The crowd stood to applaud Christian Lacroix as he unveiled what could be his last haute couture collection yesterday. The designer, whose fashion house has endured recent economic troubles and staff lay-offs, showed 24 autumn/winter '09 looks, which were privately financed.

The largely dark-coloured collection favoured simplicity in short skirt suits and taffeta dresses. There was also hints of sequins, draped bows, more sheer tulle, and bell-shaped capes. But the biggest applause came for an incredibly dramatic satin bridal gown, embellished in brightly coloured roses and gold gilding. Worn by Vlada Roslyakova, the saint-like creation closed the show with an emotional Lacroix. The only thing missing was the red carnations that the designer has finished with at every couture show since 1987. [Photos: Coutorture]

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