Men’s evening dress has seen a marked revival in recent years, with traditional formal wear given a fresh and modern face-lift. Carven’s ink-blue dinner suit from the acclaimed AW12 collection is the perfect case in point – giving a contemporary sartorial upgrade to a timeless style.
Established in 1944 by Carmen de Tommaso as a women’s couture house, Carven grew steadily over the decades, presenting its first menswear offering in the seventies. Given a new lease of life by the dynamic Guillame Henry, who joined Carven as its creative director in 2009, the Paris-based brand has gone from strength to strength over the past few seasons.
Having honed his craft at Givenchy and Paule Ka before moving to Carven, this is the native Frenchman’s first foray into menswear. With a distinctively youthful and positive outlook, Henry describes the Carven man as a cultured gent, who could simultaneously draw sartorial inspiration from a dapper grandfather, or a spirited young boy in equal measure – this quirky philosophy typifies the label’s trademark charm and character to a tee.
Observing the current face of modern men’s fashion, Henry feels “There’s this nerdy geek thing going on right now and I love it – it’s the revenge of the ordinary people. It’s not about getting the coolest leather jacket; even the way you attach your collar or roll up your sleeves can make a statement”.
Perhaps inspired by the black tie uniform of our father’s father, the ink-blue dinner suit from the AW12 collection recalls the refined elegance of yesteryear with a typical Carven twist. Cut from the finest pure-wool cloth, the rich tone of the material is a modern take on ubiquitous black-hued dinner dress, whilst the shawl collar and single-button fastening gives old-school refinement a youthful authority.
The matching trousers are cut into a streamlined, slim-fit, which also adds to the contemporary appeal of the suit. Let the sharp and masculine look speak for itself and forgo the bow tie, pairing with a crisp white dress shirt and patent leather Oxfords for erudite sophistication after-hours.