For his first collection as men’s designer for Carven, Barnabé Hardy put his personal spin on the contemporary brand’s urban classics. He blurred the contours of jackets and outerwear with Op Art prints and textural effects designed to highlight the play of shadow and light.
“I like subtlety. I think men’s clothes tend to be either so classic that they are very, very boring, or so eccentric that they are no longer wearable. For Carven, I wanted a balance — and sometimes it’s borderline — between a detail that is out of the ordinary and more classic fabrics and shapes,” the Balenciaga alum explained.
A jacket rendered in a monochrome dégradé tweed could have passed for a knit, while a khaki raincoat was given depth with panels of irregularly patterned quilting. A gingko leaf pattern was a recurring motif — woven into a navy nylon jacquard zip-up jacket, appliquéd on a suede jacket or nestling amid dots on khaki shorts.
Hardy, wearing a small ladybird pin that once belonged to his grandmother, said he included the gingko leaf pattern as a good-luck charm. “I wanted it to be the common thread of the collection. Since it is a very visual, very graphic element, I think it could also become the emblem of the Carven man,” he said.
The talisman appeared to have worked its magic. Low-key but assured, Hardy’s debut outing showed the Carven men’s collection is in safe hands.