When your signature print has been sported by Dua Lipa for her ‘Future Nostalgia’ album shoot and Instagram-ed by the likes of Beyoncé and Kylie Jenner, you know it has achieved cult status. And 28-year-old Marine Serre’s instantly recognisable moon crescent logo has done just that – her staple designs featuring the signature motif have become a must-have among A-listers and a new generation of fashion-savvy fans.
But Serre’s eponymous brand is much more than hyped-up printed catsuits with a substantial list of celebrity followers. The French designer is part of an up-and-coming generation of innovative fashion visionaries looking to make their mark on the industry while setting a blueprint for a new way of making clothes that are quietly embedded with sustainable values.
Serre’s brand has become emblematized by the moon crescent icon, whose eclectic spiritual symbolism represents freedom, fluidity and femininity. Each season fresh iterations are sent down the runway, in varying unapologetic colour combinations and innovative styles. Futuristic shapewear silhouettes, head-to-toe bodysuits, tights, and dresses are emblazoned with the print, offering a cocktail of the sportif and luxury, with sportswear shapes speaking to the youth of today, though never sacrificing on femininity. This is exactly what Marine Serre envisions and what her clothes represent – strong, armoured women in touch with their femininity and playfulness.
Her ability to capture contemporary culture through hybrid garments with eclectic references won Serre the LVMH Young Designer Award in 2017, just a year after graduating from fashion school, from which she went onto present her first runway collection in Paris in 2018. Her rapid success can be attributed to her strong vision, one that she established from the off and conveys through each of her collections, moulding the codes of her brand’s identity to each new season’s offerings.
Sustainability and inclusivity are at the forefront of Serre’s brand ethos, will models of all ages, sexes, races, and shapes gracing her runways each season, meanwhile her forward-thinking textiles show a commitment to upcycling that sets a powerful example for how the industry can shift towards a more sustainable future. Recycled plastic raincoats, upcycled denim, dresses crafted from deadstock material, or patchworked from vintage scarves are all examples of how Serre has weaved sustainable values into her brand without compromising her vision. Serre’s couture is one that is synonymous with care. She’s got plenty of other tools up her sleeve, too – a mastery of tailoring and intricately cut shapes, and subtle nods to haute couture in the form of dramatic silhouettes and evening gowns.
The clothes take on political meaning set against the backdrop of her apocalyptic runway shows, with collections entitled ‘Radiation’ or ‘Marée Noire’ – translating to ‘oil spill’ or ‘black tide’ – depicting dystopias in which humans have destroyed everything on Earth. Her Autumn/Winter 2019 runway saw fleets of warrior-like figures from the future emerging from the darkness of an underground wine cellar in Paris, a post-apocalyptic vision of a subterranean community creating a new world. It’s a powerful motif, one that reflects her brand ethos and the way she sees the future of fashion – unflinchingly confronting what’s going on in the world and the dangers our planet faces, but never losing her sense of optimism and hope. Her boundary-pushing shows are an apt encapsulation of this special savvy for merging reality and fantasy in a way that’s reflective about how fashion can find its place in today’s world, and in the future, and what it should stand for. Words by Ruby McAuliffe
Graphics by Georgia Walters