PARIS (AFP) - Veteran supermodel Naomi Campbell made a toned and confident turn on the catwalk Wednesday as a walking bouquet for a bride in a wedding-themed Paris haute couture show by Jean Paul Gaultier.
The 44-year-old British beauty showed off legs and buttocks still as shapely as in her heyday nearly two decades ago, sauntering out in a revealing outfit that was little more than a bikini enveloped with ferns, flowers and see-through plastic.
"Gaultier Paris" read the gift label on her chest next to white flowers, as Campbell - with a big purple bloom in her hair - offered herself to the cameras as the posy of the parade, to be joined by the designer himself.
"I used Naomi as a model when she was 17," Gaultier told AFP after the show, explaining he set out to have a mixed cast of "new girls and old ones I used in the beginning".
The veterans like Campbell, he said, "are still beautiful, and you saw how they came out: with amazing bodies and knowing very well how to walk - they sometimes walk in a more modern way than some of today's girls".
'EASY COME, EASY GO'
Campbell has been busy recently asserting she still has what it takes as she stretches her career into an age when all her fellow supermodels from the 1990s have retreated into gilded retirement.
On Monday, she revealed even more of her sculpted body in a lingerie show by the French label La Perla.
Last week, Campbell told a US television chatshow on NBC that "like Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Claudia (Schiffer), we had to earn our stripes" in the pre-Internet age.
"Good luck" to the current crop of runway stars who develop a strong online presence through social media, she said.
"But I sometimes believe easy come, easy go."
Wednesday's haute couture show may have handled a classic theme, but with Gaultier the creative director, it was far from conventional.
He himself described it as "bipolar" - showing not just wedding outfits but also garments for divorce, and many get-ups were split down the middle to mix two dress styles at once.
"It shows that at the end of the day you can dress and get married in any number of ways," said the 62-year-old designer, who last year abandoned his ready-to-wear activities to concentrate entirely on haute couture.
"By stopping ready-to-wear, I have been able to perfect techniques and all the handcraft which is incredible," he said.