parlez-vous français? – oscars edition

haute couture - pronounced "oat co chure" literally translates "high sewing or needlework." haute couture refers to "high fashion; a one-of-a-kind garment created by fashion designers" and is the term for a piece that is both designed and created specifically for one person. "haute couture dates back to charles frederic worth, who founded the first maison de haute couture in 1858...with the purpose of designing original models for individual clients."

usage examples:
1. sarah jessica parker, seen above, wore dior haute couture at the 81st annual academy awards last night. i thought she looked gorgeous!
2. many fashion enthusiasts collect haute couture pieces much like others might collect art work to display in their homes. many people see haute couture as "wearable art".
3. samantha was considering an haute couture wedding gown - an extravagance that costs more than the entirety of most weddings.

note: there is an extremely interesting bbc special airing on pbs called "the secret world of haute couture", which features rare footage of karl lagerfeld creating a piece in his atelier, as well as interviews with many members of european society with closets full of personalized pieces. check local listings for airtimes - it's totally worth an hour of your time!

image via justjared.com; quoted text via "french for le snob: adding panache to your everyday converstaions" by yvette reche, fall river press

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