For Spring 2012, designer Guillame Henry brought a sense of folkloric fun-in-the-sun to his neat yet naughty Parisian aesthetic. Carven is expanding with fast-paced energy, especially in the realm of handbags. While the clothes vacillated between twisted schoolgirl uniforms (tweaked with leather, via pleated skirts, cut-out jumpers, and high-waisted shorts) and colorful, easy dresses with a dash of Lolita (and even easier shoes, somehow so frumpy, they heightened the cool factor in a way only Parisians could manage), the bags peppered throughout the show brought them to vivid color.
In festive ethnic candy-rainbow stripes and Ikat-like prints, they offered verve and context to the coquettish clothes, enhancing the mood of refined play. It looks like Carven has found their niche with the roomy clutch – large enough to be carefree, materials that are perfectly unexpected, and formal enough to appeal to the Carven woman’s love of a good dress.
The peppy goldenrods of the frocks and royal blues of the shoes demanded bags that played up their sense of elegant cute. Think Gretel dropping breadcrumbs en route to grandmother’s house – if Granny lived in a fabulous Paris apartment, and Gretel was a chic city girl who loved adventurous vacations. A stretch of the imagination, but isn’t that the charm of getting dressed?