Stencils of ginkgo leaves lined the steps and floor leading up to the Carven showroom, which had been walled off with perforated gingko-patterned paper screens. This collection marks Barnabé Hardy's début as menswear designer for the brand; and if turning over a new leaf wasn't directly implied, his self-confessed superstitious side made sure the gingko was well represented (stitched onto a mahogany suede jacket, rendered as corsage pins or charms hanging from leather cord, and integrated into a shirt pattern). If this sounds almost hippie, it wasn't representative of the overall look, which veered largely city sleek, alternating minimalist shawl-collar shirting with graphic, streamlined sportswear. Monsieur Hardy explained how the shifting interplay of light and shadow within the architecture of a modern environment led to windowpane patterns, swirling embroidered motifs, and a trompe l'œil placket down the front of a jacket. But to touch his irregularly quilted coat (a variation on the old-fashioned technique of boutis) and the enlarged basket-weave jacquard was to realize his appreciation for tactile detail and how a little savoir-faire can go a long way. While there's a chance Carven customers won't detect a difference between this creative changing of the guard, new zipper hardware -a C within a circle- reveals a new imprint. Given that the brand's menswear history is still so fresh, Barnabé Hardy is in the privileged position of strengthening Carven's codes on his own terms. He's certainly off to a strong enough start.