At the Carven show, designer Guillaume Henry sent out a poignant collection that was in equal parts youthful and sophisticated. It was a return to the elegant French ingénue muse that was at the heart of Henry’s initial success with his revival of the Carven brand.
The poetic way the models clutch their handbags to their breasts as they walked down the catwalk and climbed a flight of stairs to continue on another runway, made you feel almost protective of the clothes. And certainly women are going to have to be on guard if they don’t want their friends to swipe their animal print, collared, canary yellow short top and matching long, slim skirt with a playful zipper slit at the front or their sporty chic rollover collared jacket with the wide belt.
The collection had a definite 1940s vibe to it, both in its strong-shouldered and synched waist silhouettes. But also the functionality of each of the pieces and the stellar footwear felt very much a part of the essence of that era. Even those ensembles covered in Dada inspired, cut-out imagery of the female form, as kooky as they were, still had a practically about them.
This was the first season that Henry tried bringing in some embroidery into his designs. The idea to have pockets scooped back to show their insides, embellished with crystal bugle beading, was charming. Even more so when learning from the designer after the show that he wanted those pieces to be as if the woman wearing the coats had slipped her jewelry into her pocket and that the shimmer seen on the garments was a reflection of those gems. As for the crystal arrow additions to fur coats and dresses, well they had an endearing cupid cuteness to them.
This was a very sold show from a designer who is finding his own path in the fashion world. It is one that many women are going to want to continue to follow him on.