PARIS — The Cannes Film Festival is in starlet red-carpet swing; the billionaires are back in Sun Valley; and in Paris — “It’s like a school reunion, no?” said Carine Roitfeld, the French fashion editor, flicking her veil of hair from her black-lined eyes and glancing around the Dior show on Monday as the first live couture week in more than a year began.

Many of the gang were sitting, as always, in a specially constructed box in the gardens of the Musée Rodin, this time hung with a swath of embroidery featuring an imaginary landscape created by the French artist Eva Jospin and realized by the Chanakya School of Craft in India over the course of three months. Attendees who had not seen one another since early 2020 air-kissed and embraced in delight. Ms. Roitfeld looked amused, if not entirely pleased, about the whole thing.

It’s true, there was something somewhat disconcerting about the headlong return to the familiar: The paparazzi clamoring for a shot of Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence; the pass-the-Champagne multicourse vegan dinners to celebrate every night; the stilettos clicking on the steps of the Palais Galliera.

So while the audience was no longer jammed so tightly together that each seat on a bench seems to be on top of a neighbor’s leg, and masks were still required in tents, the gravitational pull seemed backward: back to the swishy, holographic classicism of an Armani Privé pantsuit; the explosive tulle of a Giambattista Valli party dress; the intricate mosaic of a Fendi fur (though the furs were all made from vintage pelts).