So, you may remember Clements Ribeiro’s first collection for Evans.. .all pansies and matchsticks. Well, they’re back, readers!!!!!
I think it’s fair to say that the idea of a designer collaboration for plus-sizers was more than well-received by the community. We bloomin’ loved the idea! And the morning that the first collection dropped, I remember waking up at 9 just to be one of the first to order from it. Oh, those heady, euphoric days…
But after the euphoria settled, I took a step back. What did I actually think of the collection? The only piece I got were the matchstick trousers. The reason I got them was because they were so different from anything I had in my wardrobe – but maybe there was a reason for that.
The first time I wore them, I walked past a kid who muttered, “What the fuck is she wearing….”
Needless to say, my first thought was to kill the child. Then I thought, maybe he’s right? Then I thought, if I was thin, and therefore more beautiful in other people’s eyes, these matchstick trousers wouldn’t be a problem. I’d just be a thin, kooky dresser.
I had a re-think about the whole collection. Had they got it right? The prices certainly weren’t, but c’est la vie.
But the fabrics? The cut? Were they?
Well…. no. Not really.
Take the below dress as an example.
Swan by Clements Ribeiro at Evans
Taking a step back, I don’t think I would look twice at this if it was in an Evans shop in their usual collection. I don’t like the pattern, I don’t like the neckline, I don’t like the lace added as an afterthought. I really don’t like the fabric – it’s shiny. Satiny fabrics are hard to pull off for anyone – let alone plus size women. So would I buy this? No, probably not. Had Clements Ribeiro hit the mark for their customers? A bold and valiant first try, no doubt, but for me….nein.
So, with this criticism in mind, I took a fresh look at the new collection. On first look, nothing stood out. The florals were back (the printed trousers were back!) and cardigans and printed dresses were order of the day. But as I took a close look at each piece… I don’t think it’s perfect, but it’s definitely taking a better direction.
Here are my favourites:
Dress, £95 – Evans
Wowsers. This is beautiful, and a much better shape then the last collection’s dresses have been. I love the mix of colours, the mix of patterns (lace vs polka dot – who’d have thunk it?) and the sleeve length. The price, at £95 lets it down. But in terms of a designer piece, that’s actually nothing, right?
Dress, £65 – Evans
This dress is lovely because it’s so unusual. Using Aubrey Beardsley’s iconic illustrations, this really is eye-catching. I feel the shape lets it down just a little bit – we’d probably need to wear it with a belt, which would taint the pattern somewhat. What stopped me from buying this was the white base. I don’t know how well I can pull off white, and spill tea down myself every morning. It would have been lovely, say, in brown, with a coloured or white illustration – but then I guess that defeats the point. I would be intrigued to see how someone would pull this off.
Skirt, £55 – Evans / Blouse, £55 – Evans
This whole outfit is gorgeous. I love the blouse and the skirt together – it just shows how all black can be made interesting and lively. I love this kind of look for A/W, and have to admit, treating myself to the blouse today ! I like the sleeves, the neckline, the muted shine (take note, Clements kids! No satin here!) and think it will look so lovely as we get into the colder seasons. I think it looks expensive, and matched with the skirt makes it the dream team. I have to admit, I was tempted by the skirt, but this design is ten a penny at the moment, and you can pick up something similar in most shops (take a look at this Marks and Spencer’s one at £20 cheaper)
Like the skirt, some of the designs are beautiful, but too samey to justify the price, such as the peplum Debra dress. Let’s just hope the quality’s there to back it up.
The best part, however, I’ve saved until last. By typing the code LUCKY20 into the checkout, you get 20% off until tomorrow. That took my blouse down to £44! And you get free delivery over £50. No excuses, guys!
To make up the numbers, I managed to pick up Clement’s Ribeiro’s last season dresses in the sale, at £15 a pop. The reviews of these ones weren’t too fresh, but with a belt and a mother who can sew, I maintain you can make anything beautiful.
Dresses, £15 – Evans
£15 for a £95 dress? That’s a bargain I can get on board with. Happy shopping!