Martin Grant's exquisitely tailored clothes have a quiet glamour that's best appreciated up close. No doubt that's why he chose to show his fall collection in the intimate surroundings of the Galerie St. Pere on the Left Bank. The crush of admirersand this Australian designer has manymade for challenging viewing conditions, but in the end, it was worth the inconvenience.
Grant said he was inspired by the sixteenth-century Flemish painter Corneille de Lyon, and as it turns out, that obscure historical reference produced some very current shapes and cuts. The jackets of his silk faille skirt suits, for starters, had this season's teardrop sleeves and tulip lapels, the latter of which he stuffed with tulle (a couturier's trick) for added drama and volume. A black waterproof trench arced out in back, while other coats were trimmed with passementerie and small pom-poms that followed the lines of boleros. That motif continued for evening with a jet-beaded fitted vest that topped a silk ottoman strapless gown. How another after-dark looka strapless one-piece pantsuit in ivory tweedrelates to the sixteenth century is anybody's guess, but that was an easily overlooked misstep in an otherwise refined fall show.