Carven Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear: Woman Dressing Women

Louise Trotter is fleshing out her vision of the Carven woman.

On Saturday, she unveiled a new logo for the historic French fashion house, in tandem with her sophomore collection. Though it’s early days, Trotter has succeeded in stoking buzz around the label, which is preparing to reopen its historic boutique at the foot of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées next week; the brand’s Instagram account already has one million followers. 

“We were really quite pleasantly and positively surprised how good the reaction was,” she said of her debut last season.

Rebuilding the brand’s identity is an ongoing process for the designer, who focused on creating the kind of wardrobe staples you can wear on repeat, but that still kindle desire.  

The clothes were all soft curves and gentle folds: supersized coats with wide rounded shoulders, loosely gathered tops and elongated skirts came in a palette of neutrals punctuated with dashes of scarlet and pistachio green.  

Trotter stripped away detail to focus on textures, from a fuzzy knit tube top worn with slouchy pants to a dress in shaggy ivory fringe. 

“There’s a sort of interesting space between what is sportswear, what is eveningwear, what is daywear, and so I think that’s something I’ve worked with and thought about, but also this feeling of being dressed and undressed,” she said during a preview. 

The designer wasn’t talking about the naked dressing trend that has swept runways this season, and which is probably giving bra manufacturers restless nights. 

“Women can choose how they want to be for themselves, and if they want to attract that gaze, then that’s also OK. I think the woman that I speak to, or the woman that I want to express, is a woman who dresses for herself,” Trotter said. 

Tops with draped collars peeled open at the back, while scooped vests were paired with sculptural skirts pinned with a brooch at the hip. Quirky accessories included padded ballet flats that could quickly achieve cult status.

Trotter’s cerebral sensuality is the sort that never sacrifices comfort. “How you feel in the clothes is very important to me,” she said. “I always ask the models: ‘How do you feel in that? Do you feel good in that?’”

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