Justine Picardie is a fashion commentator, published author and the editor of Harper's Bazaar UK
. The views expressed in the video above are her own.
Haute couture week is one of the most important events on the fashion calendar. Biannually, internationally renowned fashion houses like Chanel and Christian Dior, as well as newer, lesser-known brands such as Bouchra Jarrar and Elie Saab, present painstakingly elaborate and extremely expensive designs behind closed doors to a hand-picked audience of editors, buyers and private clients.
1/10 – Elie Saab Autumn-Winter 2015
In the fashion community, haute couture represents the highest quality money can buy. Credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Haute couture -- or, "high sewing" -- is a legally protected term that can only be used by brands approved by the French Ministry of Industry.
These custom-made garments, created entirely by hand by the industry's most skilled artisans and craftsman, represent the best quality fashion money can buy. And yes that comes at a price, with certain pieces valued at upwards of $100,000.
Most people will never buy or wear a piece of couture, nor will they attend a couture fashion show. So why is it relevant? Here, Harper's Bazaar
editor-in-chief Justine Picardie makes the case for why couture matters.