Best of the Fall 2012 Couture Shows

From Chanel's new vintage inspiration to Elie Saab's Byzantine-inspired collection, a look at the best from the Fall 2012 haute couture collections.

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CHANEL: Chanel Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld declared "new vintage" as the theme of this couture show. The house staged an indoor garden party complete with wicker seating in Paris' Grand Palais.
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CHANEL: The collection took its cues from the 1940s and had a color palette of pink, grey and black.
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CHANEL: A standout in the collection was a sequin jumpsuit that required hours of handwork on the part of the Chanel team.
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ARMANI PRIVE: While many designers use their couture collections to experiment with ideas, Giorgio Armani is clearly trying to appeal directly to the pocketbooks of his most privileged customers with this collection.
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ARMANI PRIVE: Items like pantsuits, easy trousers and lean cocktail dresses are wearable couture at its best.
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ARMANI PRIVE: Armani said he was inspired by the image of nightfall and the colors at dusk.
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CHRISTIAN DIOR: Expectations were high for Raf Simons' debut as creative director of Christian Dior particularly because his first collection would be couture.
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CHRISTIAN DIOR: The collection felt stripped down compared to the work of his predecessor, John Galliano, with many proclaiming Simons is moving couture in a modern direction.
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CHRISTIAN DIOR: Still, Simons took many cues from the Christian Dior archives, particularly from the designer's famous "New Look" silhouette.
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JEAN-PAUL GAULTIER: Jean-Paul Gaultier said the inspiration for his most recent couture collection was none other than Pete Doherty.
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JEAN-PAUL GAULTIER: While designers like Giorgio Armani and Raf Simons are moving couture in a wearable direction, Gaultier is still very much about the fantasy.
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JEAN-PAUL GAULTIER: There was a distinct Beaux Arts vibe to the collection, which closed with a signature wedding dress complete with a caged top hat.
GIAMBATTISTA VALLI: Giambattista Valli cited nymphs, fairies and silvery reflections in woodland ponds as the inspiration behind his most recent couture collection.
GIAMBATTISTA VALLI: Prints were the major statement of the collection including rose and green floral prints.
GIAMBATTISTA VALLI: This was only Valli's third couture collection, but he has already developed signatures like romantic Grecian gowns that his customers have come to expect each season.
GIVENCHY: Riccardo Tisci fused two influences with his most recent couture collection for Givenchy: 1960s references inspired by the work of Hubert de Givenchy and gypsies.
GIVENCHY: There were aristocratic statement gowns like this column gown with a mink top.
GIVENCHY: There were also softer, romantic statements in the collection including this black gown with an attached cape and gold lace detailing.
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ELIE SAAB: Lebanese designer Elie Saab called his most recent couture collection "Constantinople's Wake."
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ELIE SAAB: Saab culled from the Byzantine era, and most gowns were resplendent in thousands of beads, sequins and crystals.
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ELIE SAAB: Saab closed his show with a customary wedding dress that showed off the designer's skill at embellishments.
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VALENTINO: Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli took their cues from 19th C. romanticism this season.
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VALENTINO: The designers used crepe, chiffon, cashmere and brocade to create the collection, that while decadent, had somber undertones.
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VALENTINO: A standout was a gown in signature Valentino red.
VERSACE ATELIER: The latest Versace Atelier collection felt signature Versace, right down to the signature scarf prints the house is known for.
VERSACE ATELIER: The high-slitted, printed chiffon gowns recalled some of Versace's most memorable red carpet looks including the infamous green gown Jennifer Lopez wore to the Grammys in 2000.
VERSACE ATELIER: Expect to see a myriad of celebs in these gowns including Christina Hendricks, Lea Michelle and Elizabeth Banks, who all sat front row.
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