John Galliano, subdued? Surely not. But it's true: A back-to-basics attitude is sweeping through the house of Dior. Abandoning the freaky makeup and vertiginous footwear of so many seasons past, Galliano turned his fall ready-to-wear show into an exhaustive commercial workout of his last couture collection—from the mod sixties vibe right through to the romantic Empire look.

It started with black-and-white striped, laddered Edie Sedgwick mohair knits, worn with baker-boy caps, flat, pointy crocodile knee boots, and fishnets. Those quickly became a device for showing off the staple jackets Galliano has brought to the party: cutaway tail coats, biker jackets with Napoleonic collars, and his reinterpretation of Dior's seminal New Look Bar jacket. From there, he segued into shearling aviators, and brown crocodile and leather, sending out a high-belted maxi coat that knowingly checked another box on the season's trend sheet.

Next up: gorgeous russet, dusty-pink, and burnt-orange velvets, followed by dresses in silver/gray, delicate pink, and grape, distilling the rococo delicacy of his couture into believable partywear. The remix heavily underscored the cash value of the wearable classics Galliano has added to the house's bottom line, which have been willfully obscured over years of apparently insane experimentation. So here, at last, is an accurate picture of Dior ready-to-wear. It is what it is; but we will have to wait for Galliano's next couture show to glimpse where it's going next.