CARVEN AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK
Under Guillaume Henry, Carven became one of the most commercially compelling fashion reboots of recent years: Couture heritage and a philosophy of mid-price quirk proved customer catnip. So how to reinvent that reinvention? “Make it electric,” said new designer Adrien Caillaudaud. “She is a nice Parisienne, but now we want to give her a nice twist, to electrolyze her.” With his partner Alexis Martial—who only started working (officially) three days ago—Caillaudaud presented a debut Carven collection today that duly zinged.
The first look of their reign was a wraparound lilac mini and a white organza shirt with cloudy puffs of flock. The gold amulet necklace—inspired by Olafur Eliasson’s Weather Project at Tate Modern—and the rubber-slung slingback clogs teamed with knit ankle socks flickered throughout. The newly electrolyzed Carven girl favors unforgiving pants: leanly cut, high-waisted, and 1960s skiwear-touched. Eel-skin overcoats, paillette-speckled knitwear, and foam-collared bombers, gilets, jackets, and pants in pulsating, nostalgic floral jacquards were all easy on the eye, yet looked potentially problematic on the pocket. A black-piped, boiled-wool overcoat in navy; a drill parka in khaki; and jasper-print separates appeared to be less soul-searching, but similarly satisfying purchases.
Martial and Caillaudaud met 12 years ago—on their first day of fashion school—and have long plotted to work together. This collection was a sparky enough first outing à deux. It should prove fun to see how much electricity they can generate.