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Shop Key Trends From the Fall 2012 Haute Couture Shows

Though some might consider them inaccessible, irrelevant and outdated, the haute couture collections actually have a good amount of influence over the trends of the day. While the exact looks that make it down the Paris runways twice yearly might only be worn by a handful of lucky celebrities and private clients, the styles and silhouettes shown by these esteemed fashion houses often trickle down to the ready-to-wear collections—and, in turn, into stores and e-commerce destinations everywhere.

But you don't have to wait that long—many couture-minded looks are already available to buy right now, and for decidedly non-couture prices. Click through to learn about five standout trends we spotted at Fall 2012 couture week, and to shop some far more affordable iterations of each.

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From left: Dior, Chanel and Armani Privé

Ombré

Georgeous watercolors—and dusky, deeper shades as well—faded smoothly into one another on dresses and gowns. Click through to shop the look.

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From left: Giambattista Valli, Dior and Chanel

Florals

Unlike the bold, multicolored hothouse florals we've seen in the past, those shown at couture week were more subtle and tone-on-tone—but still embellished to the hilt. Click through to shop the look.

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From left: Elie Saab, Jean Paul Gaultier and Valentino

Sheer

I see London, I see France...in France. The shows brought tons of peek-a-boo designs crafted from translucent (and often heavily embellished) chiffon. Click through to shop the look.

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From left: Giambattista Valli, Alexis Mabille and Chanel

Dramatic Shoulder Ruffles

Extravagant, Elizabethan-style neck ruffles were a major trend, as were boldly ruffled shoulders. Click through to shop the look.

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From left: Dior, Atelier Versace and Elie Saab

Slit Skirts

Angelina would surely approve of couture's slit-up-to-there skirts and evening gowns. Click through to shop the look.

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