>> French heritage houses like Nina Ricci and Vionnet have both been reinvented in the last couple of years with a more contemporary approach; now, add Carven to the trend.
Founded in Paris by couturier Madame Carmen de Tommaso in 1945, Carven was originally launched for petite women. Two seasons ago, former Givenchy designer Guillaume Henry was tasked with kickstarting the label again, and judging by the reception, he's succeeded.
Last night, Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet feted Henry in London, where she gushed: "The clothes . . . Not only did we love them — the Parisian street attitude really struck a bell with us — but we just couldn't believe the amazing prices. Does this guy look like a young Saint Laurent or what? . . . These clothes are going to change your life. I'm really looking forward to watching this man blossom and to seeing what he becomes in 20 years time."
The New York Times reports "raves" over the line »
Carven is shown quietly out of fashion season, but has "won raves for its playful new attitude under the direction of Henry," reports the New York Times' Eric Wilson. The Fall 2010 collection, which includes a black felt dress with laser-cut flowers and draped jersey coats, will be carried by Opening Ceremony (Carven is already stocked by Net-a-Porter and Farfetch.com).
“Fresh and sporty — Madame Carven in the 1950s and the photos of Lartigue,” Henry told the New York Times of his vision for the house's makeover.