Guests including Katie Holmes and Kate Bosworth were taken deep inside the inner workings of Christian Dior for the French brand’s nostalgic couture display that celebrated the artistry of the atelier.

Hundreds of retro busts and mannequins in unfinished-looking white gowns flanked the runway walls – from floor to ceiling – inside Paris’ Rodin Museum as designs showcased the pared-down finesse of age-old couture.

Dior goes back to basics

There was an old-school vibe in the perfumed air of Dior: 1950s berets, veils and costume jewellery filled by in its Paris show.

Thick fabrics reminiscent of post-second world war styles were used evocatively in a midnight blue cape coat and a three-piece ensemble with a fringed spiral-sleeve bolero.

The sheer restraint of the palette of powdery shades against nudes also harked back to a time, before the proliferation of bright colours in the 1960s, where designers still preferred subtle hues.

This season, the programme’s note said, “[Designer] Maria Grazia Chiuri goes back to the fundamentals.”

It made for a beautifully executed couture collection of 71 looks – but one that seemed to lack energy and avoided any huge creative leaps.

Still, there was plenty of beauty.

A raspberry double-face silk scuba bustier dress was sewn from a single piece of fabric.

Chiuri developed silhouettes based on the batwing sleeve from the Bar Jacket – the centrepiece of Dior’s iconic 1947 “New Look” that revolutionised post-war fashion.

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