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Julia Robson, a writer for the Telegraph UK, muses in an article published today that the couture climate might be changing. She reports that in 2009, she began to notice that the women in the front-row seats were becoming younger and younger, and this season's Paris shows have been no different. She describes this group of girls as "younger, more fashion-conscious, hailing from emerging rich nations and, as with all couture customers, hungry for the very best clothes money can buy."
At this season's shows, she points out that just about the "entire front rows" at Stéphane Rolland, Zuhair Murad and Giorgio Armani were made up of young women from the Middle and Far East. Two girls that she met from Qatar, (a 21-year-old named Bobor al Thani and her 23-year-old sister Maha) were discussing couture wedding dresses at the Zuhair Murad show. Zuhair did Maha's wedding dress, and her sister said that she "can't wait to get married so he can do mine." And here most of us will settle for Kleinfeld.
And since you've got to go where the money is, Robson points out that this is why some of today's couture designers are stronger than others. She adds that one of the reason's Riccardo Tisci could snag the Dior spot is because "he has brought in so many young, super-rich clients." And of course, there's Karl Lagerfeld, who has managed to keep Chanel's couture contemporary and hip (there were neon-lit shoes this season), and who has also managed to keep ready-to-wear Chanel from being the tweed suit your great aunt wore to the brand that a Gossip Girl is the ambassador of. And once Blake Lively is involved, you know that the demographic is a changin'.
· Paris Haute Couture: the new breed of young clients [Telegraph UK]