Lost And Found With Clements Ribeiro-------
“We think Michelle Obama would look great in our dresses—or Natalie Portman,” said Inacio Ribeiro of the sleeveless, belted dress in Clements Ribeiro’s Project #3, the latest installment of their series of capsule collections. In other words, they’d be perfect for someone with that great-arms-and-small-waist combo. But the First Lady may have trouble choosing, since the collection is the same dress and cardi done in a chocolate-box assortment of exquisite vintage couture fabrics and embroideries. “They are items, rather than a collection,” explained Ribeiro of the pieces inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s objets trouvés. “We recycled old buttons, lace, threads—really anything that we found to be worthwhile. Why let all that beauty and craftsmanship go to waste?” This collection, of course, precedes their first show since 2006 at London fashion week, though the husband-and-wife team operates so under the radar that the news of them returning to LFW was all but eclipsed by similar news from other British brands like Burberry and Pringle. But since leaving Cacharel in 2007 and the subsequent “voluntary liquidation” of the label, keeping low-key is a necessary business strategy that’s in fact worked quite well for their re-entry into the market. “In the past few years, we’ve focused on limited collections for Net-a-porter and Couture Lab as well as catering to our loyal fan base,” Ribeiro said. That base includes shoppers at Japan’s Corso Como, where owner Rei Kawakubo personally handpicked items, and Kawakubo’s Dover Street Market, as well as Barneys and Blake in the U.S. “The Projects are just are pieces that come in between collections,” he added. “They are so labor intensive we don’t have time to do more than a few, but it helps us return to what we care about and find inspiring.” That means they come in worryingly small quantities. Mrs. Obama better get in her orders fast.