With womens fashion week in full swing, the lines between couture and pret-a-porter are obfuscated more than ever before.
From the taffeta-festooned runways of the fall winter 2015 shows in New York: Carolina Herrera, Donna Karan, Naeem Khan and Marchesa are just a few labels whose ready-to-wear looks are more and more red carpet, ethereal and diaphanous. Nevermind the four to five-figure-priced wedding gowns that top off the grand finales at the RTW shows like Chanel and Ermanno Scervino.
As a result, the industry is still asking itself: Is ready-to-wear replacing couture?
This week we scouted some promising ready-to-wear and ladies’ made-to-measure brands ahead of Milan’s fashion week.
Giovanni Grillotti of G2G’s brand is hand crafted in the hills of Lazio. “I like to call it pret-a-couture,” Grillotti told BACO in an interview, showcasing designs studded with crystals and intricate embroidery. His fall winter 2015 collection combines comfort with the foundations of Italian couture.
Grillotti is a designer who sews his own prototypes for his collectios, a rare commodity in fashion, an industry that breeds neophytes who are groomed to conceptualize a collection and not necessarily craft it themselves.
With big brands facing a sales slowdown, it is clear luxury consumers are also demanding more for their money, which is why brands are amping up their ready-to-wear collections and making sure their clients know about the luxe materials and artisan touch behind their product.
In reality, haute couture, by definition, is a lot more than that. Relegated to the rules set by the Haute Couture Chambre Syndicale in France, garments must be made-to-measure or bespoke and hand-sewn.
But with artisan traditions endangered by fast fashion and globalization, pret-a-couture is as close as some cultures will ever get to the real thing.