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Unless you’re a very rich woman or Rihanna, the pleasures of haute couture are confined to what you can see in magazines or on the Web.

So it’s nice to be able to report that Paris provided some decent vittles, along with the visual bonbons. Credit mainly goes to Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel and Raf Simons of Dior, but the newcomer Iris van Herpen also stretched the mind.

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Raf Simons’s show for Dior challenged people’s ideas of haute couture concerning what’s new, what’s old and what’s original.

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Dior

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A molded-plastic dress by the newcomer Iris van Herpen.

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 Iris van Herpen.

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Versace beaded gowns.

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Versace

7-7-2013 2-14-59 PMMaison Martin Margiela

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Maison Martin Margiela

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Jean Paul Gaultier

7-7-2013 2-17-40 PMJean Paul Gautier

7-7-2013 2-18-22 PMJean Paul Gaultier

7-7-2013 2-19-27 PMJean Paul Gaultier

7-7-2013 2-20-37 PMViktor & Rolf Conceptual Couture

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Armani Privé evening wear in sequins and lace.

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7-7-2013 2-25-35 PMArmani Privé

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Valentino

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7-7-2013 2-22-35 PMChanel

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Here, Mr. Lagerfeld after Chanel’s show, which used a backdrop of a modern cityscape framed by a decrepit Paris theater.

Courtesy New York Times

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