Traditional Haute Couture Gets Modern Digital Upgrade

Traditional Haute Couture Gets Modern Digital Upgrade

When it comes to haute couture, we know enough to realise that the standards are high in the realm of fashion; yet it’s an older, more vintage tradition that perhaps can’t keep up with our hunger for the contemporary.

So what can true haute couture do in 2012 to help it keep up to date with the times? It may take an evolution that goes against tradition or perhaps something even more drastic but it may already be happening on the small scale; haute couture is hitting Tumblr, DeviantArt and other design social media networks. This sharing and enthusiasm for the trade, art and a craft of haute couture dresses may spark the revolution for the high fashion online.

Haute Couture and Social Media

Armed with social media strategies, the big haute couture designers in London have been pushing interest in the market which largely alienated itself as high fashion perhaps to niche for anyone to pursue. While fashion is essentially about making clothing for people to wear, the use of textiles, the design and manufacturing of fabric, it is defined and given purpose by marketing. As an example, let’s say I make a white shirt and try to sell it at a flea market I’d be lucky to break even on my time and effort. However let’s say I make a white shirt, launch a brand with a website and create viral buzz by having a celebrity endorse it; suddenly I could be drowning in profit dividends of time and effort. The marketing makes the major difference when it comes to fashion; the same will have to become true of haute couture.

Internet and Fashion Strange Bedfellows

However the attitude toward the internet has been tentative at best for fashion designers who feel the medium doesn’t capture the appropriate spirit of fabric; how could it when you’re staring at pixels on a computer screen instead of holding exotic fabrics in the flesh so to speak. Usually big fashion houses and haute couture were the definitional forces behind fashion driving trends as leaders however in this case it may be the tail that wags the dog; the internet has been significantly driving the success of mid-tier fashion houses. This success is starting to show that haute couture designers need to smell the coffee; the internet may not live up to their expectations for textile and fabric profiling, but it may exceed their expectations about how it can drive the industry.

Fashion and haute couture has been one of the slowest creative industries to embrace the internet, but it’s clear that the latest trend in both marketing and fashion could see the next Versace launch using a Tumblr account.

Eugene Calvini believes in fashion be it linen suits or vintage dresses; he enjoys writing topics about how time translates the context of fashion for a new generation.

Photo Credit: Ding Yuin Shan

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