Monday, 14 March 2011


For the past two years, Guillaume Henry has breathed new life into the seventy year old French house of Carven creating sophisticated, affordable collections that have seduced the fashion industry.

Henry’s Carven woman is ladylike and proper; choosing skirts over trousers, favouring collars, nipped in waists and longer hemlines, although she always adds an eccentric twist. After last seasons Parisian muse, for autumn Henry continued to develop his intellectual signature, channelling Simone de Beauvoir and Lee Miller to create a ‘bonne maniere’, stating ‘it means to be properly dressed; I can’t fight what I like.’ The ladylike silhouette was the highlight of the collection with nipped in jackets and mid length skirts mixed with naughtier elements such as a barely there velvet bra.

Models emerged from behind baby blue doors clad in cropped leather jackets, tartan frocks, duffel jackets, Lennon inspired glasses and stacked loafers inspired by the cult nineties classic Clueless. The collection contained a palette of black, navy, mustard and burgundy mixed with tartan, stripes and paisley prints. As always, Henry added a twist to classic items; skirts came in lampshade shapes, jumpers had animal motifs and coats had fur sleeves.

What is so refreshing about Guillaume Henry’s designs is that he is able to perfectly balance classic pieces with edgy fashion (such as the tartan dress with nude lace on the bust), ensuring that his most ardent fans will return to the label again and again. Henrys work may not be the most revolutionary, avant garde collection to have emerged from Paris fashion week, but in terms of what a woman wants to wear on a daily basis, Carven has come out top.

Harriet Tisdall

No comments:

Post a Comment