Clements Ribeiro channeled the season’s twin themesfrilly vintage dresses and sailor-girl stylingthrough a séance with Wallis Simpson in her Cap Ferrat incarnation. Mrs. Simpson-gone-kicky wasn’t a bad solution for reminding the audience of what the duo does best: striped cashmeres (the foundation of their business) and the reinterpretations of ladylike dressing, or what they call “clunky couture.”
The nautical stripes came in red-and-white sweaters and in chevrons of blue and white on neat, knee-length cashmere dresses. These were worn with summery faux-tweedy shorts, jackets, and trenches made out of painted linen, the models tottering on playful printed platforms. References to Simpson’s taste for Elsa Schiaparelli’s surrealist creations and her obsession with Cartier jewels were found in the circus-theme embroideries on burlap jackets, the patterns of hands and birds on silk or chiffon dresses, and the naïve sequin brooches in the shape of dragonflies.
To their credit, the husband-and-wife team knows how to negotiate fashion history in a way that never looks overearnest. Their offhand way of dealing with prettiness and printalong with some excellent striped beach bagsmade their collection a happy, nonchallenging addition to the outlook for summer.