There are times when inspirational program notes can put you off a show before it even starts. As, for example, when Clements Ribeiro wrote, "We have never been to India," in the notes for their spring presentation, which they apparently wove together by dreaming up an Edwardian lady botanist/explorer who "got stuck in India" on her travels. Turned out, however, that this intelligence contributed only a minimal insight into the clothes on the runway.
Without a sari or a bustle in sight, this was essentially just another episode in the development of the striped cashmere sweaters and loose decorative dresses on which Clements Ribeiro have built their reputation. Putting aside the high-concept storytelling, it's possible to see how skilled this husband-and-wife team are at steering their look in the seasonal direction. Now, with forties printed dresses, bunchily pleated washed-brocade skirts, and crewel-work appliquéd tops, they're sailing along somewhere in the same waters as Prada and Marnibut with splashes of vivid color all their own. In addition, the couple have added ballast to their steadily growing business with the addition of a shoe linegutsy platforms and wedges that give creative vent to Suzanne Clements' mania for footwearand a relaunched collection of bags.