The Devastée duo—aka Orphelie Klere and her boyfriend, François Alary—is known for its spooky, moody, graphic, chic-in-repeat cartoon patterns. From their goth beginnings in southwestern France, and 2004’s Hyères young designer competition, Devastée has turned into a lean, mean professional pattern machine. Fall/Winter 2013 was filled with black-on-white and white-on-black prints on silk, intarsia pattern sweaters, and jacquard fabric and appliqués, and also featured a new glove collaboration with traditional French gantier, Causse.
While Devastée is still an intimate company, Cédric Charlier‘s eponymous brand is growing exponentially. Produced by Italy’s Aeffe, Charlier is now one of the strongest young designers in Europe, with a collection of contrast texture-blocked pieces in stand-away fabrics; punctuated by raglan sleeves and cute, high necks with baby-doll smocking. Astrakhan, siren-yellow silks, stretch-leather sheaths, and 3-D splatter pattern wool all go into the Charlier mill and come out sleek, wearable, and refined.
Another young designer with a devoted following is Anthony Vaccarello. A magnet for young designer prizes, notably France’s ANDAM in 2011, top models love to walk in his shows. In this collection, Vaccarello played to his curvy, stud-loving public with a new twist: working fruit-loop chainmail along sleeves, pockets, and midriffs.
Julien David, also an ANDAM darling, made good use of the grant to launch an atelier in France. For Fall, David presented his first French bag, a bright leather, souped-up, pop cartoon classic pochette on a strap—the real star of his collection. Other memorable looks included Chanel-esque suits in long, hairy, matted tweed; a nod to the Yeti, the mythic beast that starred in a previous David show.
Simon Porte is a natural. “Simple” is one of the hardest things to pull off, but Jacquemus looks like he’s having a good time doing it. Editors gladly slipped blue plastic booties over their shoes and inhaled the chlorine to catch this poolside romp at the Piscine de la Cours. Inspired by Isabelle Adjani’s baby blues, and her tender-tough 1984 rendering of “Pull Marine,” Jacquemus offered up his boxy, streamline take on sporty French tailoring.