Fresh point of view by Carven
For his debut collection, creative director Serge Ruffieux proposes an elegant twist. The new Carven girl delights in a fresh point of view, alighting upon the touchstones of Madame Carven’s legacy to arrive at a modern eccentricity. She is grounded; a curious traveler alive with the spirit of adventure. Nonchalant, she breaks the codes of the French wardrobe into playful new ideas: cherry-picking from a trove of nostalgic treasures that cross cultures and continents.
A swirling circle of Parisian muses inform the season’s quirky, intellectual streak. Sorbet tones of watermelon, cornflower, and red apple contrast aristocratic shades of forest green, taupe, ivory and black, for an ironic palette with subtle nods to the leisurely pursuits of the bourgeoisie. Both tribal and geometric, naïve prints swirl across the collection in new and archival designs depicting wallpaper mosaics, primitive florals, and bucolic animal motifs.
Proportions are dictated by structure and texture: sheer skirts extend tiered apron silhouettes, jackets and knits are cropped to the bust, and menswear details like patch pockets and shirt collars contrast A-line shapes. Flared tunic and sundresses create cinched and gathered shapes – couture volumes subverted in humble textiles like cotton poplin, chambray, and rough tweed. Sculptural ruffles define a peplum waist, as rounded puff sleeves and knotted plackets play with symmetry and drape. Inversely, noble materials from georgette to raw silk, smooth leather, hand embroidery and glossy ‘chintz-ed’ cotton appear throughout, adding a feminine élan to polo tops, field jackets, striped shirting, and tailored city shorts. Elsewhere, ladylike twinsets in optical jacquards and silk foulards are pitched against pleated mid-calf skirts and cropped 5-pocket denim.
Embellished shoes and accessories are influenced by Madame Carven’s exotic carnet de voyage, in an ode to the far-flung locations she visited and even showed her collections. Flat styles are key: moccasins, sandals and pointed slippers are festooned with tassels, braided leather straps, scalloped edges and topstitching in a multitude of vibrant colours. Soft bags in leather and cotton canvas merge saddlery details with curvilinear Modernist forms. Constructed with both rigid and supple pockets, they feature blanket-stitched edging, drawstrings, chain hardware, and adjustable, detachable shoulder straps.