Hand-crafted luxury and $100K price tags: This is haute couture

Updated 8th November 2018
Hand-crafted luxury and $100K price tags: This is haute couture
Contributors Neville GillettHolly Vear
Justine Picardie is a fashion commentator, published author and the editor of Harper's Bazaar UK. The views expressed in the video above are her own. This article was originally published in January 2016.
Haute couture week is one of the most important events on the fashion calendar. Biannually, internationally renowned fashion houses like Chanel and Christian Dior, as well as newer, lesser-known brands such as Bouchra Jarrar and Elie Saab, present painstakingly elaborate and extremely expensive designs behind closed doors to a hand-picked audience of editors, buyers and private clients.
Haute couture -- or, "high sewing" -- is a legally protected term that can only be used by brands approved by the French Ministry of Industry.
These custom-made garments, created entirely by hand by the industry's most skilled artisans and craftsman, represent the best quality fashion money can buy. And yes that comes at a price, with certain pieces valued at upwards of $100,000.
Most people will never buy or wear a piece of couture, nor will they attend a couture fashion show. So why is it relevant? Here, Harper's Bazaar editor-in-chief Justine Picardie makes the case for why couture matters.