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Mindful mode at Louise Trotter debut

Fashion week loves nothing more than a debut, and the industry witnessed an impressive one on Saturday morning when Louis Trotter showed her first collection for Carven.

Carven – Spring-Summer2024 – Womenswear – France – Paris – © Launchmetrics

A collection suggesting a brand marching forward to an elegant future and a collection with a tremendous sense of volume, gentle and alluring fabrics and overall sense of protectiveness.
Staged in a construction site within an 8th arrondissement mansion on Avenue Marceau, the cast marched so quickly they created a breeze at the finale. Underlining the sense that this collection was made for extremely busy urban women.

What worked best were the ideally draped A-Line trench coats with billowing sleeves, snug double-breasted spencers and classy pale gray wool blazers paired with cool gauze skirts. 
The new creative director also showed green stripe shirts – a Carven staple – though not the full skirts for which the house was best known. Carven was the first designer to patent a push-up bra, and Trotter wove a few onto the exteriors of a pair of flared tops.
But unlike many designers in their first shows, Trotter didn’t take a deep dive into the house’s archives, even if she played with a few codes. Which for a brand founded in 1945 by Marie-Louise Carven are substantial.
“The archives are there and will be a great source of inspiration for the future. But I wanted to look ahead in this collection, not to the past, which I think is what Madame Carven would have wanted,” explained the diminutive UK-born Trotter post-show.
Trotter has an excellent track record of injecting new life into houses where she has been creative director – like Joseph and more recently, Lacoste. So, this show augured well for the future.
Those of us who had the honor of meeting Madame Carven fondly recall a petite 5.1-foot-tall lady blessed with a warm and friendly eye, and precise sense of style. And not a designer given much musing over the past. Suggesting Trotter’s declared goal in her program notes of creating “mindful, joyful and positive” clothes at Carven could well be very successful.

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