Today’s Carven show was built for speed. You might even say it was built from speed: As Guillaume Henry explained, his key reference this season was racing, taking in everything from Formula 1 team uniforms to the blurred stripe of a brightly colored car taking a curve at a couple hundred miles per hour. To which the reply had to be, “Sure, yeah, but maybe the 1960s were kind of a thing, too. And what about Japan?” It wasn’t like Henry was trying to be sly—alongside all the racing motifs, the mod silhouettes and Edo-style illustration prints were front and center here. As were the big ol’ bags many of the models cuddled under their arms, a little distractingly, like helmets. The bags will sell, and so will the clothes—the spiffy bike shorts and zip-up tops, the PVC-python coats with daggered lapels, the kicky A-line minidresses. There may have been a straightforward commercial aspect here, but given that Henry has presided over such a rapid expansion of this only lately relaunched brand, perhaps it’s fair to recognize retail appeal as a key part of the Carven vocabulary—right in the mix with lace (printed here) and strong shapes for coats (to wit, those bladelike lapels).

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