There’s nothing worse than showing up to a party wearing the same dress as another guest. But what about seeing a movie star wearing a dress on the red carpet that you paid $100,000 for and thought was one-of-a-kind?
No, it’s not exactly a relatable problem, but Christine Chiu, a Beverly Hills socialite, wife of prominent plastic surgeon Gabriel Chiu and major buyer of haute couture tells the Hollywood Reporter that it often happens to her. “A few years ago, there was a Chanel dress that I was putting a deposit on and I saw Jessica Chastain wearing it at an Oscar event and thought, ‘I don’t want the sloppy seconds.’ Not that anyone would call couture sloppy.” Her approach to dealing with this problem? “I now look at the celebrity photos and ask, ‘Can I do it better?’ If my answer is yes, I’ll go for it, but if Gisele [Bundchen] wore it, then screw that, find me another piece!”
Haute couture is the most expensive and rare type of clothing, and there is only one of each piece. Hence, the clothes’ exorbitant prices. However, designers will often lend the clothes to movie stars for free as a way to bring exposure to their brand.
Chiu says she buys something at each haute couture show she attends, so that she’ll be sure to be invited back next year, and while that practice may carry with it a major (MAJOR) price tag, she and her husband have learned how to profit off the shows. By tracking what styles of clothes are popular, the couple says they can predict what the next big plastic surgery trends will be as well. If gowns are backless, for instance, people are going to want liposuction of their bra-line; this season’s focus on shoulders means people want to smooth over their skin in those areas.
We guess that makes sense; if you spent $100,000 on a gown, you better be sure it looks good. [HR]