Tapping a 1960s graphic-pop meets Moroccan Sahara vein, Lyn Devon’s Spring ’14 lineup quite literally lives and breathes Marrakech’s sun-bleached colors and mythic, cross-ridden aura. Yet often when designers reference the North African oasis, their results are predictably ornate, flowing, and more… let’s say, Nikki Beach-friendly over New England appropriate. This wasn’t the case here; Devon reduced the region’s splendor into an almost minimalist, uptown-friendly package, which was refreshing to see.
“The idea for the collection started when we were in the desert, south of Marrakech. The sculptures, the forms [here she was referring to sand-dunes, a rolling swath of which appeared on her mood board], the purity, the sort of lack of everything except the shapes–it’s an incredibly unreal landscape.” That alien planet feeling led her to think of surrealism, resulting, for example, in an ombré green fadeaway skirt (a mutated sunset of sorts) or a white henna tattoo print on a teal scarf, evoking wall-markings in pre-historic caves. Her ’60s bent shone most effectively in big, cloth-covered buttons, especially along a diagonal closure down a sand-hued day frock. Hand-painted linen jackets–one flax-and-white trench, one cyan-ribboned mini–were the odd-pieces out, attempts at mimicking the dip-dyed techniques employed elsewhere. All in all though, and much like the landscape which catalyzed her imagination, Devon’s presentation left a warm impression.