It feels as if the Carven girl I’ve come to know is getting to be a little more grown-up. Where there used to be detachable collars, swingy schoolgirl skirts and comfy ribbed sweaters is now a slightly more sophisticated young woman who wears a sleeker suit and dress in a muted palette. Slicked with a clean side part is now how she wears her hair, where there used to be flyaways.

carven-spring-summer-2013-women-10

It’s not necessarily a bad thing though, every girl has to grow up, and Guillaume Henry is designing up with her needs in mind. This Spring Summer 2013 collection feels a little experimental, but not without some key pieces that felt just right. I loved that he still did his fun cutouts, this time kidney-shaped above the chest and a little semi-circle at the midriff. I loved the laser-cut leather pieces that were deliberately frayed on the body and at the hem, as if the leather was peeling.

carven-spring-summer-2013-women-8

As the collection progressed, the mood seemed to lift gradually; it became more upbeat, hints of the girl within that still remains, and then it burst into these delightful white dresses with sketches of the African safari in red and black. Cheetahs finding shade under a tree, zebras, giraffes, humans coming to see them in their four-wheel-drives. It made me grin crazily. Right at the end, the focus went back to the young sophisticate in feminine dresses of some metallic sheen with laser-cut lace panels at the chest.

I may not have understood perfectly the order of progression, but there was something that felt familiar, and fresh at every turn.

Images & Video: Carven