Ladylike Kate sparkles in rare return to catwalk
The set of Louis Vuitton's spring-summer 2012 show -- a gleaming white merry-go-round with a cast of fresh-faced models astride its horses -- was somehow the perfect metaphor for fashion itself: an industry in constant motion where everything eventually comes back around.
The new collection afforded fashionistas an opportunity to see one of the industry's best known faces when Kate Moss made a rare return to the catwalk, giving added glamour.
Yesterday's ready-to-wear collection saw the return of the polite, ladylike dressing of the early 1960s, with demure skirt suits in a pretty palette of pastels.
Although it was a radical departure from Vuitton's fetishist wares of last season, spring-summer's polite wardrobe was nothing terribly new: the label served up similarly retro ladylike styles just a couple of seasons ago.
Featherlight organza wrapping enveloped dresses and skirts in laser-cut lace with oversized daisies, sometimes embellished with sparkling rhinestone centres. Round lace collars gave a school-girlish touch to the sweaters and shirts.
Designer Marc Jacobs played with the volumes, sending out skirts with stiff pleats in front. The sole faux pas was an abbreviated babydoll dress.
Most of the girls carried handbags, the historic luggage-maker's bread and butter, and sparkling little tiaras topped off the looks.
It's not often that a show scores a round of enthusiastic applause before it's even begun, but that's what happened when the giant round scrim that shrouded the catwalk lifted to reveal the life-sized merry-go-round, models on all its 48 white horses.
One by one, they hopped down from their perches and traced a circle round the spinning carousel, like demoiselles out for a stroll in a Paris park, before disappearing backstage.