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Marine Serre: Designer of the Future

The young talent makes her highly anticipated runway debut with a collection built for survival

To view the full Marine Serre Fall 2018 Ready-to-Wear collection, click here.

The term “FutureWear” was hand printed on jackets, pants, and repurposed silk scarves in Marine Serre’s third-ever collection, which debuted in an open, industrial space in Paris on Tuesday. It was an appropriate logo, not only because of the concept of her collection—creating clothes for survival in this strange, ever-changing world—but also because her entire future awaits her. And if this outing was any indication, it’s a bright one.

If Marine Serre sounds familiar, it’s probably because she was nominated for the ANDAM Prize, tapped for the Hyères Festival, and won the LVMH Prize last year—no small feat for a young talent with a spankin’ new brand, even if she did cut her teeth at houses like Maison Margiela, Alexander McQueen, and, most recently, Balenciaga. Her clothes—the most well known of which is surely that crescent moon-printed bodysuit—were instantly picked up by retailers including Dover Street Market, Nordstrom, and SSENSE, and since it first heard her name, Paris has been abuzz about this La Cambre Mode[s] grad.

 

So, the runway debut. Titled “Manic Soul Machine // Triptych” (apparently a reference to the fashion cycle which is indeed more manic than ever) the lineup featured garments crafted from upcycled materials—a smart and eco-conscious move in this climate (pun intended—sorry). The show notes explained that Serre wants to propose new solutions for producing garments today, and while upcycling isn’t necessarily a revolutionary concept (just look at what Ronald van der Kemp is doing), it’s not something you see hoards of young designers embracing today, which is really a shame.

The aesthetic felt now, but also somehow new—one part sportswear, one part impeccably constructed luxury, one part post-apocalyptic garb, the offering comprised numerous hooded looks, Blade Runner shades, orb bags wrapped in scarves, and layered ensembles that balanced structure and fluidity. Fluttering maxi skirts made from spliced, printed silks were paired with second-skin athletic tops, for instance, and you’d be forgiven for mistaking the asymmetrical black corset that cinched a navy blue button-down and matching trousers for a back brace (albeit a fabulous one). The way she styled her upcycled pieces made her models seem like nomads traversing some harsh new land—crescent moon-printed bodysuits that covered models’ heads exposing only the eyes were worn beneath sheer PVC coats, a tiered-ruffle skirt, and a burgundy velvet suit, while artful silk bandeau tops were shown atop tight tech turtlenecks. She combined past and present, fusing traditional techniques, ladylike silhouettes, and luxe fabrics with something sportier, younger, and somewhat harder (though pastels were her colors of choice). Rarely after a show does one feel like she’s seen something truly fresh, but that was the sense as Serre’s models wove through the concrete space during the finale. It’s exciting to see a new designer embrace concept and craft so fervently, however, in an interview with WWD, she said, “I hope I keep my soul.” That’s an interesting statement from someone with so many early accolades—and one that should be taken seriously. Fashion has a tendency to rush its budding stars, demanding success long before they’re ready to achieve it. Here’s hoping the industry will nurture this thoughtful newcomer rather than rushing her.

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