February 17, 2012 London
But a Clements show is never one-note. A crucial element to the mix-mastery was the color-blocked intarsia cashmeres, which were once a signature item beloved by the label's fans. They recently returned to them with a big push in the newly relaunched men's and women's pre-fall collections, both shown last month. In fact, many of the hip-length or longer cardies were actually from the men's collection. (They're expanding the range of men's sizes in order to effectively make it unisex.) The sweaters' bright geometry informed the show's eighties New Wave look, while their slouch added a menswear swagger to great-looking wide, hip-slung trousers.
In all, there was a sense of newness here where the last three collections felt like they had more of a continuous thread. But the shift wasn't entirely smooth. Piece by piece, there was a lot to win new fans and please loyalists, but as a whole there was something that felt less exquisitely rendered than you expect. Blame it on growing pains. There's more clicking and whirring than ever in the house of Clements Ribeiro, and that includes a new Web site, which went live just yesterday. "I'm trying to make it as un-corporate as possible," said Clements. "It's going to be my mini-magazine."