It was only while exiting this morning’s show at the Grand Palais that I noticed the ‘old school’ cars parked, trunks facing the audience, lights flashing. Mais oui, they made perfect sense – this was pure va va voom! Guillaume Henry has kept his Carven girl on a strict uniform so far but today he unleashed her inner siren and boy, did she sing! She was grown up, sexy, and dangerous. With a second boutique in Paris opening today as well as the launch of a new fragrance, Carven Le Parfum, at Colette, Henry is sitting pretty comfortably in that driver’s seat.
The opening look of a pale blue wool coat seemed Carven business as usual but there was something older and wiser about it, the sleeves rounder and standing away from the body, the hips more pronounced. The new few looks were single-toned, either pale pink or blue – a double-breasted skirt suit or an oversized bathrobe coat (can we call the bathrobe coat the coat of 2013 already?) but it was the introduction of an animal print that signified the change in mood. In black and white (zebra, maybe?) on a dress it resembled a skeleton print but only in the cool, fun way that Henry knows – nothing spooky to see here. Then it appeared again, this time in black as a subtler pattern, on a done-up coat and a square tee with fluttering sleeves and a straight skirt to match. The see-though black dress, the animal stripes providing cover, paired with silk satin pink peep-toe heels was strong and sexy – its silk satin criss-cross collar the only Carven-as-we-know-it touch. The crushed velvet body-hugging dress that followed were great too as was the deer print – first as a pencil skirt with a maroon ribbed knit and then as a must-have trench coat, instantly making the old leopard print feel jus that – old. The car lights print that closed the show said it all pretty simply: Carven and Henry are going places.