The Case for Couture, 2 of 2

In my last post, I wrote about how Couture is an art form that can be enjoyed by everybody. In today’s post, I want to give a few reasons why Couture is relevant and beneficial to our everyday lives.

“What?” you say. “Isn’t that saying Couture can be practical? And isn’t practicality pretty much the opposite of art?”

Well, yes and no. In a somewhat cheeky sense, a painting can be “useful” for filling up wall space. When it comes to things like architecture, the beautiful is also eminently useful. Neither of these, however, is the practicality I am speaking of with regards to Couture. Couture as art is impractical for you and me. The sleeves are too long, the heels too high, the hats are too big to be wearable in everyday life.

What the what?

Photo: Kim Weston Arnold /

. But. But, but. As a source of “trickle-down” inspiration, Couture is invaluable. Ever seen The Devil Wears Prada? There’s a mic-drop moment where Meryl Streep explains to Ann Hathaway that even though she (Hathaway) thinks the decision of which belt to use for a fashion shoot has zero relevance to her (Hathaway’s) life, it’s actually high fashion that determines the choices that Hathaway is able to find when she goes shopping in a discount fashion store’s bargain bin. This is because the runway determines the new trends for the season, and stores on every level set out to copy it in ways that are more economically and physically comfortable for their target market.

“But why is this a good thing?” you ask. “Why should stores follow trends at all? Why not just make nice, classic clothes and ignore the runway.” While some stores do ignore runway trends, and most stores provide useful, timeless classics all the year ‘round, I think there’s a very good reason why stores should try and imitate at least some runway trends: Not everyone with the technical ability to sew well is an artist. Even back when individuals tailor-made clothing to suit others, they often looked to the “latest London fashions” to offer new style ideas (read any Jane Austen, man). But this is most especially true in an age of mass-production and off-the-rack clothing. Without the inspiration of the artists, our clothes would get so. Boring.

“Okay,” you say, “but why can’t the designers themselves just be a little less extravagant, and get rid of all the need for copying and editing styles?” My answer to this is that if you try to censor the artistic process too much, you ultimately water it down.  Let the artists be themselves, and then let others refine their styles for the everyday person. An extravagant, over-the-top style gives clothiers many options as to which part of a style to pick up on, and which to ignore. And given the wide variety of tastes and body-shapes, this variety is a very good thing.

Here’s a taste of some of the lovely fall fashions that are finding their way into stores near you:

Pretty velvet boots and shoes will be everywhere this fall

Photo: Monica Feudi /

Okay, I would wear this military-style jacket just the way it is!

Photo: Yannis Vlamos /

Lots of Shakespeare-inspired looks 😀

Photo: Monica Feudi /

And ther are many more you can checkout at Vogue Runway if you are interested!


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