Fashion & Style Clothing

How To Make Couture Clothing


Many of us admire the elegant women wearing funny couture clothing and performing on the catwalks, but few understand the painful process of creating these exclusive custom-fitted clothes. Couture clothing can take weeks and even months to produce and normally involve special craftsmanship by a handful of workers to produce. Few have had a glimpse behind the catwalk to understand how they are made, so the following steps will highlight the processes involved.

Step 1

This is the first step in the production of couture clothing; the designer, inspired by a certain special theme or client preferences will draw sketches of the clothing. Normally, one clothe can have several elaborate sketches detailing fine details on how it’s to be made. The sketch can be altered multiple times to come up with desired effect, and then they will be handed over to highly experienced seamstresses to build the design.

Step 2

Procurement of materials

Once the designer has put his or her ideas onto paper, the next stage will involve procuring various expensive fabrics and accessories to be used in making the couture clothing. The fabrics are normally made on order and are sometimes manufactured just for that particular haute couture dress. The designers will also procure cheaper materials, which are used initially to build the dummy dress design before the actual dress patterns are made.

Step 3

Building the dress from the toile

This is done by a small group of highly experienced seamstresses who carefully work from the sketch and engage in cutting, piping and sewing the toile to bring out the design. The designer will work with seamstresses on the toile until it’s up to the required standard; the toile is used to avoid wasting the expensive materials. This process is normally slow and painful and may take several weeks before the designer gets the desired look and the required patterns.

Step 4

Cutting and sewing the couture fabrics

Once the desired design has been obtained from the toile, the designer and the seamstresses then begin work on the actual couture material. The material is draped on mannequins or sometimes on actual models who will wear them, and the work may take a few hours to complete. It involves cutting, piping, fitting, and sewing, and if the design will need elaborate decorations, the seamstresses will fix and sew the sequins with their hands.

Step 5

Fitting the couture dress on the models

Once the couture clothing as been made, its custom fitted on the client or the models that will grace the catwalks. Normally the clothing is fitted on the models just minutes before the catwalk and removed immediately after the show. Many fashion journalists and TV crews are normally invited for such events where the designers showcase their collections of haute couture gowns and accessories.

Tips and Comments

Making couture clothing requires lots of skilled craftsmanship and hundreds of man hours in work; it’s therefore not profitable but is sustained by people with extreme passion. It’s important to note that the French government has patented the word haute couture and only few exclusive fashion houses have right to use it for their creations. A more lucrative industry is in making ready to wear and less restrictive haute couture inspired clothing that are accessible, fashion forward and wearable.

Sources and Citations

By Kennedy Jacob, published at 03/30/2012
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