In its 21st Century incarnation the Parisian fashion label Carven - currently Alexa Chung’s “dream label” - is only three years old. But you’d never know it looking at the line-up of cool-girls and fashion heavy-weights (in power terms only of course, everyone here is a size 8) perched on the front row for its long awaited show this morning.
Carven is a new French fashion powerhouse as evidenced by its amazingly rapid growth from zero to 500 global stockists since 2009. It makes sense when you see the best-selling clothes.
If you love the trends for skirt suits, umbrella shaped skirts, Princess coats, pretty pinafores and Peter Pan collars you have Carven and its young French designer Guillaume Henry to thank.
In what it emerging as a key trend in Paris the Autumn/Winter 2012 Carven show opened this morning with a scenic tapestry skirt suit, with the skirt part being decidedly A-line. (Balenciaga did A-line skirts this morning, so be prepared!) Its rich navy leather, burgundy patent, or ruch brown leather shoes were T-barred and platform-soled. The rest was pure want to wear stuff: grey wool coats were short and swingy with fur collars; cropped jackets either came in multi-colour stripes or in navy with curved peplums and there were plenty more of those flared skirts – some depicting religious Renaissance paintings.
Carven’s signature colourful dresses looked, for the most part anyway, like adult versions of what a toddler girl in a portrait sitting might wear.
If you think that sound scary, it isn’t. The fabrics of these puff-sleeved cocktail hour fancies were a little more racy – a clutch of shift dresses came in see-through spirals of Broderie Anglais in black or mustard, while fit and flare dresses came in hot pink or orange shiny duchess satin. All in all a collection, you wish you could go right out and buy from stores this minute.
by Melanie Rickey in Paris