Our Favorite Set Designs from Paris Couture Week

See how Karl Lagerfeld, Raf Simons, and Giambattista Valli set the stage for their latest fashion presentations

Last week, gangs of models, fashion editors, and photographers made their seasonal pilgrimage to the City of Light, eager to review the Spring 2015 Couture collections. Never underestimating the power of ambiance and environment, four haute designers took their runways above and beyond, setting stages to transport their audiences and strengthen their fantastical stories for the season ahead.

Couture Week Runway Set Design
via Instagram @dior

Designer Raf Simons led his Dior troupe down a spiral of psychedelic scaffolding to a soundtrack of David Bowie, a major muse to the collection. A powder pink runway surrounded by mirrored walls and ceilings complemented the glam-rock vibes of Simons's sequined-and-striped handiwork.

Couture Week Runway Set Design
via Instagram @dior

Fellow fashion junkies and seamstresses: you won't want to miss Refinery 29's behind-the-scenes video of the Dior atelier in action. I've seriously never had a greater appreciation for pleats. 

Couture Week Runway Set Design
via Instagram @antoniachang

Karl Lagerfeld got crafty as he guided Chanel models through a tropical paper-cut garden. The blooms and branches were in fact motorized, brought to life by model Baptiste Giabiconi as he sprinkled them with water from a Chanel-stamped watering can. But of course.

Couture Week Runway Set Design
via Instagram @neimanmarcus

Whether or not it was Lagerfeld's intent, the environment felt like a timely ode to artist Henri Matisse, whose celebrated cut-outs have been on display at MoMA since October. (The show closes next Tuesday the 10th.) Rumors say it took the Chanel crew six months to produce the hundreds of flowers surrounding the runway.

Couture Week Runway Set Design
via Instagram @maisonvalentino

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, the design forces behind Maison Valentino, sent their gowns down a picturesque tunnel of peach silk chiffon.

Couture Week Runway Set Design
via Instagram @tinaleung

The blush drapery and ornate candelabras hung above complimented the floor-sweeping silhouettes of velvet and intricate appliqués mastered throughout the romantic series.

Couture Week Runway Set Design
via Insta @giambattistapr

Italian designer Giambattista Valli, who is celebrating a decade since the debut of his first runway collection in 2005, marked the milestone with a rainbow of stunning gowns presented atop geometric rugs. 

Valli's costumes brought two infamous fashion icons to the present day, juxtaposing the styles of Janis Joplin and Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel. Think LBD's with "Psychedelic Soul"; Coco's signature black bow, plus Joplin's penchant for a cocktail dress worn over trousers. 

Couture Week Runway Set Design
via Instagram @giambattistapr

Angular mirrors floated above abstract floral rugs, which were outlined in a graphic border and puzzle-pieced together down the wide hallway. This geometric stage echoed the edgy sophistication of each costume, helping to deliver the feminine modernity that Valli has become known for into one pretty package. 

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