Third years don’t have a minute to lose and jump straight into couture in the first week of first term. Their trend this year: Demi-Couture. Our Contemporary Fashion History Lecturer, Pierre de Villiers explains this years’ trend:
True haute couture fashion is regrettably a dying breed, driven largely by conservative values that have formed the foundational blocks of fashion as we know it today. Entirely made from hand, haute couture exemplifies craft and technique in garment construction. At its height in the twentieth century, Parisian haute couture dominated the runways and wardrobes of affluent clientele across the globe. But fashion is an ever changing beast and over time, couture has lost its visibility, shrouded in mystery and allocated just one fashion week in Paris compared to the month-long ready-to-wear shows that span four major cities. This development speaks to the direction of fashion in our current society; in a world where we want things ‘fast’, fulfilling our need for instant gratification, we rarely stop to appreciate the beauty and artistry of contemporary couture.
Seen above from left: Alexander McQueen, Mary Katrantzou, Chanel and Jason Wu.
The selection of the demi-couture theme demonstrates a compromise between the craftsmanship of true Parisian haute couture, while addressing the very real needs of a globalized fashion culture. In recent years, high-end designers have emerged with such a solution. By offering commercially reproducible garments that incorporate some of the artisanal techniques pioneered by haute couture, designers are providing unique items for their more discerning customers. In 2014 our third years are tasked with designing eveningwear pieces that address the demi-couture theme – and we can hardly wait to see the outcome!