Reinvention is the challenge of a house that dwells in perpetual black and white, growing its codes out of the playfully macabre and beginning every chapter somewhere between cemetery and street. Dévastée’s Paris Spring / Summer 2014 collection is fresh and dynamically styled, striding along on monochrome tennis shoes.

Calf-length trousers are a collection feature, marked by this season’s mutation of the signature print. A relaxed, contemporary variation of cigarette trousers, each with different level of fit. Charcoal-on-charcoal, lustrous cartoon personifications poke at their own realised mortality and shimmer against their matte backdrops. Transcending seasonal palettes, Dévastée suggests a spring with tessellating florals that jest at the natural world. The effect of extending a static pattern across a matching short and coat ensemble is paradoxically dynamic.

Movement is instantly sparked by ingenious manipulation of scale. Sheer blouses and opaque knits are juxtaposed against blazers lined with variations of the same print, generating a visual charge. Accessories are another of Dévastée’s strengths. Last season, it was all about the embellished glove collaboration with Atelier Causse.

This Spring / Summer, the collection is accented by sheer foulards, solid scarves and simple rectangular strips loosely hung to add dimension. Layered looks are interspersed with minimalist dresses and separates. It is as if the quirky French design duo behind Dévastée are writing their own version of pop culture. It’s dark and funny and not bubblegum at all. Perhaps that’s why we’re drawn to it, season after season, as it shifts by degrees, never straying too far from its patriarchal grinning gravestone, but intriguing us with evolving approaches to print, layering, silhouette and style.

Symonne Torpy

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