In a world where fashion is readily accessible and easily manufactured, it is easy to forget that fashion is an art. Unlike paintings and sculptures typically crafted from the hands of one person, haute couture is slightly more multi dimensional.
From conceptualization to construction, each stage and each stitch is expertly crafted from an array of artisans. Production of a single dress may be labour intensive and meticulous but the results are destined to be timeless. When I think of what haute couture means to the world, it is more than just a lesson in fine quality. Rather it is a lesson in culture and how French fashion has shaped the industry on a global scale.
So valued is haute couture, that the term itself is legally protected and what constitutes as “high fashion” regulated by the French government. With this value comes mystery and consequently this magical world of couture can often be misunderstood. However, this veil is now being lifted back every so slightly through the artistry of illustrator Megan Hess though her new book The Illustrated World of Couture. Internationally renowned, Megan has worked with the titans of the fashion industry. From Dior, to Chanel, to Fendi and Bvlgari you are bound to have seen her work and if not it is only a matter of time before you fall in love.
I had the pleasure of meeting Megan 18 months ago at a book signing for Claris The Mouse where she shared her journey to success. Without a doubt it inspired me to pursue what I love as I found myself enrolling in the Fashion Business Institute mere weeks later. Despite having now graduated, upon reading Megan’s new book The Illustrated World of Couture, I was reminded how much there is yet to learn, love and appreciate about the craft that is fashion.
I implore you all to allow yourselves to be both inspired and transported to the world of couture as you turn the pages of this magical work of art.
*Lead and final image captured by Sarah Braden Photography*