'Haute couture ' is a french word and it means High dressmaking, high sewing or high fashion. This kind of fashion originated in France. The father of Haute Couture was an Englishman named Charles Worth. He made fabulous, distinct and unique outfits for women when he relocated to Paris from England. He rose to fame in the 1860s.
So what's so distinct about Haute Couture ? Haute Couture is unique because a team of seamstresses work towards making one outfit for hours. It involves sewing outfits with hand without the use of sewing machines from start to finish. These clothes are custom fitted. It is made to meet the special needs of a client.The materials and fabric used are very expensive and are of the highest standards. This kind of fashion displays wealth, ultra feminity and splendidness.
These clothes are an art by itself. They are very expensive and beyond the reach of common man. These clothes are unwearable too. The high fashion houses do not disclose their client lists. It's speculated that wives of Saudi Arabian billionaires are buyers.
Because this kind of fashion involves a lot of hard work, extreme hand techniques, these clothes were not for sale earlier. They were used only for the runways. Over the years the term has loosened and modified. Its described now as custom fitted high fashion.
In France the Haute Couture firms need to meet the standards set by Chambre De Commerce at D'industrie De Pairs ( Chamber of commerce). It's said that there are only two thousand Haute Couture buyers in the world. Many designers rent their couture clothes to celebrities who walk the red carpet for publicity. Even though they have a small market, designers continue Haute Couture operations because of the status, glamour and supremacy associated with it.
Note : Google images.