For a very, very long time, the couture shows have basically been irrelevant to the rest of the fashion world. Couture shows were a publicity stunt, and with pieces at such ridiculous prices the market for the actual clothing was tiny - basically all customers were from Brazil, Russia, India and China, otherwise known as the BRIC nations. The spectacular shows often made a loss, this only being offset by the brand's perfume and cosmetics sales.
However, with the appointment of Raf Simons at Dior and the perenially cool Versace being a relatively new addition to the couture calendar, I can actually see couture having an influence on mainstream fashion. Yes, the prices and small market will remain the same, but I see pret-a-porter designers and the high street lifting ideas from these shows and taking them forward into everyday pieces.
Nowadays social media is the best - and easiest - way to gauge the hype from a certain event or happening, and these were Twitter's trending topics today straight after the Dior show (discount the Doritos one as that's a sponsored topic). Not bad considering couture's previously stuffy image: