It says quite something of the power of Phoebe Philo's Céline that guests filed into her show space early - no place for the fashionably late here - taking their seats on battered metal stools painted sunshine yellow, apple green and cobalt blue. A sign of more colourful things than might obviously be expected to come?
Well, yes. On a catwalk especially paved in pale terracotta brick for the occasion out came tunics in equally clear shades daubed with sweeping painterly prints and with prim pointed collars and wide, cropped sleeves. Next were viscose knit dresses edged with triple stripes and oversized belted coats with even bigger upturned collars and cuffs, cinched at the waist and with metal eyelets breaking up their polished surfaces.
'Back to life, back to reality,' boomed the Soul II Soul soundtrack and there was indeed a new and more street fuelled energy in evidence courtesy of a designer whose discreet but hugely intelligent signature has had such impact on what women want to wear, not to mention catwalks other than her own.
There were tiny tassels at the hems of skirts here, netting (bags and more skirts) there. Nods to sportswear, early Twentieth Century art, futuristic fashion and diverse cultural influences were also all present and correct.
It was as if Philo who, since she arrived at Céline has not put a foot wrong, had nailed each and every inspiration of the season, showing the world how to wear them, sometimes all in one exit, and still be the best dressed person in the room. Perfect.
Images Jason Lloyd Evans