What does haute couture actually mean? The phrase itself was coined in the 1850s, as a way to differentiate the refinement and exquisite quality evident in the work of Charles Frederick Worth from that of standard 'couture' - literally translated as sewing or needlework, and at that time conjuring up images of provincial dressmakers, bodged seams and the tacky excesses of decoration that characterise bourgeoise nineteenth-century taste (especially evident during the Second Empire). Haute couture was the wheat, couture the chaff.
That's the (fashion) dictionary definition in any case, and a nifty Anglais translation, but how does haute couture translate today? Haute couture means garments that blur the line between clothing and art, invested with hundreds (or even thousands) of hours of intricate hand-labour, while remaining light as air. It also implies a certain ceremony, a certain grandeur, and a certain price-tag. Frankly, couture is what you wear when you need to make an entrance.
Today, we could hear the swish and whisper of Jac's expansive Dior skirts from outside of the studio - her gown was one of Alister Mackie's starting points for this shoot, while John Galliano himself stated that his collection was inspired by Nick Knight's images of flowers. It's about to be transformed back into one of those Knight blooms, and you can watch all the action on our live stream