Tag Archives: Couture in the 21st Century

Ecole Holt Couture 2014 Presents – Youtube video trailer

Watch Video

Watch Video

At EHC we are very fortunate to have talented students with varied skills. ‘You’re Invited’ was created by one such student, Amy Zia, as a light-hearted look at what we do as couturiers! But, don’t be fooled, what we do is highly professional whether for special occasions or to create a functional and personal business wardrobe.

This fashion event is created to help raise awareness and funds for Making Changes Association, who provides hundreds and hundreds of women with functional and appropriate work wardrobes each year. Their clients are all making the effort to re-enter the workforce, and perhaps have few resources to do so.

Making Changes programs include guidance on writing resumes, and networking to gain employment, to those who perhaps may never have had to provide these qualifications before.

The wardrobes that are provided are all donated, recycled, reused, and up-cycled from high quality garments that are either brand new or gently used, giving the garments a new life as well.

So although, EHC teaches the skills to create brand new custom couture made garments, we support, believe in what and how Making Changes not only uses perfectly good clothing as their main program resource, but

More importantly, we support and share their values in how they treat women and teens struggling to improve their life situations, by treating them like family. Almost all of the day to day operations are handled by wonderful volunteers who have time and expertise to share.

You are invited, to attend this event! Just click on ‘buy tickets‘, and join us in supporting this wonderful organization.
Ecole Holt Couture School will also have a booth at the event if you would like to know more about us, and become part of this wonderful highly skilled, hand-made and crafted market!

If you can’t start the video, please copy and paste the URL into your preferred browser!
Enjoy and see you at the event on Sunday November 16th! – cheers J.

To get ahead you need to get started.

To get ahead you need to get started.


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Design patterns and fittings

Design patterns and fittings

An integral part of a couturier’s expertise involves the fitting of a garment properly.

A good design may not necessarily be seen as a good design if it doesn’t fit properly and if it is unprofessionally finished. But almost everyone has come to accept ill-fitting clothing as being normal these days or is unaware of just how a well-fitting garment should look and feel.

For couturiers the matter of fitting a garment well on their actual client, who is the end user, is a crucial skill not only in terms of client satisfaction but ultimately in the couturier’s self-confidence.

This differs from designers creating garments to fit a ‘standard size’ for production as well as ‘made-to-measure’ which is produced to order from an adjusted block pattern. An inexperienced designer may well not realize a bad or impractical design until much later in the process – it might even be concealed until after a prototype has been invested in or until after an item has been produced.

No matter how many details of fit are considered for production line or readymade garments, they will never be a perfect fit for everyone or perhaps anyone. Production line specialists also do alter a design for its own efficiency consequently compromising what was originally planned.

Creating garments for any figure that has more than two dimensions (such as paper dolls), and specifically very curvy or atypical figures, requires much more thought and experience. Given that not every design will work with every figure, and I don’t mean hourglass versus columnar, I’m talking about the fact that some designs for curvy hour glass figures may not work as well for a more extreme hourglass figures.

Every seam, dart placement and easement affects how a pattern is cut. Making adjustments for a more extreme shaped figure is not just a matter of grading it up or down but reconfiguring the entire pattern shape.

Back to fit. Garments should neither fit too loosely or too tightly. Very loosely fitting clothing appears to have no fit at all and too tightly fitted clothing makes a person look overweight and awkward. Fabric should not bind, ruck, twist or buckle, should shape and hang and lie comfortably over the figure in designs with fullness of fabric or body skimming designs. Sleeves should be set in at the angle that the arm hangs – as everyone’s is different! The upper arm shouldn’t bulge in any sleeve. Trousers shouldn’t cut into the cheeks; they need to skim and slim front, back, around and underneath.

For women who have ample bust lines, it is particularly telling in wearing a ready-made suit jacket buttoned under the bust causing star burst shaped wrinkling fabric straining around the button (which it should never do) while the lapels reach away from the decolletage rather than caressing it. Most women have a larger set of measurements for the front half than the back half of the bodice – this is instinctive or obvious. However, if you lay a ready-made jacket flat out you will notice that the front and back panels are equally wide with some allowance for the bust curvature. Ladies, you should be able to button up a jacket and not provide excuses such as “Oh well, I just would leave it open anyway” Real power suits fit well and exude confidence not apologies. J…



Photos of YSL exhibit.


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Fashion Week 2012

Citation from Couture in the 21st Century (book):

Dior has had the most profound influence on fashion history. You read about the New Look in school history books, which is a pretty rare thing for a fashion collection. He transformed the whole mind-set of women on how they wore clothes.

They went from frugality and practicality to complete fantasy. Would we have approved of it at the time? I think deep down I’m a minimalist, so I may have been saying, ‘You don’t need 40 meters of chiffon to do what you can with two’.”   [personally I’d say maybe ten – J]

“I wonder if people are more interested in the spectacle of couture rather that the quality of it. Everyone is after the Lady Gaga factor. Its’ probably just because 99.9% of people only see couture as an image – a picture in a magazine or on The construction is only really appreciated by the people who wear it, and they are becoming fewer and fewer.

Couture is a secret world. Nothing like it exists anywhere else. Can you imagine experiencing real couture like that first-hand?” [actually yes, most fortunately I can! – J] “For an overall experience, you can’t’ get much better than that.

There are 7 billion+ people in the world? And everyone wants to feel special. Everything is mass produced. Luxury in its purest form has the magic of reminding you that you’re special. To own something that no one else has, that has taken weeks to create by hand, that is beautiful – that is the ultimate luxury there to make us dream”  –  Wes Gordon  in Couture in the 21st Century, by Deborah Bee – end citation.

I could not have expressed it better myself..I heard a comment made by a prominent fashion journalist during the current fashion week that people are looking for fantasy following the economic recession and that the runways are reflecting that. I would add that true couture has always been the reality of ‘personal fantasy’, not visual spectacle or just illusory whimsy.

There are today unfortunately, so few experienced professionals left to pass on these valuable skills – creative designers are many, skilled crafts people are few.  EHC  School of Couture sewing and design is passionately concerned to mentor talented novices, and transfer this knowledge to those who recognize the difference between true couture and ready-made luxury labels, and who dream of creating ultimate quality and becoming the definitive luxury artisan. Take a look at the exquisite hand made button below on the beige day suit.


FIDM Museum

haute couture studio


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