The Secret World of Haute Couture, a BBC documentary.

The “club” analogy is mildly irritating, but the story is fascinating. And the interviews are wonderful.



Work on Chanel’s autumn/winter 2013 haute couture collection

A winter 2010 Dior haute couture gown, alongside Valentino, Chanel and Givenchy, in storage before a Grace Coddington shoot for October 2010 American Vogue

A winter 2010 Dior haute couture gown, alongside Valentino, Chanel and Givenchy, in storage before a Grace Coddington shoot for October 2010 American Vogue

Embroidery detail from the winter 2014 Chanel haute couture collection

Embroidery detail from the winter 2014 Chanel haute couture collection

Detail of Chanel embroideries, from the winter 2013 haute couture collection

Detail of Chanel embroideries, from the winter 2013 haute couture collection

"I think couture has a real reason to exist in a limited way, like Chanel or Dior, because they have a real couture house organization. Small designers who don’t have a real organization should do expensive ready-to-wear, because couture is not just the same dresses made-to-order. It’s also the presentation, the fittings, the whole thing that goes with it. There is something mythical about it that cannot be improvised."

Karl Lagerfeld

Work in the flou atelier at Chanel, for the autumn/winter 2013 haute couture collection

Work in the flou atelier at Chanel, for the autumn/winter 2013 haute couture collection



A rather awe-inspiring compilation of some of the hundreds of thousands of hours of work behind Chanel’s spring/summer 2013 collection.

20:10
Chanel pins

Chanel pins

Millinery by Michel - a squared-off boater, perched on the back of the head. From the Chanel autumn/winter 2013 haute couture collection.

Millinery by Michel - a squared-off boater, perched on the back of the head. From the Chanel autumn/winter 2013 haute couture collection.

At work on the autumn/winter 2013 Chanel haute couture collection

At work on the autumn/winter 2013 Chanel haute couture collection

Couture pleating by Atelier Gérard Lognon, established in 1945 and acquired by the Chanel subsidiary Paraffection (literally “For the love of”) last year. Lognon’s specialist origami fabric techniques were a central motif of the autumn/winter 2013 Chanel haute couture collection

Couture pleating by Atelier Gérard Lognon, established in 1945 and acquired by the Chanel subsidiary Paraffection (literally “For the love of”) last year. Lognon’s specialist origami fabric techniques were a central motif of the autumn/winter 2013 Chanel haute couture collection

Chanel autumn/winter 2012 haute couture. Feather embroidered jacket by Lemarié

Chanel autumn/winter 2012 haute couture. Feather embroidered jacket by Lemarié

Veils in the couture millinery workrooms of Maison Michel

Veils in the couture millinery workrooms of Maison Michel