As the Dior Orient Express pulled into a sleepy station in Oxfordshire, England, fashionistas poured onto the platform and into waiting cars to watch the new Dior cruise show at the beautiful 18th-century Blenheim Palace.
Following the departure of Raf Simons last September the house is yet to appoint a new 'name' designer - instead the capable studio team is keeping the maison machine well-oiled under the reigns of Lucie Meier and Serge Ruffieux.
In such grandiose settings of this stately home (at which Dior has held two previous shows, in 1954 and 1958), it was a joyous, overtly feminine occasion that paid homage to both English heritage and Parisian couture, with a dialogue between past and present, town and country.
Sashaying down the catwalk, which wound through Blenheim's library, fox hunting scenes printed on jacquard knit suits and short-sleeved black sweatshirts, pretty tea dresses in African prints and sumptuous velvet jackets tied with scarfs made an appearance, as did the house classic Bar jacket with soft peplums draped over the hips. English eccentricity but done with French flair.
Despite the foreboding skies, and with Alexa Chung, Emma Roberts, Bazaar cover alumnae Kate Mara and Kate Beckinsale, and Elizbeth Olsen in attendance, the future seemed somewhat bright for the brand.