Haute Couture and the American Dream

Jean Paul Gautlier

Yesterday I read an interesting article on College Fashion about haute couture. The article outlined arguments for and against haute couture and the culture it creates. You can read it here and I highly suggest that you do because it’s quite well written. Today I wanted to talk about my own views on haute couture and how it relates to the systems in place now and “The American Dream”

The ideal that every American citizen should receive the opportunity to gain success through hardwork is basically the foundation of the United States. This ideal, however, is in direct contrast to the nature of haute couture.

Haute couture is the designing and making of high-quality fashionable clothes by leading fashion houses, especially to order.

It’s the epitome of success in the fashion industry. It represents frivolity and comfort for those who can afford it. The clothes are not really made to be worn, but they are pieces of art that just so happen to be wearable. Every detail is painstakingly attended to and the garments end up almost unearthly.

But by its nature haute couture practically shuns the grit and hardwork that is America. It glorifies the rich. Those who work hard to create these masterpieces share a status and they hold one of the most coveted posistions.

I don’t believe haute couture needs to die (although it might be dying). I admire the hand-stitching, the premium materials and the skill that goes into it. I also believe that it is the only sector of the fashion industry that will employ real people for as long as it lives. The jobs it gives are important and that is the aspect that clicks into place with the American dream. Haute couture is a beautiful thing that deserves to survive as long as possible.

What are your views on haute couture? Do you think it’s dying? Is the American dream dying?


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