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Balenciaga will return to haute couture after 52 years

It will be the first Kering brand to join Couture Week

Balenciaga will return to haute couture after 52 years It will be the first Kering brand to join Couture Week

Demna Gvasalia will bring Balenciaga back to the Haute Couture Week in Paris this July, 52 years after the brand's founder, Cristòbal de Balenciaga, closed his fashion house. Until now the collections that Balenciaga had brought to the catwalk were in the area of ready-to-wear and the return of the brand to haute couture will make it the first Kering brand to participate in Couture Week after the retirement of Yves Saint Laurent from the catwalks in 2002. In making the announcement, Gvasalia commented:

[Haute couture is] an unexplored mode of creative freedom and a platform for innovation. It not only offers another spectrum of possibilities in dressmaking, it also brings the modern vision of Balenciaga back to its sources of origin. Couture is above trends. It’s an expression of beauty on the highest aesthetic and qualitative levels.”.

The term haute couture was born in reference to the design works produced in Paris by the designer Charles Frederick Worth around the 1950s. Worth was the first to have its customers choose fabrics, colors and manufacturing details to create custom luxury clothes. The haute couture brand was later protected by law and regulated to very strict standards. Only members of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture attend Couture Week in Paris. There are fifteen at the moment, including Chanel, Dior, Giambattista Valli, Givenchy, Gaultier, Maison Margiela and Schiapparelli, as well as three Italians: Armani Privé, Atelier Versace and Valentino.

All brands that do haute couture must create bespoke clothes for private clients, own an atelier in Paris with a minimum of fifteen employees, and present a collection of at least fifty original designs twice a year and with options for the day and evening. In the modern fashion market, haute couture is a sign of prestige, an ornamental element for brands, given its enormous costs. Many brands in the past, such as Christian Lacroix and Mugler, have had to give up haute couture for this very reason while others, such as Dolce & Gabbana, present their collections of Alta Sartoria with fashion shows that are separated from the Parisian ones.

For the occasion, Balenciaga will form a new dedicated team and open an atelier that will replicate the original workshop of Cristòbal de Balenciaga located originally at 10 Avenue George V in Paris.