RSS .92| RSS 2.0| ATOM 0.3| iTunes
  • Home
  • Fashion Dictionary
  • Fashion History
  • Fashion Week Dates
  • Dress Sizes
  • Terms of Use
  •  

    Fashion History: The Haute Couture Era

    Mai 11th, 2017

    By the end of the 19th century the horizons of the fashion industry had generally broadened. The more mobile and independent lifestyle causes many well-off women to begin to adopt and to wear the practical clothes they demanded.

    Fashion History from 1900 – 1910

    Throughout the early 20th century Paris dictated high-end fashion. Parisian designers set the fashion tone for the rest of the Western world, and their designs were highly sought for women of the upper classes. Although the two most important fashion terms and their division haute couture and pret-a-porter wasn’t sharply defined, nevertheless both fashion magazines and department stores all over the world sent their editors and buyers to the exclusive Paris Fashion Shows to follow the newest high-end fashion trends and styles. At this time fashion style magazines started to include photographs in their article and became even more influential than in the future.

    Remarkable wastes defined the fashion of the decade. And the couturiers of that time created incredibe extravagant outfits which were meticulously made. Worn by the fashionable women of the Belle Époque the outfits highlighted the S-Bend silhouette of the full-figured body. The S-Bend corset was very tightly laced at the waist which forced the hips back and the drooping mono bosom was thrust forward in a pouter pigeon effect creating a S shape. Toward the end of the decade the fashionable silhouette gradually became somewhat more straight and slim, due to Paul Poiret’s high-waisted, shorter-skirted Directoire line of clothes. Curvy hips were also flaunted by the dress styles of the era. In the early years of the first decade, skirts were only long and full. No fashionable lady could (or would) dress or undress herself without the assistance of a third party. Unlike today, the constant radical changes of the fashion trends were still literally unthinkable. The use of different trimmings were all that distinguished the styles season after season.

    This video shows Fashion in the early 1900′s:

    Fashion History from 1910 – 1918

    From 1910 until the start of the First World War in 1914, skirts gradually grew shorter and began to reveal tantalizing glimpses of the ankle. The overall silhouette of dresses also changed slightly, moving toward a slimmer, narrower and straighter line that emphasized the hips and busts. As the war began in 1914, attention and materials were drawn away from fashion design, and no significant fashion developments occurred again until peace was declared at the end of 1918.

    The most influential fashion designers of the time were Paul Poiret, Jacques Doucet and Mariano Fortuny. Paul Poiret has evolved the first outfit which women could put on without the help of a maid. He was one of the first who translated his vogue into the fashion world with his exotic kimonos and vivid colors. While the French designer Jacques Doucet excelled in superimposing pastel colors and his elaborate gossamery dresses suggested the Impressionist shimmers of reflected light, Mariano Fortuny was a curious figure with very few parallels in any age. For his dress designs he conceived a special pleating process and new dyeing techniques. Each garment was made of the finest silk.

    Fashion History from 1918 – 1920

    World War I changed the fashion world for ever. Women chose to dress like men and borrowed their clothes from the male, corsets were refused and both bustless, waistless silhouette and the flapper style became very popular among yound women. The sporty and athletic look for both women and men were popularized equally as well.

    The menswear emphasized youthfulness and relaxation in the 1920s. Unlike before the young men were no longer afraid to show their growing mood of informality, especially not the Americans. What was very tradional in the past, wearing a special outfit for every event in the well-dressed gentleman’s day, wasn’t popular any longer. Men began to wear the same soft wool suit all day long and felt confident. Short suit jackets replaced the old long jackets of the past which were now only worn for formal occasions. Men prefered more the sport clothes, including sweaters and short pants and the London cut, with its slim lines, loose-fitting sleeves, and padded shoulders were very popular.

    At that time the couturière Coco Chanel was a major figure in fashion for her chic and progressive designs. Chanel evolved the little black dress, the Chanel-Costume and the use of jersey knit for women’s clothing.

    Watch how Fashion changed after WWI due to Coco Chanel’s influence:

    Related article: Couture isn’t dead. It’s an article about how haute couture is demand than ever after the economic crise in the 21st century.
    tell-a-friend

    tell-a-friend

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke Walter

    November 21st, 2016

    Interview blast from the past, February 2011, New York

    speakfashion: Elke, as far as the story goes did you step into the fashion business accidentally since you couldn’t find the right garment for yourself. Is that true?

    Elke Walter: Absolutely. It happened during the 90s while I lived in France, certainly the designated mother country of high fashion. Ironically I couldn’t find my dress of all dreams even there. So I decided to create one by myself. At this very first experience with fashion design I experienced the beauty of fabrics. This was the start for me as a fashion designer.

    speakfashion: Back then you didn’t have much experience either in design or in working with fabrics. How did you teach yourself into all that?

    Elke Walter: Honestly, I hate being taught. But I have a good taste and a very good feeling for high quality. And learning by doing is very often the best way to approach an unknown territory. So it took me some hard days and sleepless nights at the beginning before something wearable came out. But after all people started asking me where they could buy those dresses. At this time I knew I’m on the right track. I’m not very good in sketching but I know what I like and what makes women look beautiful. I’m a natural born designer.

    speakfashion: Sounds very dedicated. But since you don’t have all the typical skills fashion designers learn while studying, how do you create your designs then?

    Elke Walter: I choose the fabric I want to work with and have my mind go into it until I know what has to be done with. Then I start my creation as a courageous act: I take my scissors and I cut. I never draw. I never make sketches. I create sculptures. This is how I started and I’m still working within this unusual design process. Finally the cut will be made after my first sculptural prototype.

    speakfashion: Since you have lots of experience as a self-taught designer: What’s the most important skill for upcoming fashion designers?

    Elke Walter: In my mind the most important skill for a fashion designer is to work out his own design signature. A very unique handwriting combined with passion and diligence is probably a must have for future success.

    speakfashion: And what’s the biggest challenge designers have to struggle with when they start their own business?

    Elke Walter: All designers are challenged by the same uphill struggle which is to design a beautiful head-turner that is both comfortable and wearable at the same time. A great garment has to be stunning from all sides. It doesn’t make sense to work on a beautiful front and ignore the back for instance.

    speakfashion: Talking about stunning dresses. What’s your design all about?

    Elke Walter: All my Ready to Wear and Couture dresses are made out of a rectangular piece of fabric. That’s my individual design signature. I decided to work with this rectangular structure because the base of all things is simple. Why shouldn’t be the base of fashion design simple either? The simplicity keeps open all the possibilities to proceed later on. For me there is no other way of cutting. It has become sort of a personal dogma. It makes my designs very special, very comfortable and there is a new challenge in designing different items every day.

    speakfashion: A special design sounds very tempting. Are all your pieces still handmade too?

    Elke Walter: In the beginning I did everything myself. After a little while I got some helping hands working in my Hamburg based design studio. But 2011 will be the year where we have to outsource the production to specialized German production companies.

    speakfashion: That means you’d broaden up your fashion line in the past since you need more and more outside vendors to help you out?

    Elke Walter: Yes, definitely. Meanwhile I’m running four lines. My all-time bestselling line ‘TOKYO’ which is made of black Japanese polyester and sold by retailers worldwide. ‘ADAN’, an abbreviation for ‘All-Day-All-Night’, is a line where I design street wear. I also have a highly exclusive line which is what it says: ‘Elke-Walter-One-Of-A-Kinds’. All designs are custom-made for special occasions of special clients. To bridge the gap between the lines I’ll put on another one this year ranging from street wear to cocktail and evening dresses.
    As for the fabrics I love modern yarns that make fabrics better to wear and more beautiful. Oh and I have to confess: I am a polyester maniac.

    speakfashion: So it seems you found yourself a niche where customers are willing to pay for sophisticated designs rather than to go for widely known fashion brands?

    Elke Walter: That’s true, yes. But you have to be able to react really fast to market changes if you want to survive in this niche. Do what big companies can’t: React fast to changing demands of women and you can get decent prices for your designs. Speaking of the reproducible lines my designs start at 300 Euros and go up to 1,500 Euros. My unique pieces range between 2,500 and 10,000 Euros.

    speakfashion: Did you experience a distinctive taste in different countries since you market your clothes all over the world?

    Elke Walter: Today there is no difference between the countries. Fashion is international. It is the attitude of women that makes the difference. In general I would say that women everywhere have the same token: Dressing up to be beautiful.

    speakfashion: This statement pictures a bright future for fashion though. What’s your plan for the upcoming season?

    Elke Walter: Oh there is a lot going on in 2011. First of all I’d like to bring out my men’s line. To broaden up our sales promotion we’ll open up a showroom in Milan and get some promotion assistance from our US and Japanese agent. In March we will have a runway show in the German Embassy in Tokyo as well. So stay tuned and keep an eye up for Elke Walter designs.

    speakfashion: We will Elke. Thanks so much for sharing all these ideas with us. Enjoy your trip to Tokyo.

    Speaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke Walter
    Catch up with Elke Walter
    Elke Walter – Hamburg Headquater

    Eppendorfer Weg 235 // 20251 Hamburg, Germany

    P: +49 (40) 47.29.65 // Email to Elke Walter

    W: www.elkewalter.com // Visit Elke Walter on facebook

    Related Articles:
    1_Fashion Shows: Tibi’s Fall 2012 Runway Show
    2_Elke Walter in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion Shows: Nomia’s Fall 2012 Presentation


    tell-a-friend

    tell-a-friend

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with ‘BURKHALTER couture’

    Juli 19th, 2016

    Interview blast from the past, October 2010, Geneva

    speakfashion: Stéphanie, what encouraged you to enter the glitzy and glamorous world of fashion?

    BURKHALTER couture: Well, I’ve already developed a special interest for classic drawing and oil painting in my earliest childhood. Being a very reserved and solitary child, I spent entire days in my room for drawing, contained in my world of fantasy. At the age of 16 I began an international Model career which made me travel in every corner of the world. With this experience I decided to unite fashion with drawing and I attended the prestigious fashion school ‘Marangoni’ in Milan. I obtained my diploma in 2005 and worked with many Italian fashion companies ever since. During this time I started to draw my own collection. In 2008 BURKHALTER couture was born.

    speakfashion: How would you describe your label and what’s the basic style of ‘BURKHALTER Couture’?

    BURKHALTER couture: BURKHALTER couture proposes a sensual timeless line, handmade in Italy. We understand ourselves as no season Haute Couture label with juvenile tendencies maintaining nevertheless some classical and luxurious style. Within this understanding I mainly design cocktail and red carpet dresses using typical high quality fabrics like satin, silk, taffeta stretch, and cadi revers. Our intense Haute Couture style addresses especially women who are sensual and sure of themselves. Although my collections are not limited I mostly create dresses since I love the fact that woman only look perfectly feminine in a dress.

    speakfashion: For you personally, what’s the biggest challenge in designing couture?

    BURKHALTER couture: The biggest challenge is always the transformation of my ideas. It is sometimes slightly tricky to get these crazy and nonspecific thoughts into an actual dress. After I have an idea in mind I usually start to work with materials, touch them, feel them and try to get them to work on the mannequin. Then I have to draw some sketches that are similar to the original but a little less crazy but more wearable.

    speakfashion: Is Haute Couture truly wearable for average people with an average lifestyle or is it still kind of an artsy hobby for wealthy women?

    BURKHALTER couture: I would say that basically everybody could wear Haute Couture. However, the haut couture approach is very expensive and requires a very wealthy target group for this reason. That means that the actual Haute Couture target groups are jet set women between 25 and 65 who are living literally in the high societies around the world. And that’s the good news though: Haute Couture won’t die because there always will be very wealthy people around.

    speakfashion: Ok, let’s talk about the budget then. What’s the price range of your actual collection?

    BURKHALTER couture: My collection starts with pieces for 1.500 Euros and can go up to 4.200 Euros depending on the actual piece, fabric and sewing. My best seller is actually this beautiful dress in gray cadi revers which I gave the name ‘Purity’ because of its clear line. My customers love the clarity of the line that gives them the opportunity to wear this dress for different occasions.

    speakfashion: Compared with ready to wear fashion what would you say: Is Haute Couture the true trendsetter that dictates the rules for upcoming Ready to Wear styles?

    BURKHALTER couture: Haute Couture is high end of sewing, high research and therefore the high end of a Ready to Wear. Haute Couture is the one and only trendsetter particularly because it comes out earlier than ready to wear and works as sort of the genesis for new collections. Both of them are working with the same base but the craziness and the ideas are truly pushed by Haute Couture designs. Although Ready to Wear is certainly the trendsetter for Fast Fashion.

    speakfashion: Well, that sounds obvious. Thanks for sharing with us. Would you let us finally know what’s next for ‘BURKHALTER Couture’?

    BURKHALTER couture: I’m thinking of moving into another country right now. I’ll probably go to the U.S. sometime soon since there are still a lot of opportunities to promote and evolve my label. We’ll see.

    speakfashion: Well, good luck then if you really going to hop over the pond and thank you for this interesting chat.

    Speaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter CoutureSpeaking Fashion with Burkhalter Couture
    Wanna touch base with ‘Stéphanie Burkhalter’?
    BURKHALTER couture – Geneva Headquaters

    BURKHALTER couture // 129, Rue de Lausanne // 1202 Geneva
    P: + 41 (0) 22 732 47 85 // Email to Stéphanie Burkhalter

    W: www.burkhaltercouture.com // View it on google maps.

    Catch up with BURKHALTER couture on Facebook or Twitter

    Related Articles:
    1_Latest Fashion News: Toni Francesc’s Fall 2011 Runway Show
    2_Burkhalter Couture in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion Shows: Dior’s Fall 2012/13 Couture Show


    tell-a-friend

    tell-a-friend

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


    Fashion is Dead. Long live Fashion

    Oktober 20th, 2014

    Fashion trends are getting more and more tangible for a broader audience. Fast fashion styles are certainly the most influential evolution the fashion industry has ever had to deal with. The given scenario separates fashion peers all over the world. Fashion is dead say some. Fashion is in the process of inventing itself anew say others. Which side of the fence do you sit on?

    Don’t wanna read the entire article? Just tune in on Jeremy Lindbergs video interview. The NYC showroom owner explains the changes the fashion industry has gone through lately and how it is going to further evolve.

    High Fashion is getting tangible
    How ‘trend’ differs from ‘fashion’ is the most crucial question for those trying to understand the contemporary development in the fashion industry and therefore to predict the future of fashion. Especially since high-end fashion is not untouchable anymore. It’s actually constantly surrounding us due to hundreds of online fashion retailers such as ‘Gilt Groupe’ or ‘net-a-porter’ just to name the most popular. Each style invented in any part of the world can be seen instantly. Fashion is not a matter of location anymore. Contemporary fashion is accessible all over the globe whether you are living in a major city or somewhere out in the boonies. That’s one of the huge changes the industry has to struggle with. It’s certainly a blessing for the consumer. But how does it affect fashion designers?

    Fashion is dead, Fashion vs. Trend, Haute Couture is dead, Changes in the fashion industry, speak fashion, speakfashion, speaking fashion, Fashion History, Fashion Today, Fashion Classics, Fashion 21th Century, fashion and social media

    Young Fashion Designers benefit from the Change in Fashion
    What caters to the masses doesn’t make it necessarily easier for industry workers. Fast fashion retailers literally force designers to be very quick in designing and inventing clothes. The workflow in designing clothes in a seasonal cycle becomes diluted. Designers have to produce more styles and looks than they has been used to. This obviously leads to the point that industry peers have to tighten up their creative process to serve the given time frame. In order to do that, the design process becomes sort of an assembly line and this definitely leads to the question: Doesn’t a tighter time frame lack quality? Yes, it does. And no it doesn’t, depending on what the industry is going to project from this change. It’s the same question the media business has had to deal with over a decade ago and somehow is still looking for an answer. It is possible to provide a certain quality even if you have to deal with a narrow timeframe and less of a budget. You just have to tweak the approach. If you are not willing to take that chance – and it is definitely a chance, especially for young designers – you can’t compete in this industry anymore. While more fashion retailers serve a broader audience, the price range decreases. And lower retail prices force designers to reduce labor and raw material costs. The naked truth is: Fashion Designers all over the world have to produce more designs in less time for lower prices. That’s a challenge – for sure. But it is an opportunity too.

    Customers want to be taken seriously
    But not only is fashion design more tangible. The industry has to deal with well informed and interested customers who already play a key role in the development of contemporary fashion. The customers’ personal opinion is already part of the designers finding-process. Fashion and therefore fashion design is not the black box it used to be. The growth of the internet and the social media movement certainly contributes to that. Especially for the independent designers it’s going to be a key issue to evolve and maintain a close relationship to their potential clients. In the future, a fashion designer will only be successful when he can manage the balancing act of influencing people and staying tangible at the same time. Customers want to be taken seriously. They want to be sure that their opinion is going to be considered. In return, they are willing to pay a price that’s above average. Although it will definitely not be the same amounts designers were used to cashing in on in the past. However, only the relationship to a loyal but interested customer will assure future success. Although the prices for individual and fashionable clothes won’t be in the same range they were years ago, fashion designers will always have a clientele that’s willing to pay for high-end craftsmanship and offbeat design. Fortunately, there are too many fashion lovers amongst us that will appreciate high-end fashion for good.

    Fast Fashion vs. High Fashion: There is room for both
    We have to face the fact that fashion is part of our accelerating world and therefore evolves more quickly than it did years ago. The huge demand on expensive and exclusive luxury goods still exists. Fashion isn’t dead. But it has received company from something we call fast fashion. Something that caters to the idea of fashion with one exception: Quality. And therefore fast fashion can only be a substitute for those who can’t afford high-end fashion or actually aren’t interested in quality products. “Different customers have different needs” summarizes Michael Tien, chairman of work-wear retailer G2000, the development. Everyone is looking for his own well-being. “The buying behavior has simply changed.”

    The fact of the matter is that the majority of the world’s population belongs to the middle and upper middle income class. Consumers are fashion conscious and price sensitive at the same time. Due to the unprecedented changes, the fashion industry has to respond to both, market changes and consumer preferences. The undoubted pioneer of the fast fashion concept is Spanish clothing retailer Zara with its 4,780 stores in 77 countries. Their new lines are being shipped into the stores twice a week which ensures that customers always find new fashion items every time they visit the store. That’s the reason why fast fashion had simultaneously become incredibly attractive and essential to the public. But while the middle class is rather on the hunt for reasonable fast fashion offers, the huge demand for expensive and exclusive luxury goods still exists for more affluent parts of society.

    The bottom line is: Fast fashion has not killed Couture and never will. Fashion is not dead at all. Rather than focus on what was better in the past, we should look to see what we can gain from the future. The fashion industry has just moved forward. There is nothing to worry about. Fashion was what it was in the olden days, is what it is today, and will be something different in the future. And quite frankly: Isn’t that exactly what we are looking for?

    tell-a-friend

    tell-a-friend

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


    Paris Haute Couture Week: Christian Dior FW 2012/13 Show

    Juli 6th, 2012

    Former creative director of Jil Sander, Raf Simons had his debut Haute Couture FW 2012/13 Show at the Hôtel Particulier in Paris a few days ago. As the new head designer of the Parisian Couture house Christian Dior, Raf Simons showed 54 amazing looks that nodded to the history of the house — cinched waists and full A-line skirts.

    That Simons debut would be a success seemed a given, but that it would be such a triumph was a thrill. The entire collection was beautiful, sophisticated, and restrained. The answer to the question “what made his couture collection look different?” gave Raf Simons himself in an interview to Style.com: “[I am trying] to change the psychology of people who are interested in couture. The way I’ve been looking at it so far is as a still image, something you look at for that moment. I think lots of people see it as a still, an image from the red carpet. I want to make it more dynamic, appeal to a person who has a different energy. A younger person, in mind, not necessarily in age. And I think couture is very much about curating something unique for women. Fashion is so mass-produced now; I hope there will come a refocus on how people see couture. And I would also hope for a new focus on the craft.”

    We couldn’t agree more. Now, dive into Raf Simons very own couture world and watch for yourself how beautiful made his first collection was.

    Related Articles:
    1_Latest Fashion News: Raf Simon new creative director at Dior
    2_Fashion History: Couture isn’t dead, is it?
    3_Fashion Shows: Dior’ s Haute Couture Show SS 2012


    tell-a-friend

    tell-a-friend

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


    Paris Haute Couture Week: Christian Dior Spring 2012 Runway Show

    Januar 24th, 2012

    The Christian Dior haute couture S/S 2012 collection designed by Bill Gaytten, John Galliano’s right hand for his entire career, had the idea to expose, like an X-ray or blueprint, the craftsmanship of the Dior ateliers.

    Showing full-skirted dresses of delicately embroidered silk organdy, a lot of black and beige and a few pieces of purple and red designs, Gaytten didn’t add something new or made constructions that looked hard and aging.

    Watch Dior’s full haute couture show below:

    Related Articles:
    1_Fashion History Classics: Dior’s A-Line Invention
    2_Christian Dior in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion History Classics: Dior’s New Look Invention


    tell-a-friend

    tell-a-friend

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


    Demi-Couture

    Januar 6th, 2012

    Demi-couture is a French word and means literally translated ‘half-couture’. Since it relates to the fashion term ‘haute couture‘, custom-made high sewing, the more detailed version of its meaning would be “half-custom-made women’s clothing.” Due to the ‘demi’ (= half) in front of the ‘couture’ the term demi-couture is more classified under ready-to-wear in the fashion business.
    tell-a-friend

    tell-a-friend

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


    High Fashion

    Juni 16th, 2011

    High fashion aka high sewing or high dressmaking is translated from the French word ‘haute couture‘ and refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is usually made out of high-end and therefore expensive fabrics. The designs are always sewn with attention to detail and finish which is often a very time-consuming process.


    tell-a-friend

    tell-a-friend

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke Walter

    Februar 1st, 2011

    speakfashion: Elke, as far as the story goes did you step into the fashion business accidentally since you couldn’t find the right garment for yourself. Is that true?

    Elke Walter: Absolutely. It happened during the 90s while I lived in France, certainly the designated mother country of high fashion. Ironically I couldn’t find my dress of all dreams even there. So I decided to create one by myself. At this very first experience with fashion design I experienced the beauty of fabrics. This was the start for me as a fashion designer.

    speakfashion: Back then you didn’t have much experience either in design or in working with fabrics. How did you teach yourself into all that?

    Elke Walter: Honestly, I hate being taught. But I have a good taste and a very good feeling for high quality. And learning by doing is very often the best way to approach an unknown territory. So it took me some hard days and sleepless nights at the beginning before something wearable came out. But after all people started asking me where they could buy those dresses. At this time I knew I’m on the right track. I’m not very good in sketching but I know what I like and what makes women look beautiful. I’m a natural born designer.

    speakfashion: Sounds very dedicated. But since you don’t have all the typical skills fashion designers learn while studying, how do you create your designs then?

    Elke Walter: I choose the fabric I want to work with and have my mind go into it until I know what has to be done with. Then I start my creation as a courageous act: I take my scissors and I cut. I never draw. I never make sketches. I create sculptures. This is how I started and I’m still working within this unusual design process. Finally the cut will be made after my first sculptural prototype.

    speakfashion: Since you have lots of experience as a self-taught designer: What’s the most important skill for upcoming fashion designers?

    Elke Walter: In my mind the most important skill for a fashion designer is to work out his own design signature. A very unique handwriting combined with passion and diligence is probably a must have for future success.

    speakfashion: And what’s the biggest challenge designers have to struggle with when they start their own business?

    Elke Walter: All designers are challenged by the same uphill struggle which is to design a beautiful head-turner that is both comfortable and wearable at the same time. A great garment has to be stunning from all sides. It doesn’t make sense to work on a beautiful front and ignore the back for instance.

    speakfashion: Talking about stunning dresses. What’s your design all about?

    Elke Walter: All my Ready to Wear and Couture dresses are made out of a rectangular piece of fabric. That’s my individual design signature. I decided to work with this rectangular structure because the base of all things is simple. Why shouldn’t be the base of fashion design simple either? The simplicity keeps open all the possibilities to proceed later on. For me there is no other way of cutting. It has become sort of a personal dogma. It makes my designs very special, very comfortable and there is a new challenge in designing different items every day.

    speakfashion: A special design sounds very tempting. Are all your pieces still handmade too?

    Elke Walter: In the beginning I did everything myself. After a little while I got some helping hands working in my Hamburg based design studio. But 2011 will be the year where we have to outsource the production to specialized German production companies.

    speakfashion: That means you’d broaden up your fashion line in the past since you need more and more outside vendors to help you out?

    Elke Walter: Yes, definitely. Meanwhile I’m running four lines. My all-time bestselling line ‘TOKYO’ which is made of black Japanese polyester and sold by retailers worldwide. ‘ADAN’, an abbreviation for ‘All-Day-All-Night’, is a line where I design street wear. I also have a highly exclusive line which is what it says: ‘Elke-Walter-One-Of-A-Kinds’. All designs are custom-made for special occasions of special clients. To bridge the gap between the lines I’ll put on another one this year ranging from street wear to cocktail and evening dresses.
    As for the fabrics I love modern yarns that make fabrics better to wear and more beautiful. Oh and I have to confess: I am a polyester maniac.

    speakfashion: So it seems you found yourself a niche where customers are willing to pay for sophisticated designs rather than to go for widely known fashion brands?

    Elke Walter: That’s true, yes. But you have to be able to react really fast to market changes if you want to survive in this niche. Do what big companies can’t: React fast to changing demands of women and you can get decent prices for your designs. Speaking of the reproducible lines my designs start at 300 Euros and go up to 1,500 Euros. My unique pieces range between 2,500 and 10,000 Euros.

    speakfashion: Did you experience a distinctive taste in different countries since you market your clothes all over the world?

    Elke Walter: Today there is no difference between the countries. Fashion is international. It is the attitude of women that makes the difference. In general I would say that women everywhere have the same token: Dressing up to be beautiful.

    speakfashion: This statement pictures a bright future for fashion though. What’s your plan for the upcoming season?

    Elke Walter: Oh there is a lot going on in 2011. First of all I’d like to bring out my men’s line. To broaden up our sales promotion we’ll open up a showroom in Milan and get some promotion assistance from our US and Japanese agent. In March we will have a runway show in the German Embassy in Tokyo as well. So stay tuned and keep an eye up for Elke Walter designs.

    speakfashion: We will Elke. Thanks so much for sharing all these ideas with us. Enjoy your trip to Tokyo.

    Speaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke Walter
    Catch up with Elke Walter
    Elke Walter – Hamburg Headquater

    Eppendorfer Weg 235 // 20251 Hamburg, Germany

    P: +49 (40) 47.29.65 // Email to Elke Walter

    W: www.elkewalter.com // Visit Elke Walter on facebook

    Related Articles:
    1_Fashion Shows: Tibi’s Fall 2012 Runway Show
    2_Elke Walter in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion Shows: Nomia’s Fall 2012 Presentation


    tell-a-friend

    tell-a-friend

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


    Latest Fashion News: Couture isn’t dead

    Januar 25th, 2011

    “It’s been an excellent year for couture“, Dior CEO Sidney Toledano told WWD Magazine. The fact that the economic crises is over now, causes the American clients to return to the couture shows. Due to the demands Dior has doubled their guest list for its Spring/Summer 2011 couture show, held yesterday in a giant tent behind the Musée Rodin in Paris. The collection includes dresses made with five layers of tulle, full-pleated skirts, puffed jackets and a few dresses with fabric draped from front to back.

    The entire presentation seemed bigger than ever and was “so big,” Cathy Horyn writes for the New York Times , “you could have run three men’s shows simultaneously.”

    Armani’s chairman John Hooks says that new clients in Russia and countries in the Middle East also influences the sales on couture. The Armani Prive show in Dubai for instance “had a dramatic effect on sales of couture in the region” and has had a 45% increase in 2010, he says. Hooks is also convinced that “Couture is following the current pattern of all trade in the fashion business – emerging markets are growing faster than the established ones.”

    The couture house Chanel is also considering to have some couture shows in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Beijing “because the customers are not always coming to Paris, we need to go to them”, said Chanel’s president of fashion Bruno Pavlovsky.

    Obviously, haute couture wasn’t dead it is only back from a deep sleep. Thank God!

    Related articles: Fashion history – haute couture era.
    tell-a-friend

    tell-a-friend

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,