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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Carven: First Stab at a Fresh Identity

Suzy Menkes at Paris Fashion Week: Day Three

6 Марта 2015


The ever-present underlying drama in Paris is how to keep alive the maisons — fashion houses whose glory days are in the past. 

We have watched the big groups cream off the best, feed them with money — and hope it will work. But when it is a small business, founded by a woman from another era whose vision was herself… How to go forward? 


I remember the first mini-presentation at Carven by its previous Creative Director, Guillaume Henry, and the effect was of high school girls who might have been great-grandchildren of the founder. The clothes were fresh, decent, slightly cooky — and very French. Above all, under that designer there was a sense of innocence.  

If the new Creative Director duo of Alexis Martial (formerly with Italian brand Iceberg) and Adrien Caillaudaud had a premise, it was not offered in show notes. 


There were celebs in the audience, including Beyoncé’s sister Solange and socialite Olivia Palermo, which produced the usual frenzy among photographers and a shrug from the rest. 

Then came the clothes: cute, bright colours, un-memorable, not particularly French — just wearable. 


The show started with short skirts and skinny stretch trousers, best with frilly lace blouse or woven knits. It then moved to texture, with satin brocade in a floral pattern. Colours came in pops of blue, red and orange. 

And that was about it. If you need a coat for Winter 2015 there were a couple – an apology of outerwear. If you wanted to experiment with a longer hem line, or any daring departure, it was not there. 

If this duo want to make an impact on Carven beyond creating OK clothes, they need to have a concept — and above all to indicate their message clearly and concisely.


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