Understatement is an undervalued quality in fashion. Martin Grant specializes in it. That means what his clothes lack in bells and whistles they make up for in wearability, which in turn explains why his front row is always packed with retailers—not to mention the legendarily chic Lee Radziwill. Grant didn't let them down this morning, sending out a polished collection in shades of white, navy, black, and red with hits of burnished gold.

The solid colors meant his silhouettes had to do most of the talking. Bishop sleeves on a little red cocktail number and a black coat-dress had drama to spare; ditto the stand-up gold collar of the show-opening navy top. And there was a lot of action at the hips, thanks to his fresh tweaks to the been-everywhere peplum. His came split up the middle to, say, reveal a pair of shorts underneath a party dress.

A trio of color-blocked dresses—one knee-length, two long, and all belted—stood out not for their cut but for their simplicity. Ease is another underrated virtue, and it too is integral in Grant's playbook. Nothing captured it better here than a plunge-front gown in black and white bisected by a burnished gold waistband.