For his debut collection at the helm of the French brand, Swiss designer Serge Ruffieux looked for inspiration in late founder Madame Carven’s life and the 250-piece-strong archive owned by Paris’ Galliera fashion museum.

Describing the season’s muse as “lemony because she is fresh, a touch crazy, acerbic — a French woman,” he sought to recapture the house founder’s curiosity and thirst for travel, as well as her aristocratic tastes.

Seed bead figures, lamb prints, geometric and tribal touches, coming from Madame Carven’s travel diaries, provided eccentric touches peppered on hunting jackets, high-necked georgette blouses and prim sundresses. Sheer skirts, a ruffled midriff-baring tussah silk top or soft pin-tucked jersey dresses kept this lineup as youthful as its predecessors.

The strongest pieces were dresses cut from denim-like chambray; crisp A-line skirts in mini and midi lengths; fresh twists on staples such as cardigans and jeans, and a hunter’s jacket with generous volumes and featuring ruffles on the pockets.

“The construction [of theater and movie sets, echoed in the Carven showroom’s new plywood livery] is old-fashioned but implies reconstruction, a work in progress,” Ruffieux said. “I find the word désuet [old-fashioned, in French] is a strength. It implies a ‘cool clash’ that resonates with me.” A teaser collection, launched today in Paris, also hinges on the “work in progress” theme.

More present than in previous collections, accessories continued the aristocratic-bohemian dichotomy: fanciful flat shoes blending driving shoes and point slippers with colorful ropes and tassels; two-sided handbags featuring oversize saddle stitches on one side and pared-back shapes, and an oversize boho shape available in combinations of cotton and leather.

See More From the Resort 2018 Collections:

Martha Medeiros Resort 2018: Martha Medeiro’s handmade Brazilian lace collection drew from the arid landscapes of the designer’s native region of Sertão. 

Elie Tahari Resort 2018: Elie Tahari designed his heavily embellished resort collection with the mind-set of traveling and escapism. 

Sass & Bide Resort 2018: Sophia Berman’s resort collection referenced Casa Batllo, a fantastically decorated home by Antoni Gaudí, to inject a Spanish flare into resort.

Naeem Khan Resort 2018: Naeem Khan’s resort collection was an ode to New York’s Botanical Garden and Miami’s beachside. 

Paule Ka Resort 2018: Alithia Spuri-Zampetti gave a bohemian twist to the resort collection with in-depth experimentation with textiles.

Nina Ricci Resort 2018: Guillaume Henry opted for a commedia dell’arte theme and also widened the collection’s price range.

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