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.
Mon, March 5 2018 » Fashion Blog
Past, present and future all play on the new interpretation of the Carven codes established season after season by Alexis Martial and Adrien Caillaudaud. The house’s archives serve as the basis for their urban, contemporary vision.
This season, their heroine is Madame Carven’s imaginary heiress, a girl of the moment who invites her gang to spend the weekend at the family castle. Trawling through the attics and cupboards, they discover the great designer’s personal archive and help themselves to their favourite pieces, transforming and even cutting into them to suit their own style.
Elements of the house’s history such as stripes or scarves and crests collide with a street-savvy elegance in a light and playful game of layering.
Looks mix heritage with pure creativity in a melting pot of fabrics and symbols. The lace from a veil is reworked as a crested sweatshirt, a scarf is draped around the body to become a top or a skirt. Madame Carven’s trademark florals turn over a new leaf and look to the future for a mechanical reinterpretation. A choker necklace goes for the twist, worn as a bracelet or a belt. As in previous collections, belting plays a key role, clasping together fluid dresses and tops.
High-waisted skirts, trousers with multi-pocket detail, oversized tops and bomber jackets reaffirm their role as the key pieces of the Carven wardrobe, worn alone or as part of a game of layers and contrasts. A delicate baby doll dress becomes a crisp poplin shirt in one of many examples of hybrid shapes and details. Fabrics and colours also opt for a game of contrasts, as 60s inspired wool piqué and chintz mix with brighter jacquards, or flashes of red, lilac or orange against classic black and white.
Accessories also confront styles and eras. A wide heel brings allows jewelled or strapped sandals to step into a more modern stance, while the Full Joy bag is worked in a wide variety of shades and fabrics cherry- picked from the collection. The family treasure trove also provides a signet ring and chain bracelet, reworked into a variety of ornements, reflecting the sense of happy harmony between styles and eras.
Mon, October 10 2016 » Fashion Blog
For the Spring Summer 2016 collection, Adrien Caillaudaud and Alexis Martial allow a gust of sea breeze to flutter through their Parisienne’s wardrobe. Taking a fresh and dynamic stance, she adopts elements from workwear before diving into evening, taking her inspiration from the seabed.
Oscillating between close-fitting cuts and looser fits, the season’s silhouette expresses an airy elegance. « Inside-out » jackets and men’s shirts give way to a Sixties style punctuated with circular cut-outs. Dresses and tops suggest the influence of the diving suit, while pleats and frills float like the fins of an urban mermaid. A slogan t-shirt suggests the insouciance of youth, paired with a sensual short skirt. Always high-waisted, the trouser affirms its place as a mainstay of the Carven vocabulary.
Whether technical, embroidered or reworked, fabrics display the breadth of the house’s savoir-faire: mikado, jacquard fil coupé, pleated or embossed textures provide a textural contrast between structure and evanescence. A basic palette around shades of navy, black, beige and grey is brightened with lilac, Klein blue and pastels, while a dark green suggests the depths of the ocean. From these same abysses comes the inspiration for prints and ornaments, from an underwater scene to aquatic shapes and « sea urchin » embroidery.
Belts take their lead from a diving design and shoes borrow the thick rubber sole of beach sandals, perched on a square heel. In full-fronted, strappy or net versions, they bring a touch of bright colour to each look. Wrists display a Carven letter chain or a mini-bag. The Mercer bag once again features its double clasp opening and comes in a variety of shapes, always accessorized with a plethora of keyrings and snap hooks.
Tue, March 29 2016 » Fashion Blog
For their debut as the duo designers of women’s collections, Adrien Caillaudaud and Alexis Martial offer their vision of the winter 2015 Carven girl: a fresh, contemporary and self confident character with a penchant for high waisted trousers, trench coats and
The collection evokes an égérie – a London girl living in Paris, swaying between an electric revival of the late 60’s and the timeless elegance of active Parisian women.
She’s definitely not shy about colors. She lavishes on lilac, flower prints, blues. Textures swing from soft technical tweed, to eel skin and gathered texture fabric, to quilted jacquards.
Flowers are a print staple, found on jacquard bomber jackets and shoes, while mineral stones such as Jasper azurite, and the psychedelic skin of toxic reptiles adorn some accessories pieces.
There’s an undeniable 60’s feeling in the mini skirts, an après-ski aesthetic in the primary colored turtlenecks, gabardine trousers, fluffy orange knits balanced with chunky mules and oversized coats, for a newly proportioned silhouette.
The collection reinterprets an assessed Carven code- the lace, into a technical lace on organza. Couture inspired waffled embossed silk dresses are sliding towards an early 70’s atmosphere are counterbalanced by the weight of a masculine reefer jacket.
To free her movements, her daily bag is reinvented into a messenger leather bag worn cross-body. And wherever she goes, she wears a solar metallic gold disk around her neck.
Thu, June 18 2015 » Fashion Blog
Pitti Immagine © Copyright
“Carven is one of France’s historic labels,” says Lapo Cianchi, Pitti Immagine director of communications and events, “and now, with Guillaume Henry as artistic director, it is enjoying a new burst of strength. His new vision for Carven menswear became immediately visible through his natural, lighthearted elegance, and his use of clean lines and fine, understated material.
We were very impressed when we went to see the Winter collection in the Paris showroom last season, it harmonized perfectly with the general trend we are promoting at Pitti Uomo: a new, sartorial elegance and affordable luxury in menswear.
Then, I met Guillaume in his studio and he struck me as a person who has held onto the curiosity, energy and spirit of observation that are the prerogatives of youth, but at the same time is fully aware of the fact that he is the standard-bearer of the great tradition founded by Madame Carven.
We are convinced that Carven and Guillaume Henry will find the right conditions for moving forward with their project here at Pitti Uomo in Florence, and we are very pleased that they have accepted our invitation”.
“Thanks a lot to Pitti Immagine to give Carven Carte blanche” – Says Guillaume Henry creative director of Carven – “This unexpected rendezvous for the house, outside of Paris and any calendars, is a true luck and a great honor.
I hope this will be the occasion to express the freshness and the spontaneity that I am looking to forward through our collections, for both men as for women. Shall we meet in Florence, in pleasure and full of joy!”
Tue, July 3 2012 » Fashion Blog