Tight grip on waists by Lacroix

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Do not be alarmed by the hourglass figure shown by Christian Lacroix at his Paris haute couture show yesterday. These are clothes for women, not waifs, and all you need is a corset and supple bones. Most women would be happy to achieve a 28-inch waist, let alone an 18-inch one and the Lacroix customer will be forsaking liposuction for a girdle.

To accentuate the tiny waists, shoulders were narrow with leg-of-mutton sleeves which were tight but gently flared at the cuff. Skirts were short, landing an inch above the knee. It was a mix of belle epoque and 40s elegance with a touch of Mae West. Counterbalancing the waist was big hair, back-combed into huge manes. There was just enough sparkle with magnified fish scales in gold. Taffeta was woven with steel - you need strong shoulders to support these clothes.

Sulky tattooed model Eve Salvail actually smiled as she stepped down the runway wearing a plastic rain mac embossed with gold filigree.

Lacroix, who sold 20 corseted wedding dresses last year, finished with a heavenly vision. The bridal gown was encrusted with jewels and sequins and carried a train with five layers of ruffles.

(Photograph omitted)