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PRÊT-À-PORTER SPRING 2012
CARVEN

CARVEN - Susan on her way to the Carven _défilé_

Susan on her way to the Carven défilé

This was my first opportunity to see the work of Guillaume Henry, the new designer at Carven. I was eager to attend this show, not merely because the maison ’s current incarnation is new to me, but also because the Carven brand name is indelibly linked to another era. I wanted to see how Guillaume would reinterpret the Old World glamour I know and love so well.

CARVEN - Anna Della Russo at Carven before the start of the show

Anna Della Russo at Carven before the start of the show

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The show was not what I expected–the silhouettes, and many of the details (short skirts springing from tiny waists, quirky shoes and Peter Pan collars) were very youthful. That said, the more I looked at the collection, the more I realized there were some very pretty looks, lots of color and plenty of fine workmanship hidden beneath the superficial trappings. One fitted blue dress, in particular, was quite beautiful–and the raincoats were very cool indeed.

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The parade of shorts, and short skirts, surprised me, but the tailored jackets were divine: and there were pieces like a yellow leather dress (beautifully made) that would probably look amazing on the right person. Perhaps it was just the Peter Pan collars that distracted me–and those are easily removed. But my favorite look was also the most “Carven”: a long, soft-yet-structured pink dess (and another, shorter version in butterscotch) that were very reminiscent of the Carven I’ve always loved. However, I did appreciate Guillaume Henry’s ability to mix new elements in with the classics. It made for a distinctive, original collection, and I’ll definitely go back to see more!

Photographs by Stephane Israël

FASHION WEEKS, CHIC WOMEN'S STYLE, Carven (4), Paris (393)

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