Haute Couture within a fashion studies perspective [Swedish trans. from English]

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Kunglig Vintage [Royal Vintage], 2011, 1, pp. 182 - 193
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The history of haute couture is well researched from perspectives that range from mythologising studies of particular designers to market-field research. Haute couture occupies a rather ambivalent place within the contemporary field of fashion studies, a field that concerns itself as much with everyday dress or sub-cultural style as with rare pieces of luxury. The values that couture was meant to uphold were themselves the subject of dispute and debate in the years after the second world war, when changing notions of the role and social place of the fashion designer also transformed the 'brief' of fashion design. A focus on individuality within set parameters has led today to the idea of customisation, which we associate with youth culture, Nike, Iphones and 'apps' - but the couture was always a process of customization, more regarding suitability than extremism, perhaps, for a member of the Swedish royal family. Haute couture is also important from the perspective of the status of the designer in twentieth-century culture. The production of clothing generated from a designer's 'vision' or intention marks something distinctive that raises issues of the quest for artistic rights and copyright within the appearance industries. The couture inverts an older more obsequious idea concerning service - the couturier creates the vision for the client, although the customer was also involved in the negotiations when the garment was made up. It was never a one-way fashion street.
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