Inacio Ribeiro was reading an Economist article on the Rorschach test and, voilà, there was the genesis of Clements Ribeiro's first pre-fall collection. "We wanted to use floral and damask prints but not in the usual way. The inkblot pattern provided a perfect solution," he said in his Notting Hill home-cum-showroom. His wife, Suzanne Clements, then added a series of blurred vertical colors that blended into the inkblot, an idea inspired by the artist Gerhard Richter. The results were textbook CR: eye-popping, finely crafted, and a touch on the bonkers side. "My muse this season was a Palm Springs hostess—a sort of kooky Audrey Hepburn carrying around a tray of canapés with a cigarette holder, a whiskey on the go, and upswept hair," added Ribeiro. "I guess Julianne Moore's character in Tom Ford's A Single Man is as close as it gets."

Ribeiro and Clements love a special touch: A military coat would have been utilitarian had it not been for the crystals that replaced traditional cording, and a delicate "two-sided" cashmere vest—the front was buttoned, the back a deep V—offset mannish trousers. But nothing was more special than a white lace dress with eyelash fringe, black silk lining, and jumbo iridescent sequins at the neckline that produced a slightly 3-D effect. Stylists, take note: looking for an Oscars luncheon dress? Start here.