Amber, Armani's autumn gem

Giorgio Armani presented his new autumn-winter collection yesterday to an A-list crowd for Paris Haute Couture fashion week. His Privé collection was based on the amber gemstone, using its every shade, from sandalwood to gold. There were lustrous evening gowns and tweed skirt-suits.

Blazers glistened with gold and silver threads, featuring extended shoulders and fastened wood-and-tassel "talisman" buttons, over fit-and-flare skirts to the knee. Cashmere coats were fastened at the throat with small leather straps. Cocktail dresses were clasped at the neck so as to appear like sarongs, in silk jersey, often piped in leather, or accessorised with crocodile.

Front-row celebrity spectators included the Bond girl, Gemma Arterton, the Italian actress Claudia Cardinale, as well as Claire Danes, Isabelle Huppert, Olivia Palermo, Roxane Mesquida, and the style icon and millionairess, Daphne Guinness.