- Haute couture -- hand-made luxury fashion -- represents the highest quality fashion money can buy
- Some of the world's most famous couture brands include Chanel, Christian Dior and Jean Paul Gaultier
- Prices typically start at $10,000, but garments can cost over $100,000
Biannually, internationally renowned fashion houses like Chanel and Christian Dior, as well as newer, lesser-known brands such as Bouchra Jarrar and Elie Saab, present painstakingly elaborate and extremely expensive designs behind closed doors to a hand-picked audience of editors, buyers and private clients.
Haute couture -- or, "high sewing" -- is a legally protected term that can only be used by brands approved by the French Ministry of Industry.
These custom-made garments, created entirely by hand by the industry's most skilled artisans and craftsman, represent the best quality fashion money can buy. And yes that comes at a price, with certain pieces valued at upwards of $100,000.
Most people will never buy or wear a piece of couture, nor will they attend a couture fashion show. So why is it relevant? Here, Harper's Bazaar
editor-in-chief Justine Picardie makes the case for why couture matters.