Mabille and Margiela Awarded Haute Couture Status

The haute couture season has two official new members, thanks to a pronouncement earlier today from the Commission de Classement Couture Création. Alexis Mabille and Maison Martin Margiela have officially been grated haute couture appellation, reports, and will make their debut as full members at the upcoming couture collections, which run from January 21 through 24 in Paris.

To be included in this elite group, a label must by law meet a number of strict criteria, including a minimum number of looks per season, atelier size, and the creation of custom and handmade pieces. While most labels must show couture-level collections for five years before being awarded the coveted designation, Margiela was fast-tracked after just one of the brand’s “Artisanal” shows, a critically lauded collection featuring bejeweled face masks for fall; in contrast, Mabille has been showing at couture as a guest member since 2008.

As for the next class to join the ranks of Dior, Chanel, Gaultier, and now Margiela and Mabille, frontrunners include current “members invités” or invited guests like the much-watched Iris van Herpen, unisex designer Rad Hourani, and red-carpet favorite Zuhair Murad.

–Heather Corcoran

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Image: Alexis Mabille Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2012. AFP/Getty Images/Pierre Verdy