The Real Reason Couture Costs So Much

If you've never been to a runway show, you may not know about the little-discussed phenomena of "show notes." Left on chairs and often brushed aside by attendees, these can be as straightforward as a leaflet listing the looks and casting info. In their more interesting (and collectible) forms, they can be a beautifully realized, elaborate exhibition catalog (Céline's are legend), Tumblr-esque inspiration index, or manifesto, like Antony Hegarty's statement on Future Feminism at Givenchy fall '13. Or, as AnOther Magazine reports, at Maison Martin Margiela's spring '14 show, they can be an ode to the pure amount of time, love, and sweat it takes to create a couture collection.
Reproducing Margiela's show notes in full, AnOther gives us a true sense of the intricacy of a handmade fashion piece. And, the amount of time it takes to craft a line is pretty staggering — we tallied it up, and 1,340 hours in total were spent to create this collection. That's more than 55 days, or just under two months. And, keep in mind, that's just time Margiela's artisans spent cutting, sewing, and embellishing these pieces — this does not include designing, sourcing fabrics, or the myriad other tasks it takes to produce a collection.
Click on to see exactly how long each piece took to create — from the relatively simple, 18-hour, hand-sequined trousers to the exquisitely embroidered opera coat that took five days of handiwork. The designs that follow deserve to be seen and appreciated for what they are: true art that's the exact opposite of fast fashion. (AnOther Magazine)

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