Harem pants are long, baggy pants that are fitted at the ankle. They were originally known as a harem skirt and were introduced to western fashion circles in 1910 by the Parisian designer, Paul Poiret. Harem pants were inspired by Middle Eastern styles that date back much further that the early 20th century, however. At the time, the Harem pant was considered a controversial way of introducing trousers into a woman’s wardrobe. Poiret was inspired by images of the harems of sultans to create a style that was as shocking as it was liberating.
Haute Couture is a much-misused phrase that actually has very specific rules for qualification. Translated literally, couture is French for dressmaking, while haute means high. These are garments created as one off pieces for a specific client. 19th century Englishman Charles Frederick Worth is considered as the father of Haute Couture and today members are selected by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. To qualify as an official Haute Couture house, members must design made-to-order clothes for private clients, with more than one fitting, using an atelier (workshop) that employs at least fifteen fulltime staff. They must also have twenty fulltime technical workers in one of their workshops. Finally, Haute Couture houses must present a collection of no less than 50 original designs — both day and evening garments — to the public every season, in January and July.
Hems lie at the end of a piece of cloth, where the fabric has been folded and sewn into place to prevent the material from fraying or loosing its shape. The process of hemming uses small, nearly invisible stitches to catch the fabric and hold it securely in place. A hem’s length also often defines the silhouette of the entire outfit, from mini to maxi.