Haute Couture is no longer the luxurious entity that plays a vital role in fashion today but it is still associated with fashion, playing the sole factor before the 60's, when Couture garments were made for the Royals of Versailles.
Before the 1960's Haute couture garments were desirable although Parisian houses set the standard for all other forms of clothing once they allowed American retailers into their salons.
When the 60's recession hit, people couldn't afford luxuries and weren't willing to pay for expensive garments. The Paradigm had shifted which planted the seed to become more financially aware of what was being spent and the opportunity cost of buying expensive garments to those that were cheaper. It became more evident within the zeitgeist that people were more comfortable with the idea of paying less for garments.
However this doesn't conclude that Haute Couture is dead or irrelevant. It's relevant in that we use the idea as a form of inspiration and longing for that luxury that once was in society. We all might not be able to afford a $50,000 suit or gown but the idea of wearing expensive fabrics drives the mass market to create the knock offs that essentially keep couture alive. It makes it more marketable to a larger range audience thus giving light to Haute Couture as being the essence that supports the image that we all seek in fashion.