A few seasons back, who would have thought that young designers would eschew the experimental avant-garde in favor of polished sophistication? But now, Olivier Theyskens, the former prince of Goth darkness, is delivering pretty-as-candy collections at Rochas, while New York’s hottest new names, Zac Posen and Proenza Schouler, are twisting bourgeois beauty in youthful directions.

Australian designer Martin Grant has been in their camp for some time. But only last season did he finally widen his scope, staging his first show, opening a bigger shop in Paris, and, in the process, capturing some 15 accounts, including Neiman Marcus and Barneys New York. For the latter, Grant will begin designing the store’s private label collection next fall.

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