The news today at Martin Grant
was a fresh sense of ease, particularly when you compared the collection to last season's sleek line. This designer's sensibility generally marches to its own ladylike drumbeat, but this time his fount of inspiration was the decade that everyone's been on about since last season. "It's the easiness of the seventies," Grant said backstage after the show. "Everything is long and flowing." More about the flowing in a minute, but he wasn't kidding about long. The first look out was an ultrasimple camel coat that dropped straight down almost to the floor, making the model, Jade Parfitt, look about ten feet tall. A vent in the back reached up past the knees, adding to the attenuated line. It was equally chic in coppery brown with a matching fat fox-fur stole, and sublime in ivory with Mongolian lamb running the entire length of one lapel.
Of course, Grant worked this looser spirit his way, which is to say precisely and elegantly. A scarf-silk wrap shirtdress had an elastic waist but buttoned neatly to the side, and you somehow knew by its languid set that the collar wasn't the kind that would ever need adjusting. And the look wasn't just for day. A burgundy gown came with a smocked waist and seemed to wear like a T-shirt, and the series of pleated and color-blocked maxi dresses that closed the show were the kind of evening numbers you'd happily swish and swing about in all night long. That said, considering all of those frocks had the Grant-ian detail of not being printed but rather paneled together and then pleated, you might want to be careful.