America has always loved a comeback – and the success of Guillaume Henry‘s cross-country tour last week is proof.
The exciting designer has just breathed new life into the hallowed French House of Carven — and, in bringing it to the American masses, he may have jumpstarted a happy new phase in Franco-American relations.
Flanked by Barneys New York Creative Ambassador-at-Large Simon Doonan, Mr. Henry showcased his spring 2011 collection at trunk shows and events in Barneys flagship stores from Los Angeles to New York. (Click here to see Simon’s recounting of the whirlwind tour – told with characteristic flair, of course.)
The bon ton of each town raised their glasses to the pair. In San Francisco, social luminary Vanessa Getty co-hosted an event and lavish dinner for Mr. Henry. The tour concluded in New York City on February 8 with a special Carven event and an intimate dinner, hosted by Alexa Chung.
Mr. Henry, who re-launched Carven as a contemporary ready-to-wear collection only two seasons ago, continues to transform it into a must-have label; its edgy take on youthful Parisian elegance is proving addictive.
What was once one of the best-kept secrets in fashion has a growing fan base among the world’s most well-known style influencers. Carven’s red carpet following has recently included Leighton Meester, Demi Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow and Emma Watson, to name a few.
Founded in 1945 by designer Carmen de Tommaso, the Carven house has maintained a truly Parisian and egalitarian view of fashion. Madame Carven, a free-spirited woman inspired by her travels, convictions and desires, entered the rarefied world of 1940s haute couture.
Mr. Henry has proven an ideal visionary to lead Carven into a new era. A graduate of the Beaux Arts in Paris, the Duperre School, and the Institut Français de la Mode, in 2002 Mr. Henry joined the house of Givenchy as a senior stylist and first assistant to Riccardo Tisci. In 2005, he moved to French ready-to-wear brand Paule Ka.
In 2009, Mr. Henry joined Carven as artistic director for the ready-to-wear collection, and has been transforming and modernizing the house since. The new Carven offers accessible luxury and captures the spirit of the moment through its simple and refined designs, inspired by elements of true Parisian chic – in which true style takes precedent over ostentation.
Photograph of Guillaume Henry and Vanessa Getty taken by Drew Altizer.
Photograph of Guillaume Henry and Amanda Brooks taken by Joe Schildhorn at BFAnyc.com