Martin Grant said Kind of Blue, the Miles Davis masterpiece, was a starting point for his spring collection. Fittingly, he showed lovely cocktail dresses in shades ranging from navy to the palest aqua. The jazziest of the group came in taffeta with a pleated, strapless bodice, a glittering ribbon waistband, and a gathered hem. Pleating and paneling were persistent riffs in this show, decorating coats with tulip silhouettes and three-quarter sleeves, and adding intrigue to simple but exquisitely finished sheaths.
Grant's dirndls, with their pin-tuck details, displayed a deft hand. But hip-skimming pencil skirts were more of-the-moment, and leather embellished with broderie anglaise had a welcome edge. The same could be said for cuffed linen-cotton shorts, which, when paired with smartly tailored sailor and pea jackets, evoked school uniforms. Grant cuts a gorgeous trench, as anyone who's followed his career from private dressmaker to ready-to-wear designer knows, and his oyster satin evening version looked like a dream. But Grant may need to take more risks, and incorporate some of the improvisational magic his musician muse Davis was known for, if he wants to reach similar creative heights.