An Orwellian Chill: Carven Paris Mens Spring/Summer 2015




Stepping back from his more typical playful prints and floral patterns, designer Guillaume Henry looks to the outskirts of London to draw inspiration for Carven’s menswear Spring/Summer 2015 collection.

Turning tradition on its head, Henry hands the runway over to working-class men who stride the streets in tracksuits, denying the primacy of blazer-clad inner-city boys. Indeed, the collection is heavily inspired by streetwear—a scene traditionally eschewed by high fashion, but in recent decades increasingly embraced by prominent designers, most notably Belgium’s Raf Simons and France’s inimitable Givenchy.

Suit jackets are paired with baggy black sweatpants swiped with white stripes; a series of shirts and sweatshirts with large segmented blocks of color is reminiscent of training gear nonchalantly thrown on before a chilly morning football session. Gone is the elegance of past collections: It is the working man’s time to rise.

Although the show is unlike what we have come to expect from the Parisian boutique, past fans of Carven can take solace in short-sleeved sweaters in bright orange and blue, and belted trench coats with intriguing spread collars. Still, the austerity of palette and inescapable sense of fabric entrapment blows an undeniable chill of Orwell’s 1984. However, considering the top-end target for Henry’s subtle designs of ensnarement, perhaps there is a whiff of revolution in the air after all.

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