In what seemed more of a nod to front-row guest, the burlesque artiste Dita Von Teese, Gaultier sent out the plus-sized Paris-based American model and actress Velvet d'Amour, 39, in a satin corset and negligee. The rest of his collection was on a "workout" theme, an athletic wear-inspired collection of silk track pants, hooded sweat tops and dresses.
Australian Gemma Ward modelled in the same show on Tuesday, a week after industry gossip whispered that she had missed the Milan shows because she had put on weight and not because she was reading for a third new film project in Los Angeles.
"Gemma's not a fatty, let me tell you," said d'Amour afterwards, adding that society should give her more svelte runway colleagues a break.
"If you tell me somebody's too thin, if you tell me somebody's too fat, you're still being prejudiced. The point is diversity," d'Amour told the Herald.
Ward also appeared at Balenciaga which proved to date - and as usual - the most directional show of the season.
Nailing the back-to-the-future mood that first emerged in New York and continued throughout the Milan shows, Nicolas Ghesquiere sent out a breathtaking collection. It included skin-tight gunmetal grey and copper trousers and seamed and appliquéd, armour-like gold leggings topped with boxy, articulated jackets and moulded cocktail dresses in wet-look PVC, inspired, he said, by robots and androids.
Christian Dior's John Galliano also seemed in futuristic mode. His collection of sculptured day-suits with armour-like seamwork and metal-embellished, bias-cut and draped cocktail dresses in nearly-nude tones of grey, beige and flesh seemed inspired by the 1997 film Gattaca.
The only interruption to the mood were the boos from the photographers' pit when Janet Jackson arrived after the show started. Dior fans who did arrive with enough time to take their front-row seats included actress Emmy Rossumand Lenny Kravitz.
Patty Huntington in Paris
October 5, 2006