Every now and then, I hop onto Susan Khalje’s website and drool over the description of the The Paris Tour that she hosts. The tour looks at Paris’s couture arts which includes – amongst various wonders – a visit to a couture artisan’s workshop. In short, for anyone interested in couture, it sounds absolutely amazing. If I but had the time and money…!
So I figure one of the next best things to seeing these couture ateliers at work in the flesh is to pick up a good book showcasing snippets of their work. Below are a few snapshots from a borrowed from the library (now that so many bookshops have closed down due the Internet, I find myself borrowing library books more and more simply because it’s hard to really know what a book will be like when viewing it on a screen alone. Does anyone else find that?).
Inside Haute Couture is written by Désirée Sadek and gorgeously photographed by Guillaume de Laubier. This book would make an amazing coffee table book (a coffee table book I’d actually read) because whatever page you flick open to, there’s something beautiful to see and read. Inside Haute Couture focuses on ten different haute couture houses, giving glimpses of reception rooms, fitting rooms and – what I found most interesting – the sewing ateliers.
Suffice to say, this was one book I was sad to return to the library. I really should get myself a copy for the coffee table now!
Lots of haute couture houses also put out short videos via social media of behind the scenes work on their gowns, showing some of the amazing craftsmanship that goes into these pieces which you’ve no doubt come by. I get quite excited when I see these on Instagram! Of course, they’re highly edited and glamourised but they’re incredible to watch and usually set to beautiful music also.
And if you’d like some more eye candy of behind the scenes of Haute Couture ateliers, photographer Carin Olssen of Paris in Four Months put together a beautiful three-series posts on Chanel’s ateliers that looks at the process from sketch to finished gown. You can take a look here, here and here.
Anyone else fascinated by the craftsmanship that goes in couture garments? Do share!