×
64 107
Fashion Jobs
KOHLS
Full-Time Loss Prevention Supervisor
Permanent · Westampton
ROSS STORES
Store Protection Specialist
Permanent · Indio
ROSS STORES
Store Protection Specialist
Permanent · Milwaukee
ROSS STORES
Store Protection Specialist
Permanent · Hawthorne
NIKE
Business Operations Manager
Permanent · Beaverton
TJ MAXX
70118-lp Detective
Permanent · Philadelphia
KOHLS
Full-Time Loss Prevention Supervisor
Permanent · League City
KOHLS
Full-Time Loss Prevention Supervisor
Permanent · Leominster
KOHLS
Full-Time Loss Prevention Supervisor
Permanent · Dartmouth
KOHLS
Full-Time Loss Prevention Supervisor
Permanent · Miramar
OLD NAVY
Loss Prevention Agent - Westroads
Permanent · Omaha
NIKE
Athlete Services Operations Manager, Footwear
Permanent · Beaverton
JORDAN
Marketplace Business Operations & Strategic Planning Director, Global Jordan
Permanent · Beaverton
NIKE
Global App & Membership Planning Operations Manager- Nike Direct Digital Commerce
Permanent · Beaverton
NIKE
Finance Manager, Consumer Marketplace (Multiple Openings)
Permanent · Portland
NIKE
Finance Manager- Got And Icc (Multiple Opportunities Available)
Permanent · Portland
CONVERSE
Distribution Center Area Manager-Ontario
Permanent · Ontario
ULTA BEAUTY, INC.
General Manager
Permanent · San Antonio
ULTA BEAUTY, INC.
Retail Operations Manager
Permanent · Austin
ULTA BEAUTY, INC.
Retail Operations Manager
Permanent · Boca Raton
ULTA BEAUTY, INC.
Retail Sales Manager
Permanent · San Antonio
ULTA BEAUTY, INC.
co - Sales Manager
Permanent · Lincoln
By
AFP
Published
Jul 13, 2009
Reading time
3 minutes
Share
Download
Download the article
Print
Click here to print
Text size
aA+ aA-

Madame Carven, petite women's favourite designer, turns 100

By
AFP
Published
Jul 13, 2009

PARIS, July 13, 2009 (AFP) - "Couture brought me happiness, they were the best years of my life," Madame Carven recalls with a smile at a celebration to mark her approaching 100th birthday.


Photo: AFP

Only a diminutive 1 metre 55 (five foot one) in her stockinged feet, for half a century she was the favourite designer of petite women.

In recognition of her contribution to fashion and imminent birthday on August 31, the French Federation of Couture threw a party for her in the gardens of the Musee Galliera at the end of the haute couture shows for next winter.

"I know this place very well. This is where I always showed my collections," she told AFP.

Frustrated by the lack of clothes suitable for small women like herself, Carmen de Tommaso dropped plans to become an architect or interior designer and took the remedy into her own hands. In 1945 she opened her own house under the name Carven.

Her fresh and carefree style was an immediate hit with actresses like Leslie Caron and Martine Carol and young girls around the world, including the future wife of president Valery Giscard d'Estaing, whose wedding dress she designed.

"Couture brought me great happiness, the joy of creating. I did everything I could to make women beautiful," she says, still immaculate herself in an elegant green suit, her favourite colour, with a pearl necklace.

"I started out without anyone. Now you need a sponsor, everything is very expensive, very difficult."

Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand, nephew of the late Socialist president, paid tribute to her as "one of the most eminent creative forces in French and international fashion."

On a more personal note, he recalled that his mother "was always dressed by Madame Carven" and that for him she felt like "part of the family."

"She was the first to dare to do ready-to-wear, she was revolutionary," acknowledged Federation president Didier Grumbach, who once actually worked for Carven.

"I sold Carven Junior dresses and took the Carven Junior collection to the United States in 1964," he admitted, getting a round of applause from guests, who included designers Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and Claude Montana, the chief executive of Louis Vuitton Yves Carcelle as well as many personal friends of Carven.

In the immediate post-war years, marked by the return to prominence of male designers like Christian Dior and Jacques Fath, Madame Carven "was something of an exception," according to Florence Miller, who teaches at the French Fashion Institute.

"She had the intuition to appeal to young girls at a time when the couturiers mostly dressed older women."

Her style was practical, flattering, very feminine, very close to what women actually wanted, she explained. "She wasn't into building a spectacular image for her label, like Dior, for example."

"When I was a little girl, there were two names which entranced me: Carven and Paris," remembered Lady Nancy Chopard-Sain, a vibrant old lady wearing a turquoise coat with matching flower in her hair, who said she had been a personal friend for "a very, very long time."

Madame Carven only finally gave up designing in 1993, in her 84th year, to concentrate on her passion for old furniture and antiques. Today her house is owned by the Paris group SCM and has abandoned haute couture to focus on ready-to-wear.by Dominique Schroeder

Copyright © 2021 AFP. All rights reserved. All information displayed in this section (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the contents of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presses.