Couture Fashion Week is all about extremes: breathtakingly beautiful gowns commingled with grandiose, sense-defying haute messes. And with our jaws permanently locked in the dropped position, it can be hard to absorb anything beyond face value. But as with any piece of art — be it in a museum or on a catwalk — the designers do have something to tell us, embedded though it may be in an explosion of tulle and lace.
To that end, we pored through pics from Paris’s fall 2010 shows to see what take-home messages came down the runway, and how we could apply even the merest hint of couture style to our normal-people wardrobes. (Well, aside from the fact that apparently we’re allowed to hollow out a department-store mannequin and wear it as a shirt. Instant firm abs, no gym membership required. Brilliant.) Click ahead to see what we’re going to be sneaking into our closet, ranging from the legit to the truly lunatic.