I’ve been furthering my research into couture designers since visiting the V&A las weekend. I’ve looked at some of the well known houses such as House of Worth, Yves Saint Laurent & of course Dior. It’s amazing to discover how much fashion has moved on  to the present day. 80 years ago couture/ self made fashions was still a normal way of life – mass production was still a product of the future to come.

I found a book I read particularly interesting called 100 Ideas That Changed Fashion. As the title suggests it outlines specific areas that have had influences upon the fashion industry. No. 1 out of the the 100 was Couture.


It specifically identifies that until the 1960s as the changing status within fashion when couturiers were no longer the dominating force & Paris was no longer the leader of European trends. Worsley (2011) argues the need for couturiers in modern day society due to the lack of demand and high expense. This is a valid point for todays economical climate due to the recent recession – which relates well to my previous MAKE do & mend post.

The book details the key designers that helped move couture forward, and how the niche market suited the times when it was a commonality within the culture whereas now couture is much more elitist and creatively dramatic. Which potentially could have led to the downfall of so many couture design houses.

From my reading I have learnt that identifying your audience/clientele is key to success but also understanding the financial climate & economical state in which you’re designing. As a designer, this is something that I will need to consider within my work.


Using what I have taken from this couture research & visiting the V&A, I am going to look into specific couturiers to see how their work was inflected by the times. This should help me further understand that elements that can influence designers both past & present.


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