Mys­tery Of The Couture Club

From tax pay-offs to sam­ple-size bar­gains, dis­cover the se­crets guarded by couture’s most elite. By Amy Yasmine.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Contents -

STRIKE THR EE , YOU’R E OUT

WhenW it comes to the art of dress­ing, couture col­lec­torscoll know the im­por­tance of not wear­ing the same­sam out­fit twice. While it’s one thing to be an out­fit re­peater­re­pea on a high-street/ready-to-wear level (guilty as charged),cha it’s an­other to be do­ing it with couture. Betsy Bloom­ing­dale,B widow to Al­fred S Bloom­ing­dale, is the p per­fect ex­am­ple, see­ing that she owns more than 100 cou­ture­cou pieces. A par­tic­u­lar red one-shoul­derone-shou Dior couture dress from 1985 was only worn on two oc­ca­sions: a state din­ner at Wash­ing­ton DC, and at the Metropoli­tan Mu­seum of Art in New York City, while an­other cream-coloured couture num­ber was only worn three times—the last be­ing a din­ner at home.

THE FA ST T R ACK

Pur­chas­ing a EUR200,000 dress doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily get you a full mem­ber­ship to the ex­clu­sive Couture Club. In­stead, throw­ing a lav­ish fundrais­ing event will cer­tainly put you on the map. This is most ev­i­dent with phi­lan­thropist and wife to Texan oil mag­nate Becca Ca­son Thrash, who af­ter hav­ing raised USD2.7 mil­lion for the Lou­vre Mu­seum in 2008, was sent straight to the front row at the most sought-af­ter couture shows. Since then, the Hous­ton so­cialite has been seen front and cen­tre at ev­ery other ma­jor show at Paris Couture Week.

THIN IS IN

While we don’t en­cour­age un­healthy di­et­ing, the truth is, there are cer­tain perks to be­ing a sam­ple size. While other pa­trons of couture have to have their pieces cus­tom-made, those who are lucky enough to fit into sam­ple couture pieces ac­tu­ally get 30 per­cent off the sell­ing price! The ate­liers save them­selves time spent re­con­struct­ing the en­tire couture piece for an­other client, so it re­ally is a win-win sit­u­a­tion.

CE L E BR ITY FAUX PA S

While the rest of us pine for trends made pop­u­lar by our favourite celebri­ties (Ri­hanna, we’re look­ing at you), mem­bers of The Couture Club are on the com­plete op­pos­ing end of that stance. Heiress and so­cialite Daphne Guinness pre­vi­ously made her thoughts known: “If I see it on a movie star, I don’t want it any­more— it’s done.” Con­sid­er­ing the amount of money you have to fork out for one couture dress, the need for ex­clu­siv­ity is war­ranted.

L I FE A ND DE ATH

What hap­pens to a pri­vate couture col­lec­tion to­wards the end of its life has al­ways been shrouded in mys­tery. The most com­mon route is when it is lent to a mu­seum as part of a grand ex­hi­bi­tion, like when Betsy Bloom­ing­dale did ‘High Style’ in 2009. Oth­ers, how­ever, do­nate their exquisite pieces to a mu­seum, while declar­ing it as a tax loss. Win some, lose some.

Gior­gio Ar­mani Privé Spring/ Sum­mer ’16

Ulyana Sergeenko Haute Couture Spring ’16

Anna dello Russo, al­ways recog­nis­able in her strik­ing en­sem­bles, favours couture pieces as well

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