Fashion can seem to be a strange world when you’re not at its heart. It’s impractical, obsessed with things that the rest of the world thinks trivial, it’s frequently silly, and sometimes seems designed to make us all feel totally inadequate.
But it’s also one of the world’s biggest employers and in so many ways it defines us – think of any era from the past and you’re most likely to think about it in terms of what people wore, whether it’s the 1960s, the 19th century or the Roman Empire.
Haute couture is about as impractical as fashion can possibly get and its chances of survival seem to ebb and flow. It’s not what it was, obviously, with fewer fashion houses and prices that are stratospheric so that only the mega-rich (not simply the rich) can afford it. But big name fashion labels don’t want to give it up. plenty of RTW labels also have a custom arm (Gucci, Saint Laurent, for instance) while some designers have given up RTW altogether to focus on couture (Gaultier, Giles).
Out of step with the world most of us live in it may be. But there’s one area in which couture is keeping up with the fashion pack and that’s social media. Whether it’s Tweeting about who’s worn which dress on the red carpet or pulling back the curtain to give us a glimpse into the rarefied world of Paris during Couture Week, fashion houses are very social media-focused.
So, here’s my pick of some of my favourite Instagram posts during Couture Week.