When her yacht scraped a rock along Corsica’s coast in 2002, and she nearly drowned. In a panic, she boarded a lifeboat with the bare essentials: a Jean Paul Gaultier gown to look chic for rescue, and a Louis Vuitton bag with $9.6 million of jewels inside.
The interior of a Chanel couture jacket, 1965. The chain weights the hem. The vertical quilting bonds the tweed to the lining, giving the jacket body without traditional tailoring interfacing. The nubby surface of Chanel’s trademark boucle make the stitches invisible to the exterior.
“They sat there, hating them [Balenciaga’s unfitted suits of 1950]. Instead of the screams that had greeted Dior there was only an uneasy silence. I stood up and began to clap. Nobody joined me. When I turned over the Paris issue of Harper’s Bazaar to Balenciaga’s collection, the fashion world began to pay attention.”
I think couture has a real reason to exist in a limited way, like Chanel or Dior, because they have a real couture house organization. Small designers who don’t have a real organization should do expensive ready-to-wear, because couture is not just the same dresses made-to-order. It’s also the presentation, the fittings, the whole thing that goes with it. There is something mythical about it that cannot be improvised.