What everyone was talking about ...
Of course, the biggest story was the John Galliano debacle, which will forever be etched into fashion legend. Like a slow-motion car crash, we watched the enfant terrible's dramatic fall from grace after his arrest for anti-semitic comments in a Parisian bar. His public image and career tumbled over the edge with the appearance of that notorious video on YouTube. The Dior door had barely swung shut before speculation had Riccardo Tisci, Alber Elbaz and Haider Ackermann as frontrunners to replace him. Talk about the ridiculous pressures of this fast-paced industry increased when reports suggested Balmain designer Christophe Decarnin was being treated for depression. He didn't appear at the show.
Up in smoke?
Fashionistas never stopped smoking, even when it became uncool for everybody else to do so. This season and not surprisingly, Lady Gaga puffed away at a fag as she strutted her stuff for Mugler in Paris, under the creative directorship of a friend, Nicola Formichetti. Also in the French capital, Kate Moss closed Louis Vuitton's tongue-in-cheek fetish-themed collection by strutting down the catwalk, puffing on a cigarette.
Chinese models such as Liu Wen, Shu Pei and Du Juan are increasingly familiar faces on international runways. Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Stella Tennant and Karolina Kurkova all walked - in a celebration of iconic faces before 14-year-old Bambi's became de rigueur. Fortysomething comedienne Valerie Lemercier opened and closed at Jean Paul Gaultier, to much applause.
Kanye West, Nicole Richie, Rosamund Pike, Kirsten Dunst, Tina Turner, Julian Clary and Orlando Bloom appeared in coveted front-row seats. Singer La Roux, Daisy Lowe, Paloma Faith, Olivia Palermo and Alexa Chung were some of the faces most seen at the fashion weeks. Chinese stars such as Gong Li and Fan Bingbing were there, too.
Karl Lagerfeld and Blake Lively hosted a star-studded party for Chanel's launch of the Mademoiselle bag. Michael Kors celebrated his 30th anniversary at a swanky do hosted by the American ambassador to Paris, Charles H Rivkin, at the embassy. Mary J Blige performed and Jennifer Hudson, Zoe Saldana and Claudia Schiffer danced their heels off. Duran Duran got crowds moving at the Hogan party, in the Salomon de Rothschild Mansion, to which M.I.A, Lou Doillon, Natalia Vodianova and Lagerfeld showed up. Dior's cocktail party tempted even the most retiring characters and the YSL afterparty went into the early hours. Paul & Joe's 15th anniversary party at the legendary Olympia had Jamiroquai playing a surprise private gig, and Fendi's bash with DJ Mimi Xu was a roaring success. The British PM's wife, Samantha Cameron, hosted London's top party - invitations were like gold dust. Meanwhile, Dunst and Chung partied among the stuffed birds, foxes and trees in the hedgerow by Mulberry at Claridge's.
Hi-tech social media
Some turn dainty noses up at internet democratisation but others are deploying the Web big time. Burberry broadcast its catwalk show live on digital billboards at Piccadilly Circus. The Dolce & Gabbana audience Twittered live messages - less than mesmerising - onto screens around the catwalk. Louis Vuitton, Pucci and Marni also live-streamed onto the Web.