Who started it? Carmen de Tommaso founded fashion house Carven in 1945. Over the years, the house became known for wearable couture and clothing for petite women. The brand was relaunched as a contemporary and affordable women's ready-to-wear collection earlier this year. Artistic director Guillaume Henry, who graduated from Paris' Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Duperre art school and the Institut Francais de la Mode, is responsible for design. Prior to Carven, he worked at Givenchy and Paule Ka. The brand is stocked at stores such as 10 Corso Como, in Milan, Italy, and Dover Street Market in London, Britain. Why we love it: the clothes are feminine and simple with a dash of youthful Parisian chic. The designs are unostentatious and feature precise, modern cuts and short silhouettes. 'It's sporty and chic, elegant and casual, sexy but not sexual. That's what we wanted to create, not the next huge new trend ... just proper clothes, something timeless that you could wear in 30 years,' says Henry. The sophisticated autumn-winter collection includes camel coats, an archive-inspired cocoon coat in tweed and cropped leather jackets. A naughty schoolgirl vibe is evident in the full-skirt frocks layered over crinkled men's shirts, shrunken cashmere jumpers and miniskirts with slits. What we'd pick: the form-fitting LBD with a full skirt and nude bodice overlaid with knit webbing (left; HK$9,200) and the slim-cut, elegant jacket (above; HK$9,400) in autumn's must-have shade, camel. Where can you get it? Carven is available at Lane Crawford, IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2118 3388.