Everything about Carven is so deliciously French it’s practically pâté. First, a history lesson. Carven was launched in 1945 by Madame Carven Mallet, famous for her jaunty cotton dresses, and became an instant hit. Decades later, the house went through a requisite period of obsolescence. But recently it’s been reinvigorated by a new designer, the très, très adorable and charming Guillaume Henry, currently in his third season.
Now comes a new Carven boutique, which opened yesterday at 36 rue Saint Sulpice in the Saint Germain area of Paris. It’s the first such retail foray since the rebirth, and it bears all the hallmarks of its lively new personality. Part lived-in apartment, part ambient street corner, the cozy space—designed by Eric Chevallier, also responsible for the visual merchandising at Colette—carries all Carven’s insouciant, delectable offerings for spring. It’s a little like stepping into a Keith McNally theme bistro, but without the food and actually French.