This season, the Haute Couture collections may have been the most modern and new-feeling thing about fashion month. Despite the fact that New York Fashion Week has yet to begin, many designers have decamped from New York to show on the runways of Paris, even if they weren’t showing couture collections in the traditional sense of the word.
Last season, in July, Rodarte and Proenza Schouler—both New York-based brands—opted for the couture calendar model. In a way, these brands previously fell on the upper echelons of the NYFW calendar, known for having higher prices, more intricate craftsmanship and in general, a more luxurious feeling than many of the labels on the traditional ready-to-wear schedule in New York.
And now this season, a host of other labels traditionally not associated with the world of couture have ended up on the calendar. The Australian label Ellery presented a collection that, according to the brand statement, was both ready-to-wear and couture though the lines weren’t distinctly definable. Cult-favorite label Acne Studios decided to merge its pre-fall collection with its mainline one to show during the couture calendar as opposed to its regular show on the RTW calendar during Paris Fashion Week in March. Proenza Schouler, again, had its show on the couture calendar and attracted the same group of guests as the mainstay calendar-regulars like Schiaparelli, Chanel, and Dior.
At times, couture can feel irrelevant to the rest of the world who may not be deeply ingrained in fashion, too. It’s expensive and can be seen unreachable, and typically, there aren’t as many usual trends exhibited. Which makes it all the more interesting that designers are choosing to come together on this schedule. Here, we talked to the designers behind three different labels on the official schedule on why they choose couture and why, exactly, it’s important to them in a time when it seems like a trend.