Playing the name game in London is far from easy: So many cool young designers, so many unusual names, and only a week to make sense of them all. It’s largely due to the aversion many Brit design talents have to being crafted into the sort of the fashion celebs we adore stateside. No worries; the clothes spoke volumes for themselves, as London dialed down the quirked, and turned out one of the most sophisticated seasons in recent years. See for yourself!
LONDON--Attention, Michelle Obama: next time you care to risk a furor by wearing British fashion, look to Clements Ribeiro. The husband-and-wife design team presented a precisely judged fall collection on Saturday night, full of jeweled twinsets and exquisite original prints.
LONDON--Through a scrim we could see the models for Clements Ribeiro’s S/S 11 show assembling--an array of reedy girls in shifts and A4 paper hats. We knew it was time to begin when the lights dimmed and a spotlight threw models’ silhouettes onto the thin muslin screen, creating what was surely one of the week’s most quietly lovely images. From that beautiful beginning came a parade of palette-cleansing clothes, a fashion sorbet of ladylike dresses in gorgeous original prints. First down the catwalk was a purple and green hydrangea-print shift, followed by a shirt with boughs of jasmine in white on a red background. This same print in a skirt looked perfect when paired with a fine gauge Breton-striped sweater. Best of all, though, was a nipped-waist v-neck dress with browns, peaches, aubergines and lemon curd tones applied to those same hydrangeas, prompting instant covetousness and some magical budgetary thinking on my part. When the print disappeared, ensembles briefly veered into less interesting territory. An off-the-shoulder navy blue embossed silk dress with an obi waist tie and wide sleeves would have been stronger without the large paillette flowers (sequins fell off of other heavily embellished garments). But a navy cardigan the same length as a short lace dress in the same color read as flirty and young.