Alice Temperley was clearly taking notes at Raf Simons' sublime couture show in June. And well she might: the simple formula of elegance that Dior developed more than half a century ago ain't broke, so don't fix it.
She didn't even try, and that is why the collection worked so well.
Full skirts, nipped waists, swing coats and even that famous Dior wide-brimmed hat made up the body of the collection. Entitled 'Return to Elegance' the show was held in the baroque settings of the Grand Connaught ballroom. Elegant it was, in its expert simplicity. Gone was the crochet, the boho beading, the batwing sleeves; and in their place was the swish of a full chiffon circle skirt, the curlicues of signature Temperley embroidery highlighted subtly across it.
An understated palette of ivory, burnt red and icy blue was the perfect backdrop to Temperley's flashes of embellishment: a rhinestone buckle on a skinny belt here, a sprinkle of jewels on a bodice there. They looked like 1950's debutantes in the grandeur of that ballroom - even the Mad Men dress-up cliches were there - little lace gloves and cat-eye sunglasses, and platform heels by Charlotte Olympia. But despite the cliches it stopped well short of being twee. It was an unashamed homage to the New Look but so beautifully carried out that we didn't doubt it for a moment.