Guillaume Henry gave Carven new life as its director, but his sophomore collection for Nina Ricci shows him struggling to find his voice. While there was a seductive undercurrent to his work for Spring/Summer 2016, the collection stumbled when it came to silhouette and fit – especially considering the warm months the clothes were created for. Most of the looks were too dense and too stiff to be called comfortable.
The opening look possessed Old Hollywood glamour with a belted waist and a neckline that barely grazed the shoulder, but the leather material it came in somewhat compromised its sensuality. This seemed to be the central struggle of the collection, as lacquered apron dresses, thick cow-print coats, and glossy ostrich separates tended to fit the body awkwardly. More weight needed to be removed from the dense materials, so that they lay on the body in a more flattering way. Lighter pieces were more intriguing, especially in the case of crinkled matelassé dresses featuring abstract prints and bumpy, textured frocks that sprouted wispy feathered lashes. Some looks simply didn’t make sense for the Nina Ricci woman, like sheer skirts and completely transparent long-sleeved blouses in shades of cherry, moss green, and lavender. Imagine if Henry had taken the liquid silks he used to make blousons with overlong sleeves and used them for his off-shoulder frocks instead. The results would have been incredibly sultry. With a mind to the season, a whole lot of lightening up would have worked wonders for this collection.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree