Dramatic skies in Paris. It feels like a major storm is brewing, but the morning at least was clear and sunny. Seems a shame to leave the glorious view from the Armani queue to go into the black box he has created for his show. But I am dying to see Cate Blanchett so I rush in early. By day two of the couture, you have seen so many thoroughbred legs and handspan waists, the self confidence takes a real battering. Suddenly every dress that has been packed seems to have wilted into a mess of creases, the eye bags are enormous, the handbags wrong, the hair is limp and that pedicure appointment should never have been cancelled in favour of a deadline (surely there had to have been a way to do it all). Cate Blanchett is the antidote to all these silly insecurities. She is a normal, womanly shape. Her legs are not like knitting needles. Her face moves. She smiles instead of pouting. When she talks to someone she looks them in the eye instead of past them for an opportunistic photographer. She is a tonic for the female soul. She was wearing Armani couture and sitting between Roberta Armani and a very glossy looking Megan Fox on the front row. Caught the eye of Italian actress, Claudia Cardinale, a few celebs up the row and we giggled at how hot it was. I hate to imagine what age she is now. She was the superstar of my mother's generation. But, like Sophia Loren, she still has sterling goddess credentials.
The collection was so sparkly it would have made poor Michael Jackson weep. Mr Armani is still one of the best in the business at a red carpet gown and this collection was full of them: all very sinuously close to the body and, I imagine, heavy as hell, because they are so loaded with sequins. Nevertheless, there was also lots of skin, bare backs and shoulders and plunging necklines, all veiled in flesh tulle. So the overall effect was light and the sparkle made the fabrics look almost liquid. All the models had the same dark crop. Someone said every single one of the girls had been dyed and cropped that morning but the Armani folk insist it was all done with wigs. It was a funky look. I'm going to show it to John Viall, my miracle working hairdresser, and see if he can make it work for me.