Cou­ture crazy

A Bri­tish woman with a pas­sion for high-end fash­ion shares the se­crets of in­vi­ta­tion-only shop­ping with Lisa Arm­strong

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - NEWS - He­len Wil­son, wear­ing one of her Dolce & Gab­bana ready-to-wear dresses

This,’ says He­len Wil­son, deftly nav­i­gat­ing a pair of crim­son lace Dolce & Gab­bana an­kle boots past a leaf blower and through her sod­den shrub­bery, ‘could be very alien­at­ing, so we try not to rub peo­ple’s noses in it.’ The ‘this’ to which she refers is, well, where to start? Her clothes, per­haps, which are haute cou­ture or, as Dolce & Gab­bana, from whom she or­ders most of her favourite pieces, call them, Alta Moda.

Cou­ture, alta moda… It amounts to the same thing: made-tomea­sure one-ofs that are mainly pro­duced by hand and cost tens, some­times hun­dreds of thou­sands of pounds.

Wil­son trav­els to Dolce & Gab­bana’s Alta Moda shows twice a year, al­ways with her hus­band Ian in tow (it is the hus­bands rather than wives who tend to be en­tourage at cou­ture shows, al­though Dolce re­cently launched Alta Sar­to­ria for men, which shows the day af­ter Alta

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