"This collection is more connected to passions we share," said Raf Simons of his second women's ready-to-wear outing for Dior. "Like a real interest in art - Christian Dior started his career as a gallerist and represented both Dali and Giacometti early on." Who knew?
Interesting facts for dedicated followers aside, this was indeed a show that nodded to surrealism - the set was a disorientating pathway of huge mirrored ova and spheres, the floor was a Magritte skyscape.
More direct - and ultimately significant - were references to Warhol's Factory. Silver walls and a unique collaboration with the Andy Warhol Foundation meant that the artist's early work as a fashion illustrator appeared re-imagined by Simons and the Dior studio as printed, painted and embroidered motifs on clothes.
"For me Warhol made so much sense," Simons continued. "I was interested in the delicacy and sensitivity in the early work he did, I was drawn to that graphic style naturally in this collection. It was a notion of hand work and personal signature that fitted throughout."
And what a lovely notion that turned out to be. Shift dresses in black, navy and ivory were so elegant and perfectly proportioned they seemed to float around the body. Tailoring, though structured - the Bar jacket again - was effortless but never banal: in black denim and worn with loose-fitting trousers it looked modern and fresh. Leather - bigger than ever next season - was here cut in the most feminine ways: a strapless New Look line dress, for example, was manipulated into a blooming bustle from behind.
References to the Dior heritage were present and correct once again, particularly the house's love affair with houndstooth check. It cropped up on the bustier of a cocktail dress or shrouded in rose pink crochet knit. The label's time-honoured signatures were looked at more obliquely this time around, however, further proof, if ever any was needed, that Simons is finding his own beautiful way.