Podcast Episodes

Episode 19: Craftsmanship and High Artistry in Couture – Can it last?


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In this episode the Hags do their best to tackle the heartbreaking closures and dwindling resources for handmade quality, unique artistry, and extreme craftsmanship of high couture. Can it last in the changing world of fast fashion? We hope so.

But first, Evan has to explain Snapchat to old ladies Abby and Katie and why it’s so hip with the youth these days. Maybe a tutorial is in order?



Abby did some grownup driving across Southern Ontario and failed to do any shopping while on her trip – thanks, Margot! But she did look hella dope in her handmade outfit at the wedding:


Katie got a smile and a greeting from her landlord for the first time ever (!) and was yelled a sort of compliment from a drunk homeless guy. Apparently he thought he was seeing Sandra Bullock (could be worse). Also a quick trip home to surprise Mom was a great way to start this bummer of a summer.



But the best way to kill time indoors these days is with the couture shows! Look at something beautiful (and/or disgusting) and see what the heck we’ve been talking about in terms of mega high quality and craftsmanship.

The Maison Margiela show Abby mentioned:



Haute Couture houses hire specialized artisans to sew, build, and create the elements of each design (eg: sequins, feathers, buttons, shoes, hat, etc). These houses are closing because the demand is dwindling and there is a big worry that this kind of art and craftwork will disappear.

Check out this article on BoF about Chanel acquiring many of these small houses to keep the craft alive.

This short video about Massaro, the shoemakers, is one of many videos available showing these small ateliers doing the work of large fashion houses for couture and RTW.

Check out Chanel’s YouTube channel for more amazing videos showing how their couture creations are made, like this one from Fall Winter 2014/15:

Or this one from Spring/Summer 2015:

Or this one from Dior’s Spring/Summer 2011:

States of Undress is a must-watch on Viceland as well, especially the China episode:

Guo Pei’s couture show is also worth checking out:

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The Chanel Couture show honoring the atelier and its workers from the 2016 collection:

With haute couture, seeing is believing. In order to justify spending thousands of dollars on a single garment, it is important to see the quality up close and in person. Perhaps the plethora of not great images available of these handmade garments without the up-close-and-personal experience makes it easy to overlook and under-appreciate.

Celebrity designers aren’t helping either. Rhianna, we’re looking at you.



On the other side of the equation, designers like Iris Van Herpen are doing crazy cool things with new technologies like 3D printing. Check out her full couture show here.

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The doc Abby mentioned on M2M is called Couture: The New Queens of Haute. Check it out for free and see what’s what in this changing industry of high art.

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Evan is feeling a bit torn about Celine Dion’s new stylish situation:

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Abby was obsessed with HBO doc Suited about making custom suits for transgender people. Guess what, you can watch it online for free! Let the emotions flow!

Katie is strangely obsessed with catching people awkwardly carrying watermelons:



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If you spot an awkward watermelon in the wild, please feel free to share and enjoy this unique summertime happening! Have a summah!


Thanks for listening! As always, you can follow us on:

Twitter @fashionhagspod
Facebook at Fashion Hags Podcast.


Got an idea for an episode? Email us at fashionhags@gmail.com, we love that shit.

Find Abby on Instagram @abbyshumka
Find Katie on Instagram @redbirdsuite 
Find Evan on Instagram @evanducharmestudio & @evndchrm, also check out his website at http://www.evanducharme.com

Remember: keep your pants on, it’s only fashion.


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