Sunday, January 27, 2013

Creation of a Couture Gown

     In France, the term haute couture is protected by law and is defined by the Chambre de commerce et d'industrie de Paris based in Paris, France. The chambre syndicale de la haute couture is defined as "the regulating commission that determines which fashion houses are eligible to be true haute couture houses". Their rules state that only "those companies mentioned on the list drawn up each year by a commission domiciled at the Ministry for Industry are entitled to avail themselves" of the label haute couture. The chambre does a lot more than decide which companies are haute couture. They deal with piracy of style, foreign relations and coordination of the fashion collection timetables, and do some international advertising for the French fashion industry.The chambre also runs a Paris couture school to teach up and coming designers and technicians the couture trade.The school helps bring new designers to help the couture houses that are still present today. The criteria for haute couture were established in 1945 and updated in 1992.
     To earn the right to call itself a couture house and to use the term haute couture in its advertising and any other way, members of the Chambre syndicale de la haute couture must follow these rules:
    * Design made-to-order for private clients, with one or more fittings.
    * Have a workshop (atelier) in Paris that employs at least fifteen people full-time.
    * Must have twenty full-time technical people in at least one atelier (workshop).
    * Each season (i.e., twice a year), present a collection to the Paris press, comprising at least thirty-five runs/exits with outfits for both daytime wear and evening wear.
     However, the term haute couture may have been misused by ready-to-wear brands since the late 1980s, so that its true meaning may have become blurred with that of prêt-à-porter (the French term for ready-to-wear fashion) in the public perception. Every haute couture house also markets prêt-à-porter collections, which typically deliver a higher return on investment than their custom clothing. Falling revenues have forced a few couture houses to abandon their less profitable couture division and concentrate solely on the less prestigious prêt-à-porter. These houses are no longer considered haute couture.
     Many top designer fashion houses, such as Chanel, use the word for some of their special collections. These collections are often not for sale or they are very difficult to purchase.
Follow this link to see how a Couture Gown is made entirely by hand in the House of Chanel.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Popovy Sisters and their dolls

     For  most designers finding a muse to portray the emotion, beauty and hidden narrative embedded within their creations remains a fantasy. But for the twin sisters Elena and Ekaterina Popovy, who uniquely use their background in sculpting and skill in Fashion Design, creating their fantasies it is a miniature reality.

Model #9                            Model #3

Model #5

     The sisters, who were born and raised in Perm, Russia, beautifully blend both Art and Fashion by creating dolls each with an individual story and expression, dressed in bold Haute Couture designs. Inspired by history, nature, cultures, traditions and childhood fantasies, the two award-winning fashion designers construct a beautiful narrative for each doll, giving them an enchanting story and an engaging presence. The amalgamation of months of painstakingly hand-crafted detail, from the delicate stretch of a little finger to the raw emotion oozing from each doll’s face, all meticulously created by the designing duo.

Model #11                           Model #3

Pink Bird                  Pony                 Golden Horse

     “First a raw idea-emotion is born. Little details start to combine into one unified idea. Then we start developing the concept of a project and making some preliminary work. In our discussion process we correct each other and figure out one idea that we then use to work with.” These ideas, which have blossomed to seven collections since they began in 2004, have firmly placed them in the forefront of this hidden section of the art world.


Robin                     Bony               Pink bird

     The research process holds an integral part to the successful execution of each doll and every collection means a new technique behind its creation; “ We study definite periods of history, we search for images, develop author’s textures, chose techniques and draw sketches. Gestures, style, artistic delivery, costume design – all of those things should comply with one theme to express the idea to the maximum extend.”

The Dark Horse

  A La Jupon

     After studying at the Ural State Academy of Architecture and Arts in Yekaterinburg, the Popovy Sisters began making portrait dolls and mastered human gesture and anatomy, but soon progressed to something more unique; “We started to seek something of our own, a thing that no one in the doll-making world had ever done. We wanted to express ourselves as fashion designers, but were also deeply involved in doll making. We decided to set our fantasy free and combine the two directions.”

From The Sea Foam 

 Henoki - The Black Bird

     After showing their first collection “Fashion Moon” at the 3rd International Salon in Moscow, known for showcasing innovative talent from across the globe, they received two huge awards. “Best Thematic Collection” and “Best Fantasy-Style Doll” and have since gone on to win more at a number of exhibitions and fashion festivals. This, teamed with the openly positive reaction from its audience, held the key to their springboard success within both the art and the fashion worlds. “Every exhibition and event is a big thing for us. We look forward to meeting our audience. We pay attention to every comment and talk to everybody who has something to say. It is also a chance for us to introduce our sculptures in our unique way, to show the atmosphere and emotions that we put in each collection.”

Kasane – Rain of the Moon Light

Light Shiver

     Every character, standing around 17 inches tall, exudes a haunting reality with her own name and background. Using a range of materials, from clay and porcelain to exotic feathers and lace, the artistic designers create costumes to build dramatic individual personalities that sink deep into femininity and beauty. An Egyptian warrior, an African hunter, an oriental courtesan, all have a story to tell or secret to share and not one doll fails to captivate and enchant.

Such a Beauty Lives in the North            

Tory – The Peacock

     So what’s next for the talented twins? Their thoughts are now focusing towards more commercial avenues and a possible collection; “All our dolls are one of a kind, but we are planning to make limited edition dolls. Sooner or later our passion will lead us to creation of an actual haute couture collection, maybe it will happen when we get the feeling that we have said everything we wanted to say in Art. Maybe in the near future we will dedicate our collection to Russian culture and art.” The best yet to come from the Popovy Sisters whose detailed work is wowing both its audiences and its critics. 

Whisper        The Black Queen


Hathor                            Anubis




Uakogingkuajo                           Kanaga     


Kota – Obama                           Moorsy   

 The Hunter          The Guard

The Linx

The Shaman

     You can see more of the Popovy Sisters dolls on their website