It’s unfair to ignore the snob appeal of couture, which has only ever been materially available to a select few, many of whom choose to remain anonymous. However, part of the appeal of following the forte is that it is so “other”: “The exceedingly rich,” F. Scott Fitzgerald observed, “are not like you and me.” The fall 2022 season was less about trends than remixes.
That fishbowl effect explains the attractiveness of television shows like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous or The Kardashians, as well as what keeps us glued to the couture shows, which are now as meta as they are significant.
Put it down to the “archival age” we live in, with its visuals, references, and simulations. It’s not unexpected that red carpets have become meta, alluding to famous previous appearances. Therefore it’s not strange to see the same thing happening on the runways. Couture, which is still a paid-to-play game, has evolved into a spectator sport over time.
Garments that were once showcased to clients and shared selectively through media sources, for example, are now instantly broadcast worldwide. Perhaps this is why fashion appears to be going through a “cover song” period. The fall 2022 season was more about remixes than trends, with many designers practically revisiting archives.
Making old trends available to a new audience yearning for them but born too late to have access to them could be viewed as a time-spanning, democratic, if not modern, gesture.
However, the forte has developed in different ways. Not all exhibits are held in Paris, and designers’ offerings have spread across the gender spectrum. Iris van Herpen argued for including personalized technology in a category devoted to manual work.
And now, when several ready-to-wear collections feature couture-priced items, Balenciaga is introducing a pret-a-couture idea, delivering limited edition, made in France, objects only available at the brand’s flagship may be adjusted on demand by the ateliers. “It’s vital to discuss,” Cédric Charbit, CEO of Balenciaga, told Vogue Business, stressing that couture is currently “a little too confidential.”
His and Hers
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