There might be fewer reasons to kick up one's heels if the markets keep heading south, but for party dresses Martin Grant is still a go-to guy. Maybe more so than ever, considering he specializes in the sort of unflashy, elegantly anonymous dresses that a woman can return to year after year. All she has to do is update her accessories—this season the designer layered the necklaces on thick, courtesy of a shop next door to his atelier that sells chains by the meter.

Pleating was a key motif of the short, concise show. It was eye-catching on the neckline of a Champagne-gold halter dress and on the hip of a long navy column. He focused most of his attention on after-dark options, but a few day looks did make the cut, including a sleek trench and two other coats with more pleating on the sleeves. One pair of trousers came with origamilike folds at the pockets. Too bad he didn't see fit to include some of his sharp suits in the mix.