Marie-Louise Carven died aged 105 earlier in the summer. She founded the Parisian brand Carven in 1945. At age 84, Ms. Carven retired. She was one of the first couturiers to branch into ready-to-wear. She produced cinematic collections, held in theatres and inspired by films. She is a woman who designed for herself; an admirable thing to do. In 2015, her namesake brand lives on. Until October of last year it was under the helm of Guillaume Henry. The designer resuscitated the brand and it grew rapidly. Sales did increasingly well. The brand was noticed more and more. Then in 2014, Henry left the brand for Nina Ricci. His replacements: Alexis Martial and Adrien Caillaudaud. The duo were named artistic directors in March, a few days before their Paris Fashion Week display. Their mission: to maintain the cool girl aesthetic that Henry created and perfected oh so well.
Alexis Martial began working on knitwear at Givenchy, under Riccardo Tisci. He worked on both ready-to-wear and haute couture collections. In 2012, he joined Paco Rabanne. He left a year later to join Milanese brand Iceberg. In 2014 he was poached by the powers that be at Carven. Due to lack of exposure, there is a lot less known about Adrien Caillaudaud. We know he went to the same university as Martial. He worked at Marc Jacobs before counting onto Givenchy like his companion. There he worked on shoes and accessories.
The collection opened with a lilac double-crepe A-line mini skirt and a velvet flocked organza shirt. A gold-plated brass necklace was inspired by Olafur Eliasson’s exhibition The Weather Project. The outfit was a sports luxe dream. The chunky-heeled mules were styled with ribbed socks. White heels resembled sneakers. The sportiness of a Carven collection does a good job of glamourising its subject.
Cropped high waisted trousers were a welcome fixture in the collection. One grey tweed pair were styled with a matching bomber jacket and an orange knit sweater. A pair of merlot trousers were paired with a flocked organza blouse and a wool cavan coat with a black shearling neckline. The coat appeared in the next look, except in jacket form. Sapphire trousers were worn this time.
The model’s stride exuded confidence and vitality. They embodied the persona of the Carven girl. Cropped jackets, eel skin coats, cropped high waisted trousers, mules. There was a splendid array of clothing in this collection. From start to finish, the new duo kept things interesting. There was a spring in the step of the new Carven. The future is bright.
Photo Credit: style.com