Haute couture is one of fashion’s most treasured art. Its relevance is being questioned as it is being rendered redundant, thanks to social media and its support for the contemporary.

But for the few who believe in what is stands for (handmade made-to-measure clothes painstakingly worked on for months, hence its hefty price tag), four new additions have been made by the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture, which is the authority behind handmade clothes in France.

How they are going to make their money is a mystery: the big houses like Chanel and Givenchy only do it because of the Hollywood-endorsed PR that comes with it. Only 1 per cent of the world population can really afford to pay, say 100,000 dollars for a couture frock.

Gilles Mendel of J.mendel and Alberta Ferretti have admitted to having clients make requests for made-to-measure hand-made clothes, hence the need to show a collection during couture week. For Scognamiglio and Deacon, it is a classic case of inevitability: they’d always known doing couture was in their future.

Francesco and Alberta showed on July 3 with the former basing his collection on “strong, romantic, erotic”, and the latter zeroing in on fringe. For Deacon and Mendel who are already known for evening wear, pleasant surprises can be expected.

Francesco Scognamiglio Fall 2016 Couture

Alberta Ferretti Fall 2016 Couture

Sketches by Giles Deacon for Giles Deacon Fall 2016 Couture

Invitation for J.mendel Fall 2016 Couture

Author: Kayito Nwokedi