Haute Couture. The term conjures up visions of chic Parisian ateliers, stunning gowns, and the highest quality everything. The Elie Saab Haute Couture Fall Winter 2013 collection delivered on all fronts. However, my idea of what constitutes haute couture is a bit naive. Wikipedia tells me that in order to be considered a true house of haute couture, the following criteria must be met:
- Design made-to-order for private clients, with one or more fittings.
- Have a workshop (atelier) in Paris that employs at least fifteen people full-time.
- Must have twenty full-time technical people in at least one atelier (workshop).
- Each season (i.e., twice a year), present a collection to the Paris press, comprising at least thirty-five runs/exits with outfits for both daytime wear and evening wear.
But Saab still checks off all the boxes. Said to have 500 (!) seamstresses in his employ, his hows are always highly anticipated and his clientele is made up of royalty. Literally. Here are some of my favorite looks from his Fall/Winter 2013 collection…