veils, transparencies. A very elegant and easy to wear collection which shows off your curves.

Almost a monochromatic collection, Givenchy plays on textures. All the dresses were one colour but made from combining different materials.

  • Light colours: white, cream, yellow, powder blue.
  • Bright colours: red and orange.
  • Transparencies.
  • Mini dresses.
  • 50’s influence: dresses with a marked waist and full skirts.
  • High heels
  • Monochromatic looks in only one material: like Chanel’s whites and Dior’s oranges.
  • Monochromatic look with a variety of textures.

Some Haute Couture Facts

  • Fewer than 500 customers worldwide actually buy haute couture
  • There are about 150 regular clients attending the Paris shows twice a year.
  • Each fashion house must show 25 creations in each show.
  • The starting price for haute couture is $30,000.
  • A gown taking 600 hours of handiwork or more can cost $100,000 .
  • Some pieces taking upward of 700 hours to create, and a minimum of twenty people working on it at a time.


flode from Paris on May 07, 2011:

What a great hub, and what a great eye for fashion! I just LOVE Paris!

fabgirl21 on March 27, 2011:

I just love couture, great pictures, and I love the white in Givenchy's collection. All the big designers such as Chanel, Jovani, Prada and many others.

Fashion Tips on February 02, 2011:

I love all the rich textures and colors. I do wish that some of that old Hollywood glamor would finds its way back to the every day life.

Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on January 20, 2011:

W4W Toronto: glad you enjoyed, thanks!

mysisters: they are,the Dior full skirt dresses were absolutely awesome!

mysisters on January 20, 2011:

What a great Hub. All of these dresses are so beautiful!

W4W Toronto from Toronto on June 14, 2010:

Excellent read!

Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on March 17, 2010:

mbwalz: The fashion industry tell us that they are making efforts to stop the "anorexic look". Already several underweigth models have been banned from the catwalks. Let's see what happens.

lovelypaper: It was a pleasure to make this hub, I love fashion and everything to do with it.

Renee S from Virginia on March 17, 2010:

Great job putting all this together. Very impressive.

MaryBeth Walz from Maine on January 16, 2010:

I love the fashions. But could the models look a little less starved, pale, and unhappy?

The Image Expert on January 14, 2010:

Love the monochromatic look! Very dramatic indeed.

Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on November 12, 2009:

WilfordSy: It was a really nice collection. The fall/winter is even better!

WilfordSy from The Bahamas on November 12, 2009:

Oh my! This is great! I love the outfits and designer couture. Had fun scanning through the pictures.

Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on November 08, 2009:

hannahz: me too, I loved researching this topic!

hannahz from Los Angeles on November 08, 2009:

OOO I really enjoyed all of the photos.

Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on November 05, 2009:

heart4theword: thanks for the info. I've just checked and everything seems to be working ok. Anyone else having the same problem?

Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on October 05, 2009:

Ebower: wait to see the 2010 collections, Gaultier is coming back with the cone bra!!! This is a great week for fashion lovers in here, it is Paris Fashion Week until the 8th October.

Erin Bower from Georgia on October 03, 2009:

Wow! Love Givenchy's draping in this collection, but I also enjoyed Jean Paul Gaultier's use of see-through clothing. I love fashion and I love this hub!

Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on September 25, 2009:

perfumelover: ethereal indeed with those veils and monochromatic designs.

perfumelover on September 24, 2009:

Givenchy's spring 2009 are ethereal, just like their perfumes! Amazing. :)

Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on September 09, 2009:

Hi Vizey: here: you can find most of my hubs on fashion.

Vizey on September 08, 2009:

Your models look more like dols than models. Pictures are great and hub is also great. I would like to read more hubs on fashion.

Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on August 28, 2009:

Howtodress: Thanks for the compliment.

HowtoDress on August 05, 2009:

Great Hub on fashion. I love the couture pictures that have been selected. Its great to see a person that has a sense of style

Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on July 16, 2009:

Totally fabulous, what else can I say... thanks for stopping to comment :)

God Thinking from Southern of China on July 15, 2009:

wooo, absolutely nice, i like it also

Force from Colorado on July 14, 2009:

What a fabulous, informative hub. I'm jealous.

fashionfan on May 16, 2009:

I agree that this article is really good. Thanx for good job.

Wendy Iturrizaga (author) from France on March 15, 2009:

Thanks for the comments guys. I love fashion and specially the "dream like" quiality of haute couture. It is interesting how we can extrapolate from the catwalk to everyday wear with a little bit of fashion sense.

maanju from India on March 15, 2009:

Your article is good with gorgeous pictures.

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on March 15, 2009:

Thanks for the look into the spring fashions. I'm with you, LOVE those orange shoes!

BkCreative from Brooklyn, New York City on March 15, 2009:

Fabulous stuff! More than ever I have a desire to look fab this year. Perhaps, it's the new sense of hope, a stylish, but practical First Lady, and/or the year of the earth ox, bargains everywhere - all things coming together.

I clicked on the Milan link - I still plan to get there this year!

Thanks for another bit of inspiratiom!

Brian Stephens from Laroque des Alberes, France on March 15, 2009:

I am amazed at the quality of the hubs you publish particularly given the frequency at which you produce new ones. Another very good hub.

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