When Alexis Mabille says he is returning to the classics, he essentially means he is exploring his greatest hits with a little less frou. So for his second pre-collection, he reduced his ideas down to flattering high waists, all-day-everyday dresses, and some assorted dandy details. Yet again, Mabille has reimagined his signature bows, this time as mohair grosgrain (yes, there is such a thing) down the placket of a blouse, as delicate hardware affixed to cardigans, and integrated into the back pockets on quilted denim.

The newsiest part of the collection was the new AM print in a medley of typefaces, from Victorian to collegiate. The silk was printed according to the same savoir faire practices as Hermës. Itís this level of sourcing that also elevates his jackets (with their mother-of-pearl disc buttons) or party dresses (a duo of lattice-patterned and Chantilly lace) and reminds that Mabille was preparing his couture collection at the exact same time as his pre-collection.

Across all categories, Mabille has a track record of overthinking—or overstyling—his garments to a fault. He's getting better, though—only the Paddington-esque military coat here suffered from excess embellishment. Lingerie underpinnings and Le Smoking iterations got a boost from color, in ultramarine and brick rose. In fact, Mabille says heís bored with solid black, though as a concession to black's eternal chic, he showed two dresses in black jersey with matching lace across the décolletage.