Those who turned up at the Temperley show expecting to see another few twirls of young Alice's signature twinkly pastel fairy dresses were in for a surprise. This season, the designer went for a far gutsier muse: a darkly smoldering Latin señorita who, judging from her red velvet Frida Kahlo coronet hairdo, seems to have arrived from somewhere down Mexico way.

Temperley is extending her repertoire to provide something more for her entranced young NY-Lon social audience than just the obvious party frocks. For winter, she upped her luxe-for-day quotient by adding intarsia knit dresses, fluted from under the bust, and embroidered shearling coats. Though her Latin theme led to stronger, darker colors, like plum and chocolate, and there was hint of the forties in her pintucked chiffon blouses, she was wise enough not to lay the references on too thick. After all, like small talk at a cocktail, nobody needs a designer like Temperley to turn intellectual on us.