A deer in headlights. How might that classic, and not necessarily flattering, euphemism translate to the runway? Quite literally, as it turned out at Carven, where Guillaume Henry showed his fall collection against a backdrop of an old car, closing the show with a couple of doe patterns on a pencil skirt and wrap coat, followed by a blurry headlight print that appeared on a slipdress with excess fabric flapping off the side seams. Those tricks, as well as the tonal zebra-stripe motif that was a constant throughout, felt disappointingly gimmicky for Henry, who has been a steady source of sophistication, novelty and youthful whimsy.
The whole collection wasn’t a wash, although some of it seemed inspired by bathroom decor — robe coats in candy pink and blue, and a range of major textural plays, from boiled wool to brushed mohair to a nubby material that looked a bit like carpeting. It worked on coats, which came in all shapes and sizes and were generally stellar, including an oversize fluffy white mohair style and two classic, slim camel jackets. Buried underneath were the great knits and short skirts for which Carven has become known.