From the Byzantine opulence of Elie Saab, which dripped with lace and black tulle, to the gold-framed couture of Jean Paul Gaultier; the collections as Paris Haute Couture autumn/winter 2012 once again played on the imagination. In a flight of fashion fancy – elaborate bodices, ruffled chiffon and pearlised embroidery hinted at a winter wonderland for this year.
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As the haute couture fashion shows have started in Paris this week, with the glitterati gathering on the front rows to peer at these art works, we wanted to know, where exactly did haute couture begin? As we discover, its fascinating history provides a background to this beautiful spectacle of fashion.