Kanye West, seen here with fellow musician Brian Ferry, got a VIP pass to check out Lanvin's offerings for fashionable gents, before moving on to the haute couture collections
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Prince Albert's companion Charlene Wittstock attracted almost as much interest as some of the catwalk action
Photo: © PA

John Galliano delivered a modern take on Marie Antoinette's style, with a series of dazzling crinoline ball gowns
Photo: © Rex

Celebs get the scoop on next winter's fashion… and it's superluxe

27 JANUARY 2009
Watch video coverage of the haute couture shows

The jet set has for the most part proved immune to the credit crunch. So the front rows at the Paris fashion shows have been as glitterati-packed as ever, with rap star Kanye West checking out the Lanvin and Dior menswear collections, before moving on to haute couture, where a single dress can cost more than £200,000.

Joining the American performer was Prince Albert's girlfriend Charlene Wittstock - spotted along with Susan Sarandon at the Armani show - and burlesque star Dita Von Teese who, like Mischa Barton, was front row at Dior.

Extravagance was the key note at John Galliano for Christian Dior, where the catwalk was dominated by ultra-voluminous skirt suits and sculptured evening gowns, defined by boned hemlines.

Six ball gowns created for the show's finale were a case in point. Having taken upwards of 400 hours each to create, they would not have looked out of place at a garden party thrown by Marie Antoinette.

"My job is to make women dream," was how Galliano explained the sumptuous range. "Of course I'm aware of the credit crunch, but it is not a creative crunch — not at the house of Dior, anyway."

Nor is there one at Armani Prive, which presented 'a dream' of China, paying tribute to the emerging powerhouse in the slimline silhouette of its luminous silk skirt suits.

Pointed cuffs and shoulders on the jackets evoked pagoda roofs, while dresses were embellished with the tassles, sequins and beadwork found on much traditional Asian garb.

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