haute couture Stephane Rolland

While designers are trying to target Western customers with affordable fashion chain collaborations or diffusion lines, their haute couture branches are almost single-handedly being kept alive by clients in the wealthy Gulf countries.

“I want to be different from others,” a buyer explains. “What I want is unique pieces, extravagant and chic. I do not want to pay 6,000 euros for a dress, as it happened to me with a Pucci outfit recently, and see it on somebody else the same evening.”

For these lucky few, a calendar full of weddings and other high-profile social events demands a wardrobe of one-off dresses by the likes of Christian Dior, Stephane Rolland, Valentino and Chanel, which can cost around $75,000 a piece.

“I have known of many occasions when a couturier will be invited to a private home for a showing. The hostess will buy maybe 20, 30 couture outfits for a season,” Simon Lock, a creative director of Dubai Fashion Week, told the newspaper.

He adds: “I had the opportunity to see a wedding that was recently held here in Dubai. 4,000 women were invited to the reception and everybody in the room was wearing haute couture.”

Read the full article.