On the Runway

French Chic at Carven

In a single season, rising star Guillaume Henry has put the nearly-forgotten house of Carven – known for day dresses back in the Fifties – squarely back on the Paris map with a certain take on young, French chic — not the ubiquitous bobo (bourgeois bohemian), not too prim (despite the designer’s affection for closed collars) and not too pricey. For spring, Henry mixes in a little more exotica, lifting orientalist details such as tassles and sprinkling them on a button-down collar or, more daringly, on a three-piece cut-out sweater dress that involves a bustier and a micro-chemise. A smoking volcano print,
ancient columns seemingly lifted from engravings at the Louvre, and a colorful scarf print based on a treasure map from an imaginary land give spring plenty of pop, but the Parisiennes will probably leap on the short little draped and shirred numbers in techy fabric for evening; by day, the swingy belted and everso slightly metallic canvas
poncho cape can go just about anywhere.

Shopping note: A Carven boutique is expected for spring; in the meantime the most complete offerings are at Le Bon Marché and Galeries Lafayette in Paris.