Somewhere along the line, a runway ceased to be a place to view the next collection and came closer to being an out-of-body experience. From the lit basketball courts of Givenchy to the soothing symmetry of Prada, each year is an attempt to go bigger, bolder, and more lavish than the last. The runway creates the ideal world where the clothes belong, before they are translated into street style and shown on the same bland red carpet.
The Fashion Set: The Art of the Fashion Show, out July 31 from Roads Publishing, compiles the most extravagant runways, from Fendi on the Great Wall of China to the facsimile rain forest created by DSquared2. Click ahead to see the waterfalls, chandeliers, and antlers.