Moss returns to the catwalk as a spectator for Burberry's birthday

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The Independent Online

Burberry's show last night in Milan was a celebration of its 150th anniversary - and the British label even managed to persuade Kate Moss, in her first high-profile public appearance since last September's cocaine scandal, to join the party.

Wearing a black backless dress and a quilted leather jacket, Moss arrived at her front-row seat to be bombarded by paparazzi, but seemed composed and cheerful, posing for pictures and whispering to her friend, the photographer Mario Testino, who sat alongside.

Burberry, along with H&M and Christian Dior, was one of the valuable advertising contracts that the supermodel lost as a result of the affair. Last night, the house wouldn't confirm if Moss's appearance was an indication that she might return to front their campaigns again.

Moss was questioned at a London police station last month over the cocaine allegations. She was not arrested or cautioned and police said inquiries were continuing. The model - who never gives interviews and is rarely seen in public - had stayed outside the UK since the images of her allegedly taking drugs at a Babyshambles studio session were printed. She checked into the Meadows rehabilitation clinic in Arizona after losing millions in modelling contracts.By inviting Moss to their show, Burberry, which has grown to become one of the most buoyant British luxury goods brands, showed it wanted to pull out all the stops for this anniversary collection. And, once the hubbub surrounding Moss finally receded, Burberry's designer Christopher Bailey sent out a strong show that focussed on luxurious interprations of the company's signature trenchcoats, in gold lamé, houndstooth and white lace.

Bucking the autumn trend elsewhere in Milan Fashion Week for sober clothing, Dolce & Gabbana set out their plans for global domination yesterday with a collection inspired by Napoleon Bonaparte and his lovers.

First, to a soundtrack of pounding house music, they tackled the vintage military jacket. This is not, of course, a new idea - Marc Jacobs kick-started the trend four years ago and it has lingered ever since - but a proven commercial hit. And, given the many variations that D&G put on their catwalk yesterday - shearling, or fire-engine red wool, then pale blue ostrich skin and finally a confection of mink and feathers - this collection aimed to have the last word on that jacket.

Done with parade-ground tailoring - and matching handbags trimmed with gilt braid - the duo then turned their attention to another important target for any self-respecting luxury label in Milan: the red carpet. Woven in among the martial looks, there were pretty empire-line dresses, cut from slivers of sheer chiffon or jewel-coloured panne velvet. But it was with a finale of full-length crystal - or pearl-encrusted Josephine gowns - that delivered them victory. Of course, these dresses were Oscar-worthy - two weeks ahead of the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, who could expect anything less - but the standards of embellishment were on a par with haute couture, too.

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