Some days I am particularly grateful to WWD and today is one of them. I was tickled to find Miles Socha’s report on how despite the volumes of posts and articles on its demise couture is still alive and well. And no, it’s not about the snob factor. Rather, I find the idea that those with the adequate resources ought to be regarding artistry and original craftsmanship when possible. To personalize and to enjoy a quality garment or accessory that won’t fall apart for a generation– and still maintain its style is something that ought not fade in a world whose concern with going "green" often means just buying a t-shirt that has a catchy slogan– Joanne Molina, Senior Editor
ARIS — Couture may be a dwindling art in terms of the number of practitioners, but it’s hardly down for the count.
contraire: The same gusher of wealth-bolstering sales of fine jewelry
and five-figure handbags is fanning a boom in high fashion, with strong
attendance and sales expected as couture week kicks off today with a
flurry of high-octane anniversary events here and in Rome.
the January collection, we doubled sales," said a beaming Sidney
Toledano, president of Christian Dior, marking its 60th anniversary
with an extravagant show and party at Versailles this evening. "Our
atelier is fully booked. We have a lot of orders to deliver."
saw its couture sales double last year, boosted by a blockbuster show
featuring a 100-foot tower as its centerpiece that was reprised in Hong
Kong, a move that ferreted out new high-fashion customers from South
Korea, Taiwan and China.
"Altogether, it’s a kind of renewal of
couture," declared Bruno Pavlovsky, Chanel’s president of fashion.
"These new clients are quite young and really wealthy. The youngest one
for us is 24, so it’s unique."
Most houses have been charting
strong double-digit sales growth recently, fueled by a buoyant market
for exceptional luxury products and the advent of an emerging clientele
in Eastern Europe and Asia.
"Couture is very vibrant," said
Nicolas Topiol, president of Christian Lacroix. "Last year was up about
25 to 30 percent and this year, so far, is running slightly higher.
It’s something a lot of people are starting to understand and
appreciate." Echoing other observers, Topiol also noted a surge in
requests to attend its couture show on Tuesday, which will be followed
by a party at the rooftop restaurant Georges to mark the 20th
anniversary of the Lacroix house.
"My feeling is that the
pendulum is swinging back to couture," said Christophe Caillaud,
president of Jean Paul Gaultier. "Rich clients are willing to have
exclusive and exceptional products: made-to-measure and personalized.
They want to have goods adapted to their specific needs and this
includes, or course, couture. I therefore believe that haute couture
will continue to live long."
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