In the United States, fashion is a $298 billion dollar market; the industry employs 180,000 people in New York City alone. It's also 1) a vital element of pop culture 2) an effective vehicle for Internet controversy and 3) a reflection of our society.
With so much at stake — the money, the business, the personalities, the celebrities, the reality shows, the scandals — it's easy to forget what fashion is really about: beautiful clothing. But last week at the Paris Haute Couture shows, we were treated to exactly that: pieces that were so exquisitely cut and sublimely detailed, they restored our faith in the whole rigmarole.
Below, we've pulled eighty breathtaking close-up shots. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
(Pssst: It's even better in fullscreen.)