Taking its name from the haute couture fashion beloved of its followers, this subset of Goth blows away the stereotype that Goths are anti-fashion... and that fashion is anti-Goth. Also known as Couture Gothic or simply Goth couture, Haute Gothic could be considered the next step up from corporate Goth, but also requires a rather flexible budget for the devoted fashionista. High fashion doesn't come cheap, y'know.
Currently the most popular hybrid of Goth and high fashion is nu-Goth, aka post-punk Goth or hipster Goth, which has actually been met with disdain by many in the scene due to its popularity as a mainstream fashion trend. This is because it's almost becoming impossible to tell which Sisters-of-Mercy-T-shirt-cross-necklace-ripped-tights-and-boots-wearers are Goths with an interest in fashion and which are the infamous, growing breed of 'hipsters in black', aka 'the new mallgoths'. Better dressed than the eyeliner-besmeared originals, perhaps, but no less tedious.
Haute Gothic, whilst also taking many of its aesthetic cues from high fashion, is a very different entity than the pared-down, bleak, almost grungy nu-Goth style. It takes the decadence and opulence so rife within the subculture and combines it with the smart tailoring of corpgoth - absolutely no rips here. And whilst it is usually black, not necessarily; Alex Box from Illamasqua says, "I like to play with more concepts of what Gothic is, things like Goth Couture. I will wear a completely white Armani suit with a faux fur coat but still have my hair and make-up in those trademark Goth styles."
You can read more about Goth's relationship with high fashion in a previous post, here.
Goth couture lovers tend to be fond of classic Goth music; these are usually an older generation of Goths who grew up visiting the Batcave and became high-powered corporate types (quite possibly working in the field of fashion) to help fund their fashion obsession and Gothy nights out. You may find them tuning into Siouxie, The March Violets, Joy Division, Rosetta Stone, Bauhaus, The Sisters and all those other infamous trad Goth bands.
Oh, and, um... I don't suppose I've mentioned the Goth Guide's first giveaway will be posted tomorrow, in case you felt yourself in desperate need of some stuff handmade by yours truly? In honour of World Goth Day (this coming Sunday) of course!