Enter the world of Haute Couture

When it comes to fashion, not all designers are created equally.

While anyone with enough backing can stage a ready-to-wear runway show, only a select few designers are fortunate enough to be able to venture into the fashion playground of Haute Couture.

Haute Couture (French for ‘high sewing’) is a fantastical world where every stitch and bead isapplied by hand, and garments require several fittings on customers who have purchased them. An especially labor-intensive look from Givenchy’s Spring 2011 Couture collection required an astonishing 2000 hours of cutting and 4000 hours of sewing. It’s for this reason that most couture pieces are priced in the five figure range, with some even venturing into six figures.

So who has these works of art hanging in their closet? It’s estimated that there are only approximately 225 regular couture customers worldwide, and a lot of them are wives of Middle Eastern politicians and businessmen. They wear couture inside their homes, meaning the creations never see the light of day. Other clients will wear a piece two or three times (on different continents or coasts), and then donate it to a museum for a tax write-off.

Haute Couture Fall 2012, Christian Dior, Chanel, Valentino, Givenchy

Enjoy our favorite looks from the top Fall 2012 Haute Couture collections.

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