Carven Spring 2012: Designer Guillaume Henry Tells Us Why He Doesn't Want to Do a Runway Show or Use Top Models (Oh, and the Clothes Are Amazing)

PARIS--We've made no effort to conceal our fondess for the recently revived Carven line, helmed by the talented (and adorable) Guillaume Henry. And today at the Jeu de Paume, Henry delivered, once again, a collection that inspired straight-up lust. It was Parisian-chic-goes-global and I wanted it all. And that's precisely the point. Henry wants every girl to see herself in these clothes.
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Leah Chernikoff
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PARIS--We've made no effort to conceal our fondess for the recently revived Carven line, helmed by the talented (and adorable) Guillaume Henry. And today at the Jeu de Paume, Henry delivered, once again, a collection that inspired straight-up lust. It was Parisian-chic-goes-global and I wanted it all. And that's precisely the point. Henry wants every girl to see herself in these clothes.
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PARIS--We've made no effort to conceal our fondess for the recently revived Carven line, helmed by the talented (and adorable) Guillaume Henry. And today at the Jeu de Paume, Henry delivered, once again, a collection that inspired straight-up lust. It was Parisian-chic-goes-global and I wanted it all.

And that's precisely the point. Henry wants every girl to see herself in these clothes. "I don't see these girls being top models," he said. "They are super beautiful but I want the models to seem like a girl you would see in the street--that's why we tried to recreate the street for the show. It's like you're in a cafe and you see these girls walking by." Instead of sending A-list models down a runway, Henry booked fresh faces and sat editors and buyers on little sections of stairs, so that models had to weave around them.

As for the clothes themselves, Henry said he had a "Parisian chic girl with no passport" in mind. He mentioned references to Brittany and eastern Europe. There was also a nod to Bavaria in the way of lederhosen over prim collared button-downs and girly dresses. There was no shortage of color (cobalt blue, mustard yellow and hot pink), stripe-y prints to mix and match with, and whimsy. Carven is unapologetically girly--flared skirts, mod-ish baby doll dresses and one-shouldered party frocks are hallmarks of the line. But it's quirky too, and that's why we like it. For quirk this season, Henry's girls literally had bells on--on their heels and on bib necklaces and on their backpacks (which were awesome). "I wanted them to make some noise," said Henri. Success. On all counts.

**All photos via Imaxtree