Itw de Dévastée pour Dazed And Confused (Satellite Voices) - archives

The fashion goth-chic duo talks about inspiration and their last inspired collection
Two minds are working on Devastee. François Alary, 29 years-old, and his girlfriend, Ophelie Klere, 28 years-old. They met in 1999, in the South West France and at that time, they were not at all interested in fashion, but more into spending their nights in cemeteries and climbing on the Cathedral roof. One year later they had the idea of doing a fashion school. They moved to Paris and went to Esmod and after that, the story begins.

Satellite Voices: How Devastee comes to life?
François Alary: Right after our graduation, we were selected as finalists for the Hyeres Festival. It was in 2004. The collection was called "My suicide looked over you". It was all black with embroideries depicting bones and scars, and moody faces painted on the clothes. It was about a wonderful woman who hanged herself. Inspired by Sarah Kane. It was so dark. A little too much.

SV: Do you remember the first clothes you created?
François Alary: My first memory is with Ophelie, probably in 1999. Months after we met. We were in the attic of my parents' house and we created a kind of nun costume on her. It was black and white with thorns everywhere, and a crown of thorns. It was extremely hot. We made polaroids.

SV: How do you describe your work?
François Alary: Black and white clothes, with really funny macabre jokes, for a girl who wants to stay dark and chic in every occasion.

SV: What does your summer collection look like, and what should we expect for the winter and after?
François Alary: Our summer collection is about flowers. Flowers and insects and snails, and all the little things you can find if you look closely. It's a very fresh and wearable collection. Winter was about hidden messages. Everything was crypted. The shapes are so comfortable and the fabrics very soft. Now we're working on next summer, 2012. We want something else. Something we've never done before. Not so wearable. It will be extremely special.

What inspires you?
François Alary: The elements of our obsessions: cemeteries, snails, specific stones, cypress and smiles. Our place in the South West France, near Cahors, the Quercy. Saint Cirq Lapopie. Our old house in Senlis. We have been interested in Mishima, Lovecraft, Pasolini, Sarah Kane, Gabrielle Wittkop, Ambrose Bierce, Christina Rossetti, Poe... Mostly writers. We're not fashion people, we don't go to fashion shows or parties, and most of our friends are not into fashion. We need to have interactions outside of fashion. Fashion needs so much creativity, and is so fast, we need to have a quieter way to create.

Where does your taste for « depressing » things come from?
François Alary: In our way of using it, the word "depressing" doesn't mean something pathological. It's like a sweet word. A kind of secret love. It's something we want to know more about. It comes mostly from me. I've always been depressed and happy in the same time. And I've never been able to understand the difference between those things. Happiness seems impossible to me without a certain state of depression.

Who are the girls who wear Devastee?
François Alary: They are quite intellectual, or secret women. They often have some specific obsessions or behaviors. They like our messages and references. They love being able to understand something that others can't. They have a special kind of humour. Something a little morbid. They wear mostly black clothes.

What are your favorite places in paris?
François Alary: Cemeteries are impressive but a little too big. It's like giant necropolis. We recently discovered the Hemingway bar at the Ritz and unexpectedly we loved it.

Your projects?
François Alary: I'm currently preparing a drawing exhibition that will be shown in May at La Roche Sur Yon. The writer Chloe Delaume does a residence there. It will be called "Formerly necrophilia". We're also working on a special collection for United Arrows in Japan, that will be launched in June. In July, we present the menswear collection of our label "Maison Chose". And we're also working on Devastee summer 2012 show in October.