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History of Haute Couture Fashion (Weekend)

History of Haute Couture Fashion (Weekend)

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Pigalle Tavakkoli


Charting the evolution of Haute Couture since the inception of the House of Worth in 1858, and how the art of original design coupled with the highest of skills came to dominate fashion through most of the 20th century, elevating couturiers into famous public figures.

You will explore the role of the designer and the extraordinary craftsmanship behind the finished creations, the importance of haute couture in Parisian culture, and its influence on the wider international fashion industry. You will also look behind the scenes to uncover the relationship between couture houses and associated ateliers with their heritage of traditional craftsmanship, such as embroidery, pleating and featherworking, to understand how this is being preserved in a modern world. You will also examine the challenges contemporary designers face in keeping handmade traditional couture relevant in an age dominated by fast changing trends and mass consumerism.

Course level All Levels

Who is the course aimed at?
All levels are welcome from enthusiasts, students, researchers, fashion historians and designers.

On this course
You will develop as a researcher, critical thinker and communicator. You will broaden your historical knowledge and be inspired by the potential to incorporate the skills of haute couture into your own studies, practice or work.

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Tutor Description

Pigalle Tavakkoli originally worked extensively in the fashion industry, as Studio Assistant for Alexander McQueen before going on to run her own label designing high end womenswear for boutiques worldwide. She went on to work as Creative Assistant to Jasmine Di Milo, Marketing Manager for designers such as Lezley George, and project managed lookbooks for Benetton and Levi's Vintage Clothing.

Pigalle is now established as a Creative Producer with over a decade’s expertise in designing experiences which merge art and science. She develops immersive environments which place audiences at the heart of the narrative. She has worked for leading cultural organisations such as the V&A, National Portrait Gallery, Wellcome Collection, and multi-arts festivals such as Latitude, Wilderness and Secret Garden Party. She has also developed experiential activations for brands such as Marmite, Yo! Sushi, Cinzano, and communications campaigns for the English National Ballet and the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Pigalle has been running the Experience Design short course at Central Saint Martins (CSM) with Susanne Buck for 6 years. Their joint expertise includes Experience Design, Audience, Participation, Story and Narrative. Pigalle is a visiting lecturer for London College of Communications.

Further work can be seen on hter website:



Please bring with you to the first session:

  • Pen
  • Notebook

Available dates

If no dates are showing then please Enquire about this course and we will contact you when new dates are published.