Perhaps surprisingly, I agree with SecondStarToTheRight's and most people's analysis.
FOR THE RECORD, though, everyone realizes that these dresses are works of art called HAUTE COUTURE, correct? In fashion, there is HAUTRE COUTURE, which is the over-the-top concept piece that is, literally, a work of art. This is the flagship, or "wow" piece you'd see often on the runway. It's not meant to be an everyday dress. There aren't that many Couture designers, and they're always called the "Haus" of. Armani, Jean Paul Gaultier, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Versace, and Valentino are the only ones I can think of. There's likely a handful more, but not that many more. Clothes are custom made and costs thousands and usually tens of thousands of dollars a piece. The clothes are made in NYC, Milan and Italy by the designer's team or the designer him or herself.
Then below that you have the label piece of your high-end WEARABLE piece. This is what's sold in Nordstrom's or Nieman Marcus and lawyers, doctors and wealthy brats wear these. They're essentially what's described below, but these pieces are often tailored to each person (tailoring is DIFFERENT than Couture, which is literally sewn and cut to fit you, and then additionally tailored).
Then below that you have Pret-a-Porter or READY TO WEAR. This is the money maker and is a trimmed down, slimmed down version usually carried by your big box chains (Macy's, Dillards, Mervyns, etc.). This is what most people wear on the street. These clothes are usually made in Asia with slave labor and available in size S, M, L, and XL.
So, yes, haute couture is over the top, which is precisely what it's supposed to be. Here's an example of a single dress in High Couture and Ready to Wear.
Here's a Haute Couture dress that is so cumbersome to wear, few people would pay money for such pain:
Here's the Pret a Porter inspired piece that people would wear to dinner on Saturday night: