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Paris Fashion Week: new design duo debut at Carven

As well as other highlights from day three of Paris Fashion Week, including Lanvin and Balmain.

On third day of Paris Fashion Week everyone was talking about Carven and the first womenswear collection under its new creative director duo Adrien Caillaudaud and Alexis Martial, following former designer Guillaume Henry’s departure to Nina Ricci.

Henry left some big shoes to fill, having turned around the fortunes of the French label and given it a new lease of life, and this collection maintained the very Parisian attitude that Henry instilled.

From the first look there was a typically Parisian feel and retro slant to the collection, thanks to a Jane Birkin-inspired wrap around A-line skirt with oversized buttons that nodded to a cool take on the 1960s.

Lean, high waisted skinny cropped trousers were key throughout, appearing in everything from black and navy through to tomato red and electric blue or even floral jacquards, all finished with a retro skinny belt and modern clumpy shoes and ankle socks. The trousers felt new at Carven, but how the super skinny silhouette will translate remains to be seen.

Although not the loudest pieces in the collection, the tailored navy coats stood out. Curved wide lapels again nodded to styles of decades past, available cropped or long, hooded or furry trimmed, they were as pretty as they were simple and wearable.

With Kim Kardashian sitting front row alongside husband Kanye West, and models including Karlie Kloss, Joan Smalls and Adriana Lima walking the runway, Olivier Rousteing made no attempt to temper the overt glamour of his latest collection for Balmain. Once again, the seventies were the most obvious source of inspiration, with high-waisted silk flares, glitzy fringed mini-dresses and sheer jumpsuits among the key pieces.

Last season’s simple and understated show surprised many observers, coinciding as it did with Lanvin’s 125th anniversary, but for autumn 15 designer Alber Elbaz pulled out all the stops. Tapping into his Moroccan heritage, Elbaz employed tassels, fur and metallic brocades to create a richly textured and luxuriant collection. The boho vibe was also strong – those sheer, floaty dresses that were such an important part of Burberry’s collection appeared here too and look set to be big news for next season.

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