16 posts tagged "Guillaume Henry"
In keeping with the concept behind his Fall ’14 collection, Carven’s Guillaume Henry looked to Dadaism when creating his Fall campaign. Lensed by Viviane Sassen for the sixth consecutive season, the snaps star models Kremi Otashliyska and Gustaaf Wassink as they pose against surreal, fragmented backdrops in Carven’s Fall wares. “There are three focuses in viewing each image: the background, color element, and model,” Henry told Style.com. “We wanted to create an art image as well as an advertising image, and it was conceived this way. We chose the images to be produced as collages, a technique borrowed from Dadaism with influences from Erwin Blumenfeld. It’s an artistic message—full of reference but also unique.” Have a look at the heady images, which debut above, exclusively on Style.com.
The Spring ’15 menswear collections are under way in Milan, and will be followed by the shows in Paris. Before the new clothes hit the runway, we’ve asked some of the most anticipated names to offer a sneak peek. Per usual, it’s a busy time for all—designers and fashion followers alike—so we’re continuing our split-second previews: tweet-length at 140 characters or less. Our entire collection of Spring ’15 previews is available here.
WHO: Carven, designed by Guillaume Henry
WHEN: Wednesday, June 25
WHAT: “Urban poetry.”—Guillaume Henry. The designer sent us his Spring ’15 inspiration images, above.
On Friday Carven unveiled a souped-up, revamped website featuring editorial content and e-commerce. The launch also marks the first time U.S. customers will be able to take advantage of Carven’s online shopping. “The website at first was more intimate,” offered Carven’s creative director, Guillaume Henry, who helped to revive the French house when he took the reins back in 2009. “But now, Carven is a global brand, and we needed to be a bit more open. So we had to rethink the website to help the customers get the mood and the feel of the brand.”
Along with the new site comes a heightened social media presence and the release of a clever short dubbed Carven: Social Media Love. “By myself, I’m not a big social media user because I would be an addict. I don’t want to communicate too much about who I am and what I love other than being a designer,” said Henry about his personal aversion to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the like. “But Carven needs a social media presence because the brand belongs to everyone.”
Created in the style of French New Wave (or La Nouvelle Vague) director Jean-Luc Godard, the sweet, quirky video shows fans Carven’s playful side. “Godard was part of La Nouvelle Vague. He was very fresh and had a very French taste, and that’s what we do at Carven,” explained Henry, describing the parallels between Godard’s vision and the direction of Carven. “It’s easy and sophisticated, but with a sense of humor and tasteful chicness.”
Henry makes a cameo in the flick, which premieres exclusively here, but he won’t be quitting his day job for a life onscreen any time soon. “It was so weird!” he said, laughing. “I like to design clothes. That’s what I do. But when you are a designer, you’re the face and voice of the brand, and I quite like the fact that they used my image in a friendly way—it’s nothing serious or pretentious at all.” Watch Henry’s endearing onscreen debut, above.
At Prada’s Spring ’14 show, we knew Miuccia was onto something. The giant face murals and face-printed fur coats and dresses sparked a revelation: Who knew the human visage made for such a compelling print? As such, we’re not surprised that the trend is popping up in the Pre-Fall and Fall ’14 menswear collections, but this time around the renderings are more abstract. Guillaume Henry, for instance, sent out sketchy doodles at Carven today. The frenzied black figures drawn on simple, collarless white button-downs seemed a fusion of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Tim Burton. At Stella McCartney’s Pre-Fall fete, the designer said she was inspired by Billy Idol-era punk. McCartney enlisted Gary Hume to draw loopy faces for an ivory crewneck and a black boxy overcoat, truly blurring the line between fashion and art. Finally, at Jean Paul Gaultier, the designer worked a few trends at once, splashing dark, grungy caricatures across a pure-as-snow fur jacket. In addition, his entire lookbook was shot against a cartoonish, hand-drawn backdrop—original art by JPG himself.
“It’s been sort of like a Carven World Tour these days,” laughed Carven‘s creative director, Guillaume Henry, while sitting in the lobby of the Mercer hotel. His description wasn’t hyperbolic in the least. In the last month, Carven has opened two boutiques in Shanghai, its first flagship in London, and now the house is preparing to debut a stateside outpost, in New York. Located at 83 Mercer Street, in Soho (with stores like Chloé, Saint Laurent, and Proenza Schouler just around the corner), the 1,636-square-foot space was designed in collaboration with architect Eric Chevallier. “I didn’t want it to be too impressive, though,” explained Henry. “I prefer places that feel comfortable, familiar, and approachable.” He plans to achieve said ambience by combining luxurious elements—like a black leather bench and marble details—with more industrial ones. “I love the idea of mixing opposites—day and night, sophisticated and casual, sexy and shy. I love two extreme worlds connected.”
The New York flagship will mark Carven’s sixteenth freestanding boutique (though the designer hints that a third Paris shop, outside the Marais, as well as another location in Manhattan, could be on the way). Carven’s investment in new international digs is a testament to Henry’s success at the brand, which, founded in 1943 by a now 104-year-old Carmen de Tommaso, was revived in 2009. Throughout the past five years, Henry has brought the sleeping heritage house back to life with his crisp, clean sense of modernity and his youthful approach to design. Last night, Henry sat down with Style.com (next to a newlywed couple in a bridal gown and a morning suit, oddly enough) to talk Carven’s history, imagined muses, and why real life is the most incredible inspiration.
You’ve been at Carven for five years. What have you learned?
I’m learning new things every single day. It’s completely crazy. We started with a white page, and now the book is starting to fill up. What I love about Carven is, it’s about pleasure, and a challenge, but at the same time the clothes talk to real people. Carven is part dream, part reality. We do a catwalk each season, and we tell the story of a woman, or a man. But then when the show is finished, they’re not my clothes anymore. They’re everyone’s clothes. And I love that they’re going to tell their own story. People are going to bring our clothes into their daily lives, and that’s something I adore.
What does it take to successfully revive a heritage house? Many have tried and failed, but you seem to have a pretty good grip on it.
I’ve been lucky. Carven is an old brand, but I’ve been there for the rebirth. You know, what Mme Carven [Carmen de Tommaso] did in the fifties was good in the fifties, but you have to think about why the brand worked back then. It worked because it was connected to its client. And Mme Carven was dressing cool young girls at that time, so our goal was to dress cool young people. Young is not only a question of age for me—it’s a question of attitude. It’s a question of having a fresh mind.
Do you ever feel beholden to Carven’s history, or to what Carmen de Tommaso would want?
Not really. It’s a very approachable company, and a very approachable brand. Mrs. Carven was a grand couturier, as we call them, but she didn’t reinvent concepts. She was a designer, for sure, but she was really making clothes, and I do believe in that. I’ve met her a few times, and she’s 104 years old, but she’s super young! I think when she decided to sell the brand, she took a stance and separated herself from it. But I always ask myself if she would understand what I’m designing. I’m sure she wouldn’t have done the same things—but would she respect the DNA of the brand? That’s the main thing for me.
What has been your biggest challenge at Carven thus far?
Getting Carven on Mercer Street. Five years ago, when I’d call retailers and say, “OK, we are Carven,” they would hang up the phone. And now, we’re on Mercer Street, which is like, “OK, we did it!” It’s been a fantastic challenge for us, because it was a dream. It wasn’t a question of success or anything like that. I have no idea what success means. Especially in this industry—you never know. But Carven, for me, is fresh. And for people, it’s a new brand. It’s an international brand. It’s not a question of history anymore. And that’s very satisfying. Continue Reading “Guillaume Henry Takes Carven ‘Round The World” »