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Even the most casual fashionista knows the beauty of haute couture. It brings to mind images of flowing ballgowns, one-of-a-kind dresses and runways that are filled with designs of unsurpassable beauty. But to the French, haute couture is almost a science, an area protected by French law that governs the highly-regulated industry of the upper echelon of sartorial design. These collections are only presented twice a year, and the designers are regulated and protected by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, and in particular the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.
For something truly haute couture, workers may spend up to 700 hours creating a single garment, that is created specifically, and only, for a single client. It can be difficult to differentiate from other high-end designs, even for those in the know, as the term “haute couture” is protected by French law,