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Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Haute Couture in Hard Times: The Theatre de la Mode

A New York Times article titled “Haute Couture Faces Uncertain Times” summarizes the challenges the exclusive circle of Haute Couture designers face in these days of economic difficulty.  Apparently, for the lavishly rich, paying up to $30,000 for a masterpiece of a dress was more justifiable before the economy tanked. Now, designers like Christian Lacroix are filing for bankruptcy.  Some designers have braved these rough economic seas by scaling back at Fashion Weeks, offering more mid-priced merchandise, and hosting Haute Couture shows in house.  Still, this isn’t the first time that the fashion world has been forced to get creative in the face of economic instability.  In fact, compared with the designers in Paris following WWII, today’s designers seem downright spoiled.  A recent visit to an exhibit called Theatre de la Mode at the Maryhill Museum of Art in Maryhill, WA, increased my appreciation for the creativity and determination of post-war European designers.

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