On the eve of Paris Fashion Week GUILLAUME HENRY, Creative Director at Carven, talks EXCLUSIVELY to CAMILLA MORTON for Browns about women, and what they are wearing this fall.
What was your starting point for Fall 2014?
I went to an amazing exhibition at the Jeu du Paume, in Paris, of Erwin Blumenfeld, you know the photographer who used to shoot for Vogue, and it had some of his photography, drawings and collages. It was the Dada-feel collage I was very inspired by and I loved the idea, the colours, the dirty pink, dusty yellows...
Who is the Carven woman?
I think she is always surprising. I like the mix of attractive and shy, designing for dual, contradicting emotions - the contrast of who you see and what is real. I took very covered codes worn with fetish shoes, bags hugged like teddy-bears, belted waists, day versus night, rich versus poor, girl versus woman. Women aren’t obvious, and I like that they have secrets, and I like this in my design; I have embroidery or fur hidden in the pocket, to collage the emotion and unexpected.
Virgin Wool Coat with
Arrow Embroidered Dress
A-line Wool Skirt
What is the difference between French and English women and their style?
I don’t think there is such a difference now, we are all so connected - it’s all so fast, everybody is sharing their own history. Yes, I am a French designer, I look at French film, I love Belle du Jour and its bourgeoise, I love the waist, the curve, but that is me; I love for the woman to make it hers as she wears it.
What is the silhouette and fabric that defines Carven this season?
It’s not all-over embellishment, it’s not there to be nice, it’s a bit Dada, a bit like when you are on the phone and you do a doodle... I wanted to have these almost naïve-like motifs that went against what you were expecting, to play with the sequin and then contradict it...
Wool Tartan Oversized Coat
Zip Collar Dress
Tattoo Print Wool Top
Collar Cardigan with
Carven has very graphic, clean and strong silhouettes. How would you define the codes of the house?
Carven is the name of the brand, but I don’t look at the archive, its not about philosophy it’s about product. You can look at the archive and there are full gowns in taffeta but now it’s not that occasion. When I design I think ‘is she the Carven Woman’, ‘is she now’, and I think of colour, attitude, proportion. I want her to be chic and a bit quirky.
What keeps Carven relevant?
To look conventional but discover that it’s not; it’s to dress with a twist.
When did you first discover Browns?
I first came about five years ago, but of course I have heard the name, and it is such a famous English institution. To be in Browns is very important to me.