Carven Alexis Martial Adrien Caillaudaud
Alexis Martial (left) and Adrien Caillaudaud (right)

First up, who they are

The dude with the long hair is Alexis Martial, formerly creative director of Iceberg and, before that, Paco Rabanne. The other is Adrien Caillaudaud, who – prior to the duo’s appointment earlier this year in March – worked alongside Riccardo Tisci on Givenchy’s accessories line. Both struck up a friendship 12 years ago at the Parisian fashion school Atelier Chardon Savard and, save for Martial’s post-graduation years at Givenchy (he did knitwear and couture), this is the first time they’re working together.

carven fall winter 2015
Jacquard and hand-embellished knits lend a touch of luxury.

Youth rules

Under their highly successful predecessor Guillaume Henry – he left last September for Nina Ricci – the most distinct element about the brand was its girlie exuberance. While Caillaudaud and Martial have upped the edge, their approach is equally youthful (cue the thigh-grazing A-line skirts, pop-hued prints and schoolgirl socks in their F/W ’15 debut collection). Martial explains: “Youthfulness is a major part of our vision. It’s what every woman wants, and it gives us designers more space to play with colours, lengths and hemlines.”

carven fall winter 2015
Their Fall debut is anchored by youthful miniskirts and high-waisted skinny pants.

Sexy new signatures

While the tops in their F/W ’15 collection range from slim-cut men’s-inspired shirts to sequinned pullovers, there were just two key bottoms: a slightly bell-shaped miniskirt and high-waisted skinny pants. Youthful, flirty and bold, they’re meant to reinforce the brand’s punchier attitude, with all the other pieces – including accessories – centring around them. Says Caillaudaud: “It was important for us to repeat these silhouettes so that people can understand the label’s updated image.” And if that’s not enough, expect variations of them in Resort 2016 too.

carven paris accessories
Expect a full accessories line, including jewellery made in Paris.

Next up: more accessories

While they’ve mostly been complementary to the clothes at Carven, the pair intends to change that – starting with the star satchel they introduced this season (it’s in Resort 2016 too). A modern play on the schoolgirl messenger, it sports clean lines, bold geometric clasps, and comes in colour-blocking or a vintage-inspired floral pattern. Says Caillaudaud: “A Parisian girl might wear classic jeans and a T-shirt, but has that amazing accessory to make her outfit special. Having an iconic bag, shoe or jewellery is very important to us.” At the same time, he reveals that the duo’s working on a new line of “classic bags”, and an eyewear partnership. “We’d like to have a big line of accessories because it completes our global vision of the brand.”

An adapted version first appeared in 
Female’s October issue. 

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