Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

Do you think couture still has a place in this fast fashion world?

ThreadsMagazineWeb | Posted in Couture on

Fast fashion is horrible for the environment. Do you think it’s possible to slow down and get back to slow fashion? How?


  1. user-982623 | | #1

    Couture is often the wrong word to use as it really is only applicable to French designers and bespoke clothing makers. However, couture methods are really the base of what most of us sewers are trying to do. The question is how many of the so-called 'couture' designers are using the old hand methods of production? Some of these are also out for more quantity and less quality, sadly. More of the more recent producers who claim they are couturiers certainly aren't. Another problem with couture is that it often is OK to look at - especially the shows - but most of us would look totally ridiculous popping into town dressed in their clothes and the majority of us aren't walking down the red carpet at a premier or similar so our use for these outfits is like nil. Also, unless you've got a perfect hourglass figure with long legs a lot of this stuff won't exactly enhance your looks. Looking closely at the work of the famous couturiers can certainly teach the modern sewist a lot - especially if they want to create classic clothing that doesn't end up in a landfill after being worn a couple of times. I love their hand finishing techniques - despite having 3 machines my first love is always hand sewing as it's more relaxing - and I think a well finished 'home-made' garment means you don't get the rather snobbish 'did you make it yourself' which is totally demoralising for the home-sewer?

  2. user-7346962 | | #2

    Yes, I think it does, but unfortunately in a limited capacity. I remember "in the olden days" how much I loved reading magazines that had pictures of the latest fashions from Paris and New York. I also remember when you never left your house without being nicely dressed. Sadly, I think those days are gone forever for the general public. It seems that the "Average Joe/Jane" runs around in jeans/slacks and T-shirts most of the time. I miss the days when it was uncommon to see someone dressed that way unless they were working outside in their yard/gardens. Of course, I don't live or work anymore in a City environment where I would encounter workers actually "dressed for work", so there may actually be lots of people NOT wearing jeans and T-shirts.
    Anyway, I've run on enough, but YES, there is still a place for Couture!

    1. User avater
      Sosew76 | | #11

      Yes and no. With the advent of the 3d printer, I think perfectly fitting clothing will become common. But, humanity will always be seeking a ideal that isn't obtainable. Artisans with unique skills that can make individuals appear and feel as though the customer has "reached" higher than their peers will always be in demand.

  3. User avater
    rockmountainfox | | #3

    We sew because we want fashionable close that properly fit. That is the definition of couture. So in my in my opinion couture will always have a place.

  4. user-6761018 | | #4

    YES! Not the silly stuff that is sent down the runway to shock, but the shapes and colors the lengths, the fabrics and textures, and the QUAALITY of the construction urge home sewists to aim higher. I especially applaud those style houses that include REAL plus size models... not the perfect hourglass size 14 but the real plus size women.
    Fast fashion is junk fashion. Stick with classic beautifully stitched clothing that fits you as it should, and you will always stand out in a crowd.

  5. simplypat | | #5

    Even with 'fast fashion' you can add your own couture touch. Add hand seed beads to a 1/4 in from neckline to keep facings from turning . Use contrasting thread or even silk ribbon to sew button to garment. Hem a skirt, dress, pants, or top with contrasting embroidery thread for punch. Add buttons or lace to pant hem for pure decoration. Little details add hugh appeal.

  6. User avater
    barakasews | | #6

    Quality construction and fabric knowledge, fitting finesse and all the other aspects of couture sewing will make you stand out. Learn good tailoring skills, and you can do amazing things. Repurposing not just garments, but fabrics from other areas as well. I saw one fellow who made a wonderful leather jacket using a sofa he found on the street... the sky's the limit if you have imagination and take the time to learn the skills to realize your ideas!

    Haute couture is for the 1%, but quality clothing is something we can do ourselves. And you really don't tend to throw away a garment you've spent time and money one, so select styles that have a timeless quality to them and then if you MUST use "fast fashion" just buy a couple of accessories instead of a whole wardrobe. You might even end up repurposing them several times over.

    My grandmother used to say "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." Why contribute more waste to a planet that's drowning in it already? Sewers are planet-savers too!

  7. Betakins | | #7

    Most Certainly ! I have been custom clothing for years and I found it is on the rise. Not all pieces need a couture touch, yet more people want fit and and the longevity that custom can provide (including generous seams that can be let out as a body shifts and changes- manufactured goods have skimpy seams!! ) Add that to the necessity for sustainability; not just a trend. The key is to explain the differences between ready to wear and custom completely giving the public time to understand the true cost of our clothing. I don't expect a full wardrobe to be made, however 1 -2 pieces added annually can really add to style a person's wardrobe.
    (Sorry my photos are flipped)

  8. user-982623 | | #8

    Couture - designing and making custom fit clothing. Sadly something that went out of fashion for many. Increasingly, industry has encouraged buying and wearing a couple of times before discarding and buying something new. Some of the cheap clothes outlets even encouraged the idea it's cheaper to buy once than launder and wear again. Materials were cheap and sewing standards poor as those producing them in dire conditions were forced to produce volume rather than quality. Many a home sewer looked at these clothes, myself included, and knew that if we'd sewn something so badly ourselves it would have either been unpicked and redone or ended up in the ragbag. Some of these clothes also had quite a high price tag for what was on offer - so-called premium marks were often sewn as badly as cheaper ones.
    The idea of couture and the techniques involved in producing a well sewn garment is increasingly attractive to the serious home sewer. Material - natural, high quality and worth the effort to produce a high-end garment isn't cheap so it's worth investing the time to make a good job of it. Despite having high end machines which I use for the basic seams I personally enjoy hand finishing as I find it extremely relaxing as well as satisfying.
    For many the idea of couture is what to many looks like extravagant show pieces seen twice a year at the fashion shows - hardly something you could walk down the average high street in. For those of us who sew couture is something that actually fits, is well constructed and finished to a much higher standard than what you find on the rails in the stores. If you've spent several hours making something, you don't want to throw it in the ragbag after you've worn it a couple of times. If you discover something you don't like you alter it and wear again. Buying fabrics of a high quality - no one said home sewing was the cheap option - producing a quality item that won't land in a landfill site after you've worn it a couple of times is also a contribution towards saving the environment!

  9. Brindale | | #9

    I think but mostly for the rich and famous only as couture nowadays are more expensive. Also those people who can't find the right fit for them in the department store could go to couture.

  10. user-7686516 | | #10

    Read somewhere that the definition of couture is high sewing. So sew it like you own it. Tweek the pattern and make it your own. Go to your stash and embellish inside and out. Sometimes I walk away for days at a time to redefine my signature for each garment. Always go for the Wow factor even if it impresses just you.

  11. user-7870069 | | #12

    The problem I ALWAYS run into is finding quality fabric that is worth spending the time and money on for sewing a quality, well-fitted garment. All I find where I live is JoAnn's and Hobby Lobby. Does anyone have suggestions for online sources for quality couture fabric? How can I determine through online sources if a fabric will be right for my garment project? Do you all purchase fabric swatches before getting the yardage?

    1. user-7520485 | | #13

      Oh, I feel your pain! Finding quality fabric worth putting in the effort seems to be non-existant to home sewists. Please tell me where I can buy great fabric---and by the way, I like to TOUCH my fabric. If I can find the quality, I'll put in the work with couture touches.

    2. gkenney2023 | | #15

      I would highly encourage you to check out Britex Fabrics in San Francisco. They have been in business for many years and have a wonderful reputation. I live about 2 hours from the city and am there about every 6 weeks. I don't buy fabric every 6 weeks, more like every 6 months - but they stock only quality fabric. They have very expensive and less expensive options. For my everyday wear - I do find good things at Britex, and when the urge strikes to make 'something special' - it's Britex for me. I would have no hesitation at ordering online from them - depending on the color I might request a swatch in advance - just because color on a computer monitor doesn't always truly match reality. Good luck finding what you are looking for.

  12. beatriza | | #14

    There are many online stores that sell quality fabric. You just need to experiment a bit and find online stores that you trust will offer consistent quality fabrics. You can get some quality fabrics at reasonable prices but unfortunately, if you want a superior quality, you do have to pay more. I am trying to be more selective in what I purchase now and take my time in sewing it as for me the enjoyment is in the actual making of the item and developing skills including hand finishing.

  13. user-6998382 | | #16

    I think one major site is "Fabric.com": and I just went to "Fabric Depot","and "ineedfabric".:"Dharma Trading" will let you buy a tiny sample so you know what you are getting."Fabric.com" often lets you buy samples, because they even have fake fur.. Some SILK MERCHANTS will give or sell you "silk fabric samplets"which are little sample pieces of very expensive and often embroidered silks they sell. So, yes, very good fabric merchants will sell you samples for a small amt. I advise that as the weight and texture of fabrics can completely CHANGE. "DHARMA TRADING.COM" used to have a fabulous "cotton bubble gauze" fabric,but then the same named fabric CHANGED COMPLETELY .Customers were very upset. So, yes,if there is any way you can buy a sample piece,do so. Very good stores even online will sell them. Yes,JoAnn fabrics has gotten to be the only national corporate store, but because the economy has gotten so bad for so many businesses, old Jo Ann became a monopoly. THE ONLY STORE. I would carefully try some online stores to find good companies in the end. "Fabric.com" is one of the very biggest.(NON-CORPORATE BUSINESS in the U.S.A. has been almost wiped out. >::(

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


Shop the Store

View All
View More