This season Martin Grant opted for a presentation on mannequins instead of a show: Judging from these clothes, it was a switch that suits him well. Though Grant claimed he designed the collection just as he always does, the lineup had a quietly grounded and focused sensibility that made it pleasing for an editor but a bigger-than-usual dream for the designer's ever-satisfied retailers.

That seemed partly due to the increase in daywear. Those narrow, straight black trousers that started things off were beautifully cut. Paired with a shawl-collar coat or a houndstooth intarsia turtleneck with skinny ribbed sleeves, casual and slightly cool elegance never came so easy. Grant rejected the idea that his lack of needing to make a big runway statement turned things casual, but he did drop down another notch with the sporty, almost lounge-like element of silk jumpsuits pieced with ribbed knit.

The beauty of a static presentation was seeing Grant's details up close, like the sculpted petal-like sleeves on a little nipped-waist black wool gazar dress, or the almost surgically precise piecing of leather and wool on the shift with the blown-up houndstooth motif. Grant said he felt he was going back to his roots, and that made sense. There was a sense of highly refined staples—the perfect LBD, the perfect black gown, the perfect black coat. His rarefied clientele will likely take the opportunity to stock up.