Carving out Carven II

Carving out Carven II

I'm 'borrowing' this title (well, not technically borrowing seeing as I came up with it…) from an earlier piece I did on Carven back in November for Dazed Digital, where I interviewed creative director Guillaume Henry to find out…well…what the heck is Carven.  I'm quite tickled by the fact that in the piece I did predict this name would be bounced around a bit more for A/W 10-11 and lo and behold, recently, there has been a bit of Carven hype – Suzy Menkes called it a label with 'sense and sensibility' (when will we get together and talk Austen, eh Suzy?), Natalie Massenet of Net-a-Porter threw an introductory bash for Henry, Maria Luisa can't stop raving about Carven and I spy Carven at Browns for next season.  Back to the main point at hand… what the heck is Carven?

It's a French house supposedly most famous for its perfume Ma Griffe but like I said in my previous post beauty dunce here wouldn't know that at all.  Ailing French houses getting a revamp is an all too familiar story but Guillaume Henry seems to have steered it in a slightly different direction, creating directional clothes, but not overly so, that are as Fashionista put it 'Marc by Marc Jacobs' prices (evident by the current collection on NAP).  The New York Times likened Carven to Cacharel (another C I talked about for the new tide of fresh injection) in its price point pitching.  Which brings us back to the A/W 10-11 collection for which I could realistically be saving pennies for if the prices hover around the ¬£300 mark for a dress, ¬£500-600 for a coat and less for all the other bits and bobs, namely the ruched gloves.

Ok, so critically speaking, there are elements of many quite recognisable things compressed into the collection but for a French house that isn't out to make a "lot of noise" as Henry puts it (reflected perhaps in the pricepoints…), I'm not going to nit pick away at clothes that would form pretty sturdy cornerstones in a wardrobe without losing that inexplicable quality that makes you go 'Ooooh…what's that?' when you spy something cute on another girl.  For me, the tale would start to sour a bit, if Carven does start getting lofty aspirations with price hikes… so fingers crossed, a knotted ruched shirt or a super slitted peter pan-collar dress won't just be imaginary lust list items…



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  1. may

    2010-04-07 at 9:59 PM

    loving all the twists to these “simple” lines

  2. PixelHazard

    2010-04-07 at 10:05 PM

    Yeah what a pity if the integral componants don’t translate readily into wearable available fashion.

  3. Gem Fatale

    2010-04-07 at 10:11 PM

    Lovely lovely lovely!
    Thanks for bringing Carven to my attention.
    I now have new peter pan collar porn!

  4. Glamour

    2010-04-07 at 10:23 PM

    I’ve been dying to get these clothes in my wardrobe!! Have you been following the story of Carven…? Girls with fashion know-how are perfect for Style Council…

  5. Sophia Schwan

    2010-04-07 at 10:36 PM

    I love Carven to pieces. I bought the nude ruched dress a few months ago and its so perfect. Just enough detail and fashion forward but not loud so it’s a great staple.

  6. samantha

    2010-04-07 at 11:46 PM

    Such beautiful pieces! Love them all

  7. teacups & couture

    2010-04-08 at 12:32 AM
  8. Ioana Liliana Gheorghe

    2010-04-08 at 12:42 AM

    Nice and clean, but still quite creative. Fingers crossed!

  9. Rae

    2010-04-08 at 12:57 AM

    Beautiful pieces on such a beautiful girl! I love your blog! Come follow mine and I’ll follow yours!! 😀
    Take a Walk on a Rae of Sunshine:

  10. fashionfletcher

    2010-04-08 at 2:19 AM

    I love every single piece in this collection! The look is so edgy and sophisticated! Visit!

  11. Brigadeiro

    2010-04-08 at 2:55 AM

    I have only recently discovered Carven, and LOVE their stuff! Beautifully cut and wearable covetable pieces…

  12. fashion westie

    2010-04-08 at 2:59 AM

    Totes wearable, totes covetable, god, what am I? 4? TOTALLY wearable/covetable/have-to-have-able….love it! Uber inspired by this!
    Come check in at fashion westie for my Pointer X Karen Walker Giveaway!

  13. Marie

    2010-04-08 at 4:04 AM

    Thanks so much for sharing — very sophisticated and ladylike with a little bit of an edge. Lovely.

  14. Becca

    2010-04-08 at 4:44 AM

    These are some really lovely garments.. loving them.

  15. Dani

    2010-04-08 at 5:01 AM

    oh, these are great. i especially like the patterned long skirt in the last row.

  16. Leonidas

    2010-04-08 at 9:53 AM
  17. vicki

    2010-04-08 at 11:22 AM

    wow, i love nearly every single piece there!

  18. bird

    2010-04-08 at 11:49 AM

    beautiful pieces! i love a good puff sleeve especially mixed up like this!

  19. jenna

    2010-04-08 at 12:05 PM

    i’m interested. love it.

  20. Ji

    2010-04-08 at 12:39 PM

    Carven did knew a gold era once, but it was past, and the Maison de couture was forgotten for a moment. I am happy to see that they are making a brilliant Come-Back.
    this is probably very trendy to see the rebirth of forgotten french Fashion brands (with Balmain for example)

  21. Margaret

    2010-04-08 at 12:49 PM

    :O I want every piece!

  22. Clare

    2010-04-08 at 1:00 PM

    I adore this collection, it’s a bit wonderful. Feels so modern yet antique at the same time.

  23. Miss Hiccup

    2010-04-08 at 2:57 PM

    I’m so thrilled to see this label getting revitalized! I’m loving the new pieces (peter pan collars and high-waisted shorts… swoon!). A couple of years ago, my mother gave me a vintage Carven coat that is one of my most favoritest items in my closet. I couldn’t dig much up on the label at the time, but now there seems to be info aplenty. The Vintage Fashion Guild has a rather detailed retrospective on Ms. Carven herself, the label’s founder, if you haven’t already seen it:

  24. susie_bubble

    2010-04-08 at 3:26 PM

    Thanks Miss Hiccup for the Carven link…. very insightful stuff… when I interviewed Guillaume Henry, he said he wasn’t so interested in delving into the archives which is an interesting route to take… we’ll have to see whether this is sustained though…

  25. Mamie Canem

    2010-04-10 at 12:59 PM

    I love the little “col claudine” (how do you translate that in english?) on the brown drap√©e dress…

  26. molly

    2010-05-12 at 2:03 PM

    i found a 1940’s carven coat in a thrift store, its so amazing. i bought it for 20 bux but i wonder if its worth much more… hey?

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