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Within the fashion and sewing universe, it is very common to talk about haute couture, but do you really understand what this segment is in fashion?

And speaking of haute couture, I'll take advantage of the fact that I was recently in Paris, in the so-called golden triangle of Paris, to tell you some fun facts about this universe!

Haute Couture is like an art, as the women's pieces are unique, made only in Paris, by hand and made to measure, by couturiers and stylists from the great maisons, and even with the most sophisticated fabrics available. And did you know that to be considered a Haute Couture house, the Maison, which means house in French, needs to follow some rules? These rules were imposed by the Chambre Syndicale de La Haute Couture, which is a union, created in 1910 and which regulates the maisons.

The first rule is that to work with Haute Couture it is mandatory to study at the Ecole de La Chambre Syndicale, which has now become the IFM (Institut Français de la Mode) to learn all the techniques, prerequisites and rules, including in 2020 I did a course there remotely amid the pandemic and now on this trip I took the opportunity to go there!

Well, but back to our focus, the Union also created a kind of Haute Couture Patent, that is, Haute Couture is only made in Paris, so you can't open an Atelier and say you're doing Haute Couture, or even use the name "Haute Couture". This rule is similar to some industries, such as Champagne, which is made in the Champagne region of France.

One of the purposes of creating this patent was to avoid copying the models and also to protect the designers, because when Hitler invaded France in 1940, he wanted to take haute couture to Berlin. So one of the rules imposed by the union is that the Maison must be at one of the addresses on the avenues: Avenue Montaigne, the Champs Elysees and Avenue Marceau. It is also mandatory to have the brand's perfume, cosmetics, accessories such as our beloved bags and shoes.

Another rule is that the models must be made to order, that is, the client goes to the studio, takes her measurements, these measurements are passed on to a draping mannequin and after, when the tests start, the model returns for the final test.

And finally, and the focus of this post and this blog, all models are made in draping. That's why it's common to see so many mannequins in haute couture ateliers.

And that's why Paris is the birthplace of draping, the technique originated in these sophisticated ateliers and why also the importance of learning the technique with total fidelity as it is used until today in the maisons and as I teach in my online course and mentorship of French draping.


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