Couture’s Comeback

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The latest round of Couture catwalk presentations have kicked off in Paris. It’s a good time for this subsection of the fashion industry, which was hit especially hard by the recession. In fact, couture is staging a comeback. Chanel, for one, is reporting “between 20 and 30 percent” profit increases for SS10 couture and “is forecasting an overall increase for 2010,” says Women’s Wear Daily. With new clientele surfacing in China, the Middle East, and Europe, couture houses are recognizing “a new interest in haute couture” taking shape in various well-financed pockets across the globe, and they know how to target their new customers.Take Dior, which just staged its first resort show in Shanghai, and Valentino, which showed in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur last year. Back in Paris, there’s plenty to look forward to, as major fashion houses bounce back from a few especially arduous years.

Givenchy is one of the few brands to have already shown this week, and Riccardo Tisci’s breathtakingly ornate creations—loaded with feathers, crystals, gold plating, and delicate lace—did not disappoint. As for what you’ll find lurking in the front row (at least in the case of one utterly confused Jared Leto), you never know.