Carven Menswear Spring Summer 2014 Paris
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In the intimate venue of its own headquarters in Paris, Guillaume Henry, showed a menswear collection for the Carven brand that was all about beautiful, nonthreatening, basics that had just a dash of difference to make them stand out from a traditional menswear fare.

On a stage that endearingly looked like the backdrop for a local theater production, of a play set in an artist’s studio, Henry’s menswear collection was designed for fashion’s “good boys”.  Knee length elastic waist shorts, blouson jackets, boxy short sleeve “scrubs” shirts, and glossy “jelly-like” sandals worn with droopy socks were the order of the day. Slightly more unusual colors, such as mint, peaches'n cream, olive, apricot and clay, helped give a bit of oomph to the more straight forward cuts. But the choice to add a contrasting strip of color to outline a zipper on a collar or diagonal pockets on a jacket showed that the designer knows how to create pieces that have instant brand recognition and a strong DNA design element.

Where Henry challenged his men was with his suiting. This is where texture came into play in a major way. Creating fun and distinctive looks that had surfaces begging to be stroked. One graphic suit, in a washed out terracotta shaded fabric, had a three-dimensional look which seemed as if it had been constructed with a woodcut stamp, was a particular stand out in the show.

The Carven man is turning out to be the charming young gentleman that you can effortlessly take home to meet the parents. It’s a description that is also pretty apt for the designer himself.

- Jessica Michault

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