Australian-born Martin Grant, whose shop in the Marais district has long been a haunt for fashion insiders like Naomi Campbell, put on a charming, well-edited show with the youthful but wistful elegance we’ve seen this season in collections like Rochas by Olivier Theyskens and Proenza Schouler. With smart little dresses, slim coats and detail-rich skirts, Grant, like those other young designers, makes grateful, and graceful, reference to the past. But he's not anchored to it: bell sleeves on jersey tops whispered classic Saint Laurent, while a three-quarter-length suede coat was subtly ’70s.

Despite the historical allusions, Grant showed a modern collection for modern girls. The updated Twiggy silhouette that feels so right this season was there, done in bronze and gold cotton and Lurex. There were cape-backed tops—another key look of the moment—and grosgrain ribbon trims that kept things very jeune fille. A beautifully embroidered tulle skirt managed to make ethnic details look refined.

These are truly ladylike clothes, polished and sexy but with refreshing hints of irony. Motorcycle-leather topstitching saved gold satin tops from appearing too precious, while crinoline skirts, hugely full and poufed in the back, created an edgy profile. It was all trés chic, tr#233;s parisienne, and it left some in the audience comparing Grant to Charles James—no small compliment.