Ever since the 1860s, when Charles Frederick Worth launched a "golden century" of dressmaking, Parisian haute couture has been a source of admiration and fascination, whilst its emphasis on exquisite design and meticulous craftsmanship has put it at the forefront of the fashion industry. This chronological study traces the history of the esteemed couture houses of Paris, examining the role of the designer and the extraordinary craftsmanship behind the finished creations, the importance of haute couture in Parisian culture, and its influence in the wider international fashion industry. Particular attention is paid to the dualities present in modern haute couture-its sense of exclusivity and quasi-mythical mythical aura countered by an everincreasing reach into popular consciousness through perfumes, branding, and the media spectacle of fashion shows.This volume is richly illustrated with images of pieces created by truly exceptional designers. Various incarnations of Chanel's timeless, classic quilted handbag, Fath's charminglypatterned silk scarves, and Poiret's elegant perfume bottles demonstrate that haute couture encompasses far more than just clothing. From the delicate embroidery on a Worth garment, to the sculptural creations of Madame Grès, Parisian haute couture is a constantly evolving art. Fascinating archival photographs invite the reader into these exclusive Paris establishments, allowing us to glimpse the rarely-seen world that is Parisian haute couture.