Classic Chic from Down Under

Martin Grant in his Atelier

Martin Grant in his Atelier

Martin Grant is a women’s designer. He’s not making street clothes, he’s not designing with 25-year-olds in mind. This Melbourne-born, Parisian makes wonderfully feminine, highly architectural clothes that are timeless, tasteful and always beautiful.

This collection, which I saw in his showroom on the rue Charlot in Paris, is among his best in his 15 years in the industry. Grant’s reference points are Balenciaga, Dior (when Dior was designing) and Yves Saint Laurent. His background and education in sculpture show through so well too: dresses follow the form of a woman instead of trying to reshape it. Taking the economic situation into consideration, he used less expensive materials this season, opting for wool jersey, for example, instead of leather. But there’s still lady-like refinement, such as the belted Monk coat in pale gray angora wool with a silver fox collar, and a draped navy silk satin gown with tiny-button front and a broad neckline. And his friend Christian Louboutin kindly designs shoes to go along. Cocktails, anyone?