Under the direction of British design team Suzanne Clements and Inacio Ribeiro, Cacharel has become a cheerful playground of zippy, youthful ideas. While the line might not make the earth move for a serious fashionista, its rediscovered verve produces at least one respectable, commercially viable idea per season.
For pring, Clements and Ribeiro combined elements of Carnaby Street, the San Fernando Valley circa 1983, and sunny St. Tropez. They showed oversized jersey tops and dresses; short skirts and overalls with bold floral appliqués; shrunken polo shirts, sometimes with crisp, skinny pants; and tiny chiffon tops and dresses. Not so different from other collections this season, except that the duo gave those pieces a blast of energy with giddy patterns and bracing colorsbig tomato-red stripes, dizzy polka dots, soft madras plaids and paisleys, and gentle cherry blossom prints. Though there was the potential for mayhem, the overall effect was of happy chatter rather than chaotic shouting. And in a season when the main message is straight-out seduction, Cacharel's teenage innocence felt like a fresh breeze.