The reason why, as a fashion designer, I chose Couture, probably lies in the tradition of Paris, my hometown… but also in the future I bet this field of excellence will develop. Haute Couture has been, since its beginnings, the best laboratory for fashion design. It will continue if it includes the future technological improvements offered now and tomorrow.

Every woman is unique and every fashion designer knows it. Couture and Haute Couture were established and have developped in France since the 19th century, creating unique designs for unique moments in a unique woman’s life. This expression of ultimate luxury does not only find its legitimacy in the imagination of great fashion designers and couturiers such as Charles Frederick Worth, Jeanne Lanvin, Madeleine Vionnet, Elsa Schiaparelli, Poiret, Chanel, Christian Dior, Jacques Fath, Hubert de Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Paco Rabanne, Claude Montana, Thierry Mugler, Jean Paul Gaultier, and the few contemporary members of the official calendar of Haute Couture. Its unrivaled excellence is also the fruit of the seamstresses’ ateliers, of the embroiderers’, pleaters’, featherers’ exceptional craftsmanship. All of our common efforts express themselves at best in this made-to-measure craft, in which we can experiment without limits in order to create a collection or an outfit made to embody a dream.

Earlier, in the 1950s, during the Golden Age of Haute Couture, a doctor’s wife for instance could afford building her wardroble (including daywear) in the price range of Haute Couture pieces. Nowadays, things have changed. Working forces have been gradually better paid and the cost of the splendid outfits has increased tremendously, due to the number of working hours spent on them. Luxury ready-to-wear has replaced Haute Couture in the physician’s wife wardrobe, and only a few women around the planet, can still afford these one-of-a-kind fashion pieces. Still, Haute Couture remains the fine window in which fashion design is experimented at best, with less limits than when a designer considers to embrace only ready-to-wear collections.

I believe in the future of Haute Couture because fashion cannot lose its laboratory to experiment and create new designs outside the limits of « commercial » pieces. For the sake of Haute Couture, I believe that we need to renovate it with the new technologies we have access to today. My partnership with Dassault Systèmes’ Fashion Lab finds all its meaning in this field. Of course, the young couture house I have founded in Paris will continue to serve its customers. Of course we shall also develop ready-to-wear lines in the near future, but I would not be surprised if the technology we are currently working on with Dassault Systèmes inside the FashionLab, would revolutionize the way we think about fashion design.

Imagine a world in which a woman would no longer be considered a « size 0 », or a « size 2 », or any other standardized size, but looked upon by a fashion house as a person having different measurements (waistline, chest, legs length, shoulders, neck etc.) This could precisely embody the future of fashion: producing some made-to-measure garments, and making them accessible at a reasonable price via the new digital technologies.

The passion I am sharing with the few women who can afford Haute Couture when I create an outfit for one of them, I would like to share with many more, and customize, personalize each dress a woman buys at any price. Ready-to-wear pieces are produced in an industrial manner, maybe tomorow, thanks to  the new technologies we are thinking about, they can integrate more craftsmanship, more personnalization,  take into account more individual data, so that they can still be thought out withinh the industrial process but as one-of-a-kind pieces directed at more women. This is my dream and I know that Dasault Systèmes’ FashionLab teams are already trying their best to  soon make it come true!

Julien Fournié

Photos copyright : Julien Fournié SAS.

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