For those who still go to shows, they have French Vogue's editor, Joan Juliet Buck, to thank for good timekeeping. Fashion shows always run late. Ever since supermodels first tip-tapped down catwalks, an invitation for 2pm has meant 2.30pm, even 3pm. Punctuality and fashion have not gone hand in hand. But this season, a move spearheaded by Ms Buck was meant to ensure that shows started on time. Any show starting more than 30 minutes late would provoke a walk out. No one walked from the Chloe show, designed by the powerful Karl Lagerfeld, despite a 50 minute delay. But poor Rifat Ozbek's tardiness provoked a walkout, as did Vivienne Westwood's, the latter to a chorus of hissing and booing from the Brits.

But the test case was mega-advertiser Chanel, also designed by Lagerfeld. "Start on time, or we'll walk", JJB had allegedly told Karl. "Walk and we will withdraw all our advertising (worth hundreds of thousands) from your magazine," she was allegedly told in return. The show started just eight seconds before deadline.

Meanwhile, other designers blamed tardy journalists. Pierre Berg, the power behind the throne of Yves Saint Laurent, was waiting for no one. "We will start the show at 11 o'clock precisely" (as stated on the invitation), he told the audience who had turned up ahead of time. Those banking on the 30 minute leeway were caught out. Janie Samet, fashion editor for Le Figaro and one of the most powerful journalists in France, was seen scurrying to her seat just as evening wear, marking the half-way point of the show, appeared.