Couture by the numbers: The figures behind Chanel’s spring presentation

Photo via Coutorture
Photo via Coutorture

Ever wondered why haute couture is so expensive? We mean, it’s obviously expensive, but there are at least a few good reasons for the price tag. Couture uses the best fabrics (period) and everything–everything–is created by hand. Behold, some numbers from today’s Chanel Haute Couture show that reveal just how much goes into creating these garments.

3: The number of hours it takes to create one metre of the collection’s hand-sewn “hidden seams.” Some garments took 35 hours for the seams alone.

1,300: The number of hours it took to create the wedding dress and cape worn by Abbey Lee

200: The number of metres of tulle and silk crèpline used for the wedding cape

350: The number of hours Maison Lesage spent embroidering the wedding dress

700: The number of hours it took Maison Lemarié, specialists in feathers, flowers and other couture details, to craft the “grenade cape,” shown above on Iris Strubegger

13,000: The number of satin flowers created by Lesage–for one look

0: The number of gold buttons Karl Lagerfeld told he used. He did however use mercury- and chrome-coloured buttons. Some pieces used up to 80!

And that’s just the collection. While our fact-sheet doesn’t reveal how much silver lamé went into creating Baptiste Giabiconi’s suit or all those fingerless gloves, but the show designers used 1,200 square metres of aluminum fabric on the ceilings and walls and 1,000 square metres of actual aluminum for the floors, benches and columns at Pavillion Cambon Capucines.

P.S. If you really want to see how a couture show is put together, check out Loïc Prigent’s documentary mini-series Signé Chanel, which follows the life of the house–from the Kaiser to les petites mains–as they prep for Couture Week. The first segment is below and you can watch the rest here.

EARLIER: Karl Lagerfeld sends out shorts at Chanel Haute Couture

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