Clouds circled ominously as a light downpour drenched the streets. I scuttled down breathlessly to Espace Modem, where I was about to taste my first slice of Paris Fashion Week. Protecting my invitation in the confines of the many layers I was clad in, I found myself amidst a tastefully dressed throng. Tortoiseshell frames, colour-blocked shawls draped ‘effortlessly’ over shoulders and rain-speckled brogues caught my eyes.
I waited with anticipation to watch Devastée’s Fall winter collection as I eagerly peeped at the brightly lit venue. There was a lot of cheek kissing, a volley of side-ward gazes a dozen heads buried into their phones. As I stood there awkwardly breathing it all in, I felt a tap on my shoulder. “Excusez moi, puis-je prendre une photo de vous?” Before I could react a bunch of nerdy-chic youngsters had transformed into a mini-paparazzi engulfing me with a cloud of flashes and self-consciousness. I was officially at Fashion Week.
Young designers Ophelie Klere and François Alary are the brainchildren behind Devastée which in literal translation means ‘devastated’. They have a unique design aesthetic that lies in their attention to detail and the use of innovative fabrics. Both graduates of Esmod, Paris, they presented indeed an engaging collection that evolves around their inspirations of Goth, macabre with a humorously haunting appeal.
‘The scribbled smiley face’ is a design motif that is signature to their brand and has repeated itself through their past collections. Indoors, as the bustle settled down and sharp lights illuminated the wooden floors models marched down in an alternating parade of blacks & whites. Appliquéd smock dresses, slouchy blazers, mesh peplums, and odd pencil skirts dominated the runway. The models had worn-out pony tails and sported clean faces that gelled with the sombre vibe. Buttoned-up shirt dresses, lace-ups and stockings provoked a ‘dark school girl’ concept.
The collection was intelligently minimalist and contained delicate crochet-blouses tucked neatly into window-pane checked trousers. A refreshing twist was the last three looks done in lustrous jacquard that added a glamorous tinge to the otherwise mono-chromatic line-up.
Severely sophisticated, smartly tailored-all topped off with a quirky smiley motif. It’s a good start to Fashion week.
Written by Tanya Mehta