Madame Carven, the French couturier whose namesake house is now under the design direction of Alexis Martial and Adrien Caillaudaud, died at the age of 105. Née Carmen de Tommaso, Carven enjoyed a long life and illustrious career, starting her line in 1945 to design beautiful clothes for petite women.
Carven’s work over the years was heavily inspired by her trips to locales all over the world, adopting design codes of various peoples in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. She is credited as one of the first European designers to use African and Indian fabrics in her clothes and had a penchant for gingham and stripes. Carven also designed costumes for films, airline uniforms and several wedding dresses. Carven, who got the name of her house by combining the letters of her first name (Carmen) with the last letters of her aunt’s last name (Josy Boyriven), famously said, “If I had been a big beautiful girl, I would have never started my fashion house! “
Madame Carven retired from her house in 1993. She will certainly be missed and her mark on the fashion industry will not be forgotten.