(literally ‘high cutting’ or ‘high dressmaking’
Haute couture is custom-made women’s clothing by top
fashion designers, as well as the system that creates such clothing.
This includes designers, their workshops, and specialists in
embroidery, leather, and other disciplines.
While the term haute couture generally refers to the French
high-fashion industry, based in Paris, it can also be applied
to custom work by top designers in the U.S., Italy, England,
Japan, and other countries.
Made of pricey materials and constructed with great attention
to detail, haute couture is staggeringly expensive, with
evening gowns commonly priced at $50,000 and above.
Because haute couture is a protected term in France, French
producers of these high-end garments must be approved each year
by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, the body
that regulates the industry.