For the past few years, Matthew Ames has been stripping down, focusing on the nineties minimalism that is now completely of the moment. Spring was a felicitous continuation of this exploration, with Ames building—slowly—upon the pared-down foundation he worked so hard to achieve.

The most notable addition was a palette of bright, saturated colors with a touch of texture play. Aside from the new richer hues, the collection's primary shade was a sandy taupe. It looked like baked earth in a dry desert, and, indeed, the clothes seemed destined for somewhere hot. Long skirts came in two styles: slit high on all seams or cut so short on one side they were shown with shorts underneath. The fabrics (raw silk, linen, and silk mesh) had an organic quality in line with the overall feeling of relaxation.

After so much dry heat, a smattering of silk georgette dresses brought in a liquid element. One, in navy, worn with a matching head wrap, should whet most girls' whistles.