Behind every Haute Couture dress, every painstaking constructed leather belt, and every tweed blazer, lies an extraordinary story of skill, dedication, and craftsmanship. We often wonder why the markup from high street to high fashion is so steep. It’s because of the exceptional craftsmanship that goes into luxury garments and accessories. Here’s the incredible story behind some of our best loved luxury fashion items…
Designer handbags can be extortionately priced. By the time you get to the high-end designers you are looking at thousands of pounds worth of expense. What makes this price justifiable? It starts with sourcing the leather for the bag (if it’s made of leather). In the case of certain luxury satchel makers, this comes from the hide of animals like buffalo. This is careful selected for the vintage, antique tan look. For other bags sourcing the materials involves an equal level of care and precision. Only the best will do.
Bags then need to be cut by highly skilled workers. The proportions of a bag are of huge importance. The exacting standards result in luxury handbags which are beautifully shaped and fit together seamlessly. Craftsman then get to work attaching buckles and adjusting straps. Then it’s time to handover to another expert, this time in the sewing department to assemble the bag. Precise stitching is also the mark of a well put together bag. When you next look at a designer bags price tag, consider the amount of time, skill, and people-power that went into making it!
Tweed is used in suits and garments the world over, but is particularly popular in Scotland. Harris Tweed in particular is popular and has a rich history of craftsmanship and traditional techniques. Like making luxury handbags, it starts with selecting the best materials. Pure new wool is needed to make top quality Harris Tweed. The fabric is selected solely from British herds and transferred to the mill.
Next the wool is dyed to give it the distinct Harris Tweed look. The dyes are all made using natural methods and reflect the blues, greens, and oranges of the earthy landscape. The wool is wet after dyeing and needs to be dried so it is spun in a big drier. Mixing and coloring colors comes next before a long and complicated process of weaving and threading. After checking for imperfections, drying, and pressing, the Harris Tweed is ready to go!
Haute Couture Dresses
Haute Couture dresses are the pinnacle of design and fashion. These showcase garments allow designers, sewers, and a whole host of other creatives, to show off their skill-set. The term literally translates from French to mean ‘high sewing.’ These dresses are made exclusively by hand and are tailored to specifically fit clients.
The process begins by making a muslin template before even touching the actual dress fabric. Fit is of huge importance so a tester must be carried out first. Structure is then added to the garment with organza and other sculpting materials used to add shape and definition. Then it’s time for the hand sewing, and a lot of it! These garments take a huge amount of time and large teams need to work on each one. All appliques and sequins are hand sewed with care and precision.
If you’ve ever tried your hand at making your own jewelry you’ll know how much effort goes into it. Firstly designers select their materials. This could range from precious gemstones to platinum or pewter. Once you have selected your material it’s time to shape and form it in a fabrication process. Innovations in the field have made it easier to make jewelry with the help of computers. Computers can now aid the casting and stone setting stages of the process to produce flawless results. This time intensive process has many stages and requires a lot of skill. Master jewelers train for many years to work for big brands and companies.
The stories behind the price tags perhaps shed some light on why luxury goods are so expensive! Quality and craftsmanship is a commodity that you pay highly for, but the results are worth it.