It was one of those awkward interim seasons at Carven, where the design studio has to put together a collection without official creative direction. To recap, creative directors Alexis Martial and Adrien Caillaudaud left the house after the spring show, and Serge Ruffieux is incoming from Dior, but not in time for the fall collection.

The theme was Mrs. Dalloway, a woman for whom the simple act of buying flowers becomes a transformative experience. Naturally, there were a lot of floral reference: Magnolia petals inspired the draped sleeves on a blush pink ottoman silk dress; the gently gathered pleats on the midsection of an ice blue blouse and pink cocktail dress were meant to evoke arum flowers, and there was an abstract black-and-white floral print. For all the flower power, the freshest, strongest pieces were a chic black dress with a wide, portrait collar, and a range of twisted Vichy-printed tailored pieces. The studio did it its duty. Now, we have to wait to see what Ruffieux brings to Carven.

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