Paris Fashion Week hit the ground running this morning at Carven‘s spring 2015 show; an energetic display of pulsing lights and racing stripes that brought an altogether new meaning to the concept of a “runway,” here a bright yellow and black. (Think more airplane or autobahn, less catwalk—unless the Air France strikes are still too sensitive subject, in which case, just focus on the very fast and the very slick.) Guillaume Henry’s spiffy collection focused on sleek, Formula 1–inspired wares; there were thick, glossy colors cut into the selfsame kicky, slightly A-line silhouettes that have made the designer a runaway success among women looking to flash some leg, show some style, and, above all, just go, go, go.
And these clothes were made for speed: knit bicycle shorts with contrasting stripes, tab-pull zip necklines on swinging sixties dresses and tops and princess-cut swing coats in leather, python, and Yves Klein blue or crimson suede. Handbags were held close to the body like helmets, and the shoes were low, glossy, and block-heeled (and in one stand-out iteration, a strappy gladiator take on a patent-leather go-go boot)—all the better to run toward your getaway car and head into the future, which, for Henry, seems to be Courrèges by way of Kyoto: as evidenced by his blend of that coveted touch of the go-go-getter inflected with expertly wielded lace (here, woodblock-printed with bathing scenes in primary colors) and traditional Japanese watercolored sunset panoramas inset on crepe toppers.
It was a different sort of ease than we’ve seen on the runways this season, and in a way, a more natural take: Clothes that are by definition easy, if not as traditionally relaxed in silhouette. Double-crepe trousers were fluid without drooping; flirty zip-front skirts stood at attention under appealing jackets and one-piece ensembles that zip up and go: What could be easier than that? And to that end, what could feel more right for spring?