Ready-to-wear, or prêt-à-porter, clothes are a cross between haute couture and mass market. They are not made for individual customers, but great care is taken in the choice and cut of the fabric. Clothes are made in small quantities to guarantee exclusivity, so they are rather expensive. Ready-to-wear collections are usually presented by fashion houses each season during a period known as Fashion Week. This takes place on a citywide basis and occurs twice a year. The main seasons of Fashion Week include: spring/summer, fall/winter, resort, swim, and bridal.
"Last year was all about the midi dress, but for A/W 19, it's all about the minidress," says Laura Larbalestier, Group Fashion Buying Director at Harvey Nichols. "We have exciting new launches at Harvey Nichols from Retrofete, Rotate and Giuseppe di Morabito, which all involve impactful looks with mini hemlines." Newbie labels are clearly backing shorter hemlines, but the trend also has the strong support coming in from the industry's sassiest established fashion houses, such as Saint Laurent: Anthony Vaccarello's vision for the French brand was nothing if not a total lesson in getting your legs out.
So many fashion houses have adopted certain features for clothing, which later on become their business cards. It seems simple at first sight, but looking into it, we realize that those are the characteristics that make those brands stand out. Examples of such can be the following: black and red lace in Dolce and Gabbana collections, expressive asymmetry in Antonio Berardi clothes and so on.
After working for Dior, Schiaparelli and Paquin, Pierre Cardin opened his fashion house in 1947. Initially designing costumes for stage productions, he launched his first women’s couture collection in 1953 and women’s ready-to-wear in 1959. Cardin’s company grew into an empire starting in the 1960s when he began licensing his name to a wide array of products outside of clothing.