Paris fashion house chiefs change clothes

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At a reception hosted by British Vogue at the British embassy in Paris on Sunday night, the mood was buoyant. As Paris Fashion Week came to a close, the industry heard that John Galliano will head the house of Dior, after only three seasons at Givenchy, and that his fellow British bad boy, Alexander McQueen is to succeed him at Givenchy after only eight seasons in business. Our home-grown designers now lead the established French couture houses.

There are, of course, a few gaps on the British front. Another job that had been up for grabs - designing a line of new luxury clothing for Louis Vuitton - will not go to Vivienne Westwood, as rumoured, but the American designer, Marc Jacobs. And, the most successful of all the houses, Chanel, still has Karl Lagerfeld at the helm.

Yesterday, at the show, the disco dollybirds with matted wigs posed from a moving walkway that seemed as long as those you find at Heathrow Airport. First there were smart riding suits with crisp white shirts, black ties and jodhpurs, all reminiscent of the outfits that Coco Chanel used to wear.

Then came suits made from the sort of pastel prints that are usually reserved for make-up bags, and worn with patent leather trainers produced in bright girlie colours.

The outfits whizzed past on the conveyor belt fast and furious, ranging from leather hot-pants, to a baby-blue, tiered and beaded dress.

There was a Fifties plisse prom dress, finely knitted sweater dresses and then classic Chanel suits in sparkly boucle wool.

The silhouette was long and lean and the presentation snappy, upbeat and funny.

Paris, The Tabloid, page 8