At Thierry Mugler tomorrow night, creative director Nicola Formichetti will be showing a short film courtesy of superstar photographer duo Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, with his friend and collaborator Lady Gaga in the star role and releasing a new soundtrack.

Thursday's Balenciaga show, meanwhile, designed by Nicolas Ghesquière, is likely to be a rather more elitist affair but among the fashion insider's collections of choice. Ghesquière, a tireless innovator, is thought to have turned down the top job at Dior.

At lunchtime on Friday, the spring/summer 2012 Dior ready-to-wear show is the hot ticket.

Paris is anything but parochial. The weekend will therefore be dominated by shows by the great Japanese triumvirate: Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons's Rei Kawakubo and Junya Watanabe. Expect dark colours and the anti-body-conscious silhouette all three names are known for, plus a certain degree of calm in the eye of the generally more frenetic storm.

Will Monday's Yves Saint Laurent show be Stefano Pilati's last? There are more than a few out there who hope that will not be the case. Pilati's understanding of the bourgeois French fashion tradition, coupled with his ability to move fashion forward, is widely recognised and respected.

On Tuesday evening, Alexander McQueen's Sarah Burton will unveil her first collection since she designed Catherine Middleton's wedding dress. Expect unparalleled craftsmanship with an edge.

The closing day of the Paris collections is ruled over by Louis Vuitton – designed by Marc Jacobs – and Miu Miu, Miuccia Prada's second line. Both are unmissable as far as establishing the mood of the forthcoming season is concerned.