The 14 Most Stunning Dresses From Couture Fashion Week

Photo: MCV Photo.
Couture collections occupy the most rarefied space in fashion — not many of us, after all, will ever need to take a custom-crafted Dior out for a spin. But, for all their jaw-dropping fanciness, our favorite dresses from fall '14 Couture were Trojan horses that hid plenty of kooky touches beneath their layers of tulle and hand embroidery.
Ahead, we pay tribute to the most stunning dresses of couture fashion week — and we promise, there's not a fishtail-hem snoozer in the bunch. Read on for 14 gowns that, while beautiful, will look delightfully out of place at the red carpets and crillon balls of the world. In some cases, that means creations made out of actual red carpets...
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Alexis Mabille
Mabille's dress feels feminine, without being frou-frou — no easy feat when you're juggling a bias cut and ruffly tiers of fabric.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Chanel
Strong shoulders, structure, and metallic shine made this Chanel creation feel equal parts armor and dress (matching bermudas helpfully included for those who like to bike in their couture).
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Christian Dior
Layering a romantic, off-shoulder bodice atop a sporty tank silhouette and a lighter-than-air-looking skirt — consider this Raf Simons' version of alchemy.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Armani Privé
From the front, this subdued black satin gown gains mystery and dimension from its halo of red-flecked netting. From the side, suddenly you're walking in a cloud of magic, lit by fireflies (or, in this case, ladybugs). What a difference an angle makes.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Maison Martin Margiela
The "make it rain" dress may have gotten more ink, but we're also quite partial to this dress featuring a way better use of Van Gogh irises than a wall calendar.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Zuhair Murad
Proof that a one doesn't need length for drama, Murad's '80s-inflected, side-gathered gown is the world's most perfect cocktail dress.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Giambattista Valli
Valli takes the fuss out of floor-length, feathery tulle by topping it with a no-nonsense poplin shirt, shades, and a '40s-style head scarf. It's all very Rosie The Riveter Goes Couture.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Elie Saab
It may not totally reinvent the wheel, but it's hard to argue that Elie Saab's sweeping, cloudy floral-print gown gown isn't breathtaking.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Schiaparelli
We love that Marco Zanini's second collection for Schiaparelli didn't hold back on the kook (harlequin-print clutches and clown hats, anyone?). Here, kook marries classic with a big-bustle gown printed with those pesky pigeons that should look familiar to any New Yorker.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Ulyana Sergeenko
We love the sporty-fancy combination of this sheer, embroidered halter-neck top that cascades into a gorgeous, gray-gradient skirt.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Valentino
Classical references pervaded Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli's collection, but this wheat-sheaf on sheer organza dress was especially stunning (we'll take those high-lacing sandals, too).
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Atelier Versace
Donatella Versace's '50s-flavored collection reached its fullest realization in this floor-length satin stunner — that still comes equipped with the time-honored Versace bondage-and-buckles motifs.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Viktor & Rolf
The bulk of Viktor & Rolf's "bath-mat-chic" collection was, perhaps, not destined for the socialites of the world. But, the fuzzy red pile makes for an eye-catching textural accent atop a bow-tied gown.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Vionnet
The slightly eerie, three-dimensional spine feels as daring and conceptual as anything Hussein Chalayan's ever designed. But, curving it around a sensual, floor-length gown feels like pure Vionnet.
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