The Couture Project

A digital journey - in app and virtual reality - to the heart of fashion

The term ‘haute couture’ translates literally as ‘high sewing’, but means so much more. Indeed, the phrase conjures up images of one of the most exceptional and specialised industries and art forms in the world. The true nature of haute couture clothing ensures that everything is created by hand, employing techniques often centuries old.

In collaboration with InkPix Media Founders and Directors, James Fairclough and Harry Farnham, and Joana Granero, Founder and Director of Fashion & Cinema, the proposed app and virtual reality experience, The Couture Project, will be completely interactive and explore the world of haute couture, its place as a business model in the fashion industry, its influence on twenty-first-century culture, and the highly-skilled and often secretive techniques employed to create the world’s most unique and influential clothing.

Haute Couture Techniques

A special feature of The Couture Project will be the exploration of the atelier techniques, many passed down verbally over the course of decades and centuries. The app will feature filmed masterclasses and written material in easily accessible sections to illustrate and chronicle these fundamental techniques in areas such as braiding, embroidery, beading, textile design, millinery, etc. And this record will ensure these traditions are kept as a legacy for future generations.

The Couture Project app will contain a wealth of wide-ranging content featuring:

  • Interviews with international haute couture designers
  • Filmed masterclasses with leading technicians in their area of expertise, including: braiding, beading, textile and fabric creation, jewelry, accessories, millinery, cobblers, discovering the ateliers and techniques working in collaboration with haute couture design houses.
  • 3D models of some of the works, allowing the user to experience the pieces in high detail.
  • Interviews and specially commissioned accessible written material from leading teachers, historians, and practitioners in the fashion industry, and also drawing on the expertise of fashion institutions.
  • Glossaries of terms and brief biographies in pop up format throughout the app, as well as at the end; suggested reading lists
  • Historically important footage of key fashion shows, collection presentations, and interviews from earlier decades
  • Valuable and historically important illustrations from archival sources: sketches, photographs from collections; material illustrating techniques

Alongside the app will be a series of podcasts that will be a pinnacle within the thriving podcast community concerning haute couture and will serve as a beacon for the depth and quality of the material.

The Couture Project VR House will contain a wealth of wide-ranging content featuring:

  • The VR experience will be a digital ‘Couture House’ with the users being able to choose from a selection of exceptional VR experiences.
  • Watch the journey from conception to creation of a haute couture piece; we will film, in full 360, the extraordinary processes that bring together these iconic works of art.
  • We will create a fashion show and exhibition like no other, filmed in reality but only viewable in virtual reality.
  • Featuring a collection of haute couture dresses that have rarely been seen in public and never seen together, and with specially commissioned music and virtual architecture, our experience will be as thrilling and opulent as any New York or Paris runway show.
  • The viewer will be able to step inside the workshops where the dresses are made and see in unprecedented detail the work that goes into haute couture as though they were actually in the room themselves.
  • It will also be very easy to take the VR Experience on tour around the world in pop-up spaces timed to coincide with the numerous fashion weeks that become magnets for the fashionista crowd throughout the year.
  • We plan to release a paid app version on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive after the initial run of the exhibition. There will also be a more limited version available for free to the tens of millions of Google Cardboard and Samsung GR users out there.