Haute Couture Ateliers

The Artisans of Fashion

By Hélène Farnault

Foreword by Hubert de Givenchy

Photography by Alexis Lecomte

288 pages

9½ x 11½ in. , portrait

275 color illustrations

Hardcover with jacket

ISBN 978-0-86565-317-7

US $75 / CAN $95

"Through splashy runway shots, sketches and studies, and behind-the-scenes photos, Farnault familiarizes readers with the most powerful couturiers of our time and the skilled artisans creating their designs."

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The artistry of haute couture is realized by a vast number of talented artisans working in ateliers behind the scenes. Haute Couture Ateliers takes the reader on a tour of fashion’s backstage, inhabited, to be sure, by exceptional designers but also by lace makers, weavers, textile finishers, pleaters, jewelers, fan makers, leather makers, embroiderers, and many other specialized craftspeople. With painstaking attention to detail and exceptional workmanship, they can create everything a designer can imagine. Remarkably, this is an unchanged world of small workshops and the trades these artisans practice are ancient, though they have evolved with the times: weavers still use looms, but the ones found in contemporary ateliers are high-speed precision machines, guided by proprietary software. Hélène Farnault, France’s leading authority on haute couture crafts, elucidates the rarefied hierarchies and mysteries of these extraordinary artisans.

Hélène Farnault is a consultant on crafts and fashion who has been an advisor to France’s Ministry of Culture.

Alexis Lecomte is a Paris-based photographer who has contributed to numerous French and European fashion magazines.