The Most Opulent Creations From the Fall 2017 Couture Collections

Lavandar puff pastries from Giambattista Valli and clouds of bubbles from Iris Van Herpen.

Giambattista Valli
(Photo: Courtesy Giambattista Valli).
Armani Privé
(Photo: Courtesy Armani Privé).
Christian Dior Haute Couture
(Photo: Getty Images).
Alberta Ferretti Limited Edition
(Photo: Courtesy Alberta Ferretti).
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Schiaparelli Haute Couture
(Photo: Getty Images).
J Mendel
(Photo: Courtesy J Mendel).
Atelier Versace
(Photo: Courtesy Atelier Versace).
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Viktor & Rolf
(Photo: Getty Images).
Maison Margiela Haute Couture
(Photo: Courtesy Maison Margiela Haute Couture).
Iris Van Herpen
(Photo: Getty Images).
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Ulyana Sergeenko
(Photo: Getty Images).
Elie Saab
(Photo: Getty Images).
Valentino
(Photo: Getty Images).
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Chanel Haute Couture
(Photo: Getty Images).

A cloud of bubbles, a lavender pastry puff, a field of flowers. All of the aforementioned phrases could be used to describe euphoric moments in life, but they also represent the most lavish dresses that graced the Couture runways in Paris this season. For the record, they explain (in order) designs by Iris Van Herpen, Giambattista Valli and Elie Saab.

As each of the fanciful frocks, jumpsuits or jackets were created by hand, the opulence of these designs is astounding. Especially considering that some of the ranges (ahem, Valentino) contained 62 looks. Keeping in mind Chanel’s feathered train and Viktor & Rolf’s exuberantly decorated trench coat, Observer whittled each collection down to the most intriguing, delightful and opulent pieces. And that includes exactly one embellished riding helmet.

Something to note is that designers Iris Van Herpen and J Mendel are simply guests on the Couture calendar. Neither designer has received accreditation from the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture to be called a coutourier, but regardless, it is still an honor to show during this week in Paris.

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