Guillaume Henry Talks Carven at His Alexa Chung-Hosted Barneys Presentation

Ethan Benjamin

Last night, Carven's young Parisian creative director, Guillaume Henry, presented his Fall 2011 collection at Barneys New York with a little shindig hosted by his friend/fan Alexa Chung. As Barneys' creative ambassador at large Simon Doonan, a self-proclaimed expert on all things Carven, put it, "When girls put on Carven they become more interesting... Guillaume is saying you can be interesting and sexy and appealing without being overtly that way, it's subtle, it's nuanced." We chatted briefly with Henry.

Tell me about the inspiration behind this collection.
A kind of effortless chic, a casual elegance; through the prints, the draping, and the fabrics.  We want it to be simple but not boring, we want to make a dress that's not going to hide the girl. We want the dress to reveal her.

Who are some of your fashion icons?
I've got plenty, Gena Rowlands, Alexa Chung, and, honestly, my friends.  The real girls -- who if I don't do something wearable, they're going to kick me!

So what else are you up to this Fashion Week?
I'm actually going to leave before the fashion week starts, sadly.  But I hope that people are going to be creative and surprising. I'm a Parisian at heart but New York is like a good friend to me.

So no parties?
I used to but I feel like I'm 100 years old now!  We work a lot and it's already such a rush at work that I feel that I'm already killing calories there so I don't have to dance all night long.

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