by Lou Stoppard .

The Young Folk

Today Carven's Guillaume Henry showed his collection in the Club Sportivo on the Via del Fosso Macinante. An undeniably childlike venue - where the accompanying signs offered prospects of ciclismo, tamburello and tennis - that complimented the schoolboy looks on show. I'd like to think of this as a sign of the times. Or more specifically, a reaction to the uncertainly currently facing our home continent. It occurred to me today that designers are going in two opposing directions with their clothes in response to the current financial unease. There are those who stiffen up, suit up and adopt a warrior like veneer - see the return of bankable tailoring last season in Milan - and those who bury their head in the sand amid the surrounding crisis and embrace escapism - exemplified by the trend for butter-wouldn't-melt doll-like looks floating around the catwalks last S/S (I'm looking at you Louis V). The Carven youth obsession falls into the latter pack. His clothes exemplify the safety, innocence and joy of childhood. Fight or flight seems to be the question. Don an suit and battle the bothers head on, or skip off to Carven-land where the grass (as Madame Carven herself ensured) is always green? Tricky.

Full review of Carven will be up shortly!