When I arrived at Carven last year, I wanted my debut to be strong visually – a reimagining of how the house is relevant today. Now that I have completed a full cycle of seasons here, it felt time to introduce this collection to you directly.
The girls who catch your attention today dress differently than just a few years ago. This has been on my mind lately as I notice women in Paris and beyond asserting a wider spectrum of identities than ever. In the context of Carven, I envision a collection of individuals whose confidence is harnessed from their contrasts.
They project their inner nature as an outward expression of style. It’s exciting to see eccentricities replacing perfection. This makes me think that no state is more absolute than their natural state. As such, the clothes they wear reflect their values, experiences and character in an ever-changing, versatile mix.
To me, this is what makes a girl of our time. Applying these insights to the FW18 collection, I pictured girls who are grounded yet always exploring. Mme Carven loved to travel and so do I. But where she touched down in far-flung destinations, I collect source material from all over without any literal referencing.
Instead, a variety of outdoorsy touchpoints – fisherman waxed jackets, quilted paneling, blanket checks – have been spontaneously reimagined with added personality. Certain pieces tap into nonspecific memories; a reworked tennis sweater, panels of a vintage lily print and modified argyles, or flannel washed far too many times.
Shifting proportions are an exercise of opposing forces: solid, sporty contours versus sheer fluidity, stiff versus soft wools. Whether higher-waist pants, knit leggings, irregularly pleated skirts, ruched shirts or mixed-material dress, the result must be wearable.
Fabrics relate to each other; two prints featuring whimsical pottery and jewellery shapes return in lace and as a subtle devoré. Even a multi-coloured wool picks up the motif as an enlarged pattern. Plaids, stripes and dots play out on surfaces and within jacquards.
Embroidery fragments offer a meaningful hand touch. I wanted the looks to feel uplifted and energized. Shoes, bags and jewellery continue to be decoratively dynamic, reinforcing an artisanal focus. Oversized colourful tassels, climbing cord and ribbon accents are becoming a new Carven signature; this time, they adorn crepe-sole utility boots and ballerines with low slanted heels.
Bags with removable charm closures, and pearls that coil around the ear become pieces that set the Carven girl apart. Otherwise, a new postman style remains relatively classic. Finally, it seems worth mentioning that my view of Carven accommodates both girl and woman.
In the broadest terms, this collection is simultaneously youthful and mature in statement and in spirit. I think of everyone projecting themselves onto the looks, adapting elements without limits; here is where you find Carven’s potential. In this way, you can sense that those who wear Carven turn heads because they fashion themselves from a personal place, and with purpose.