This past week, fashion's cognoscenti gathered in the City of Lights for one of the most elegant and extravagant events of the year. Paris Fall 2011 Couture Week featured designers' breathtaking visions, painstakingly created by teams of couturiers, seamstresses, and beadworkers who spent hours sewing and embellishing every last bit of feather, lace, and trim on the lavishly constructed looks that walked the runways. These are fashion's fantasy moments, played out in shows like Chanel's glittering Parisian starry-night spectacle and Giambattista Valli's well-received (and well-attended) debut couture collection. Only a few get a chance to witness it all firsthand, but we take you there. From the front row to the backstage, from the behind-the-scenes finishing touches to the grand finale-here is the definitive look at this year's show-stopping haute couture season.
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