• Karl Lagerfeld’s garden paradise at Chanel, photographed by Pascal Le Segretain/GettyImages

  • It’s a maze thing at Raf Simons’ Christian Dior show, photographed by Rindoff/Dufour/GettyImages

  • Giambattista Valli’s coterie of couture beauties, photographed by Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho

“The sky’s the limit” — it’s a cliché, yes, but one that’s apt in describing couture week, that tiny slice of the fashion calendar where designers’ dreams go unfettered. The Paris shows, which wrapped up yesterday, were pure have-to-see-it-to-believe-it spectacles. Where else could you find a runway with a (faux) floral paradise, right out of a children’s book, where each bloom mechanically blossomed, like we did at Chanel? Or instead of a fantasy garden, a sci-fi-like labyrinthine maze — from pink-carpeted floor to high, high ceiling — made from stairs and scaffolding, like at Christian Dior? Only at couture could we see seemingly divergent cultural icons Coco Chanel and Janis Joplin go head to head, like at Giambattista Valli — who was inspired by the 2012 Prada-Schiaparelli Impossible Conversations exhibit at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art — and have it work, beautifully so. And we haven’t even gotten around to the clothes, which were reveries all their own — exquisitely crafted, breathtaking and brilliant confections of design skill and bravado. Sure, most of us might not be able to plunk down the cash for couture finery, but a girl can dream, non?”