Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton named their show for Papa Sucre, their fantasy backer. He sounds a lot more voodoo than his English translation, "Sugar Daddy," which may explain the hint of the Caribbean in the raffia appurtenances that decked Sass & Bide
's latest collection. But, more to the point, "Sarah-Jane's been meditating," said Middleton. "We've all gone Zen." Which, for this collection, meant a new degree of restraint and focus. If their clothes were once so embellished they could feel built, rather than sewn, Clarke and Middleton here opted for softer, more flattering draping and knotting in a simple, natural color palette. Simplest—and best—of all was a little shirtdress in a black and white broken check. The organic mood carried over into a striated print of what looked like bamboo—and that raffia, of course, in collars, jackets, and skirts. The girls still love their warrior-queen hardware, however: A top with a crisscross drape was anchored by a big copper corset belt, and an otherwise demure shorts suit was weighed down by a capelet of copper beads. Middleton's own outfit offered a viable alternative. She matched her little leather shorts with a black jacket whose shoulders were studded with seeds, rather than beads.