Transplanted Trees, Paper Kingdoms, and Flames: The Best Fashion Week Set Design

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A model walks the runway at the McQ Alexander McQueen Autumn/Winter 2012 show at London Fashion Week at Old Sorting Office on February 20, 2012 in London, England. Alessandro Lucioni/Imaxtree, Mike Marsland/WireImage Photo: Mike Marsland

For all but the most devout purists, the factors that dictate a fashion show’s impact go well beyond the clothes. The music, lighting, setting, special effects, and color palette create an effect more akin to theater or performance art. Fashion week productions have become increasingly elaborate over the years for many labels, justifying sprawling sets and exorbitant shipping costs. This season, McQ imported thousands of fallen leaves, Marc Jacobs built an eerie, whimsical kingdom from paper in a week, and Rick Owens backed his runway in a wall of flames. Click ahead to view the most impressive set designs from New York, London, Milan, and Paris. Who delivered the best Fashion Week spectacle?