Martin Grant’s Pre-Fall lineup began with a gray wool angora coat that flashed back to early Dior; its flattering shape was near flawless, as were the ensuing 17 looks. This season Grant played to his strengths—mainly high-class coats that didn’t bother being trendy, and multipurpose pieces that measured up to any standard of sophistication. The designer noted that his outerwear sells early and well; hence the variety, from a sturdy military number to a swingy coat in neutral tweed. An alpaca sweater coat in shades of gray enveloped without excess. Much else was long, lean, and occasionally leopard; Grant said this was the first time in his 20-year career that he’d used animal spots. Those pieces felt playful. Conversely, the suppleness of his mid-length leather skirt suggested much finessing. But for Grant that’s common practice, and he singled out the Mongolian lamb fur accents that required careful tailoring to control the poufy volume.
Certainly, if you had any doubt that Grant’s clothes could be easygoing, the model in look 3 may have overcompensated. While it’s tempting to call his output ladylike, that would undermine his eye for fluid silhouettes that flirt in hushed tones (more audibly when slits are involved). Not every designer need be a provocateur.