Sus­tain­able de­sign’s new mav­er­ick, Marine Serre.

ELLE (Australia) - - Contents - mari­ne­

“The moon has gone vi­ral. I wasn’t ex­pect­ing that,” says French de­signer Marine Serre. The 26-year-old isn’t talk­ing about plan­e­tary health (or lack thereof), de­spite be­ing among those chal­leng­ing the fash­ion in­dus­try’s view of sus­tain­abil­ity. Serre is re­fer­ring to the cres­cent logo that has come to sig­nify the brand she launched in 2O16, ap­pear­ing as prints and dis­creet mo­tifs on body­suits and bias-cut silk dresses worn by Ri­hanna and Cate Blanchett.

Sus­tain­abil­ity is im­plicit in what Serre does, with re­pur­posed fab­rics (from vin­tage silks to gym balls) mak­ing up a third of her A/W 18-19 col­lec­tion. “But I don’t use that word,” she says. “It’s more about in­vent­ing and re­think­ing pro­duc­tion. It’s also about mak­ing sus­tain­able prac­tices so nor­mal they don’t dis­tract from the fact these are great clothes. At the end of the day, I want to show you some­thing you re­ally de­sire.”

Serre’s A/W 18-19 col­lec­tion – the first fol­low­ing her LVMH Prize win in 2O17 – is a prag­matic re­sponse to the chal­lenges of ev­ery­day life. Denim and sa­fari jack­ets come with re­mov­able sleeves and con­cealed pock­ets (big enough to carry a phone, lip balm and purse, re­mov­ing the need for a bag). “So you can be prac­ti­cal and quick; you can get things done.” There’s also form-fit­ting ly­cra and un­fussy clothes that wouldn’t look out of place on a milk run. But then Serre throws mo­tor­cy­cle leathers and trail­ing silks on top of those moon-print base lay­ers, be­cause this isn’t just about func­tion; it’s fash­ion. “Fash­ion with no bull­shit,” she laughs.

There’s an up­beat rad­i­cal­ism to Serre’s style. She isn’t crit­i­cis­ing fash­ion, es­pe­cially since she’s worked for some of the in­dus­try’s big­gest brands: Alexan­der Mcqueen, Mai­son Margiela, Dior by Raf Si­mons and Ba­len­ci­aga. It was dur­ing this time, fol­low­ing her stud­ies at Bel­gium’s pres­ti­gious L’école de la Cam­bre, she de­vel­oped the craft skills that en­abled her to ex­e­cute those tech­ni­cal gar­ments with such ease. “The big houses shaped me and made me think about vol­ume and at­ti­tude,” she says. Her grand­dad’s work with an­tiques also in­stilled in her an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of used ma­te­ri­als. “I’ve grown up look­ing at things that seem like they have no value.”

Serre in­tends to pur­sue new means of pro­duc­tion with her next col­lec­tion. “I’d like to ex­plore new fab­rics, be­cause ‘Fu­turewear’ [the motto printed on her cloth­ing] is about ask­ing ques­tions in or­der to move for­ward – what we should change.” And change, she says, starts with young de­sign­ers cir­cum­vent­ing the sys­tem and forg­ing their own paths. “Big houses are iconic, with a huge his­tory. But it’s 2O18. We have a lot of dif­fer­ent ways to be­come iconic.” And for Serre, push­ing the bound­aries of sus­tain­able pro­duc­tion is one of them.


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