Carven AW14 Print Spotlight

  • Guillaume Henry looked towards old American police mugshots and Brassai photography for his Paris collection
    Paris Menswear Week was only a few hours old when Guillaume Henry and his Carven took to the catwalk. This time around, instead of several show presentations at the office, the French brand staged a ‘proper’ show worthy of the brand’s heritage, traditions and sartorial legacy. Fairly clean and sombre, not that Carven normally is OTT, the collection was pure and sleek: crisp white shirts, black patent leather shoes and oversized wrap around coats made for a pleasant AW14 vision. Dotted throughout was a scribbled ink-esque print that gave the collection its graphic identity…

    David Hellqvist: Where does the print come from?
    Guillaume Henry: The print is a mixture of many things; images we found in the street, on trees and the work of photographer Brassai.

    David: Who is he?
    Guillaume: He was one of the first photographers to capture street art, shooting graffiti on the walls.David: What are we looking at?
    Guillaume: Many of the elements in the print resembles tattoos but they are based on the kind of thing you draw when bored in prison… it’s stupid but beautiful! Some of them though, like the little gun and the small gun are based on tattoos from the 1940s, as is the guy in the barrel.

    David: How did you gather them?
    Guillaume: The bird and heart are by Brassai – I bought a book of his about ten years ago, and now I’m using some of them. The others are based on images I’ve taken on my iPhone over the years… like everyone I have a big collection of images on my phone just waiting to be used!

    David: What was the general inspiration behind the collection?
    Guillaume: For the collection, I was influenced by police pictures, the mugshots they take of people who’s been arrested. I like how cool the boys looked even though they were spending a night in jail.

  • David: What did you like about their looks?
    Guillaume: They looked into the camera, dressed super easy in t-shirts, jackets, not too many details, and with no bags. Still, they came across as super chic, charismatic and charming – very approachable. They might have been there by chance, but they don’t care!

    David: Any particular people you noticed?
    Guillaume: I looked at the picture of Frank Sinatra in jail, he was staring into the camera, looking handsome. These guys are not ‘proper’ criminals… it’s all about nightlife – anything can happen!

    “Many of the elements in the print resembles tattoos but they are based on the kind of thing you draw when bored in prison…”