Marine Serre: futurism with soul
It took the august senators of the main jury of LVMH Prize five years to select a French winner, but when they finally got there they appear to have made a very wise choice.
At least that was the overriding opinion of the audience leaving the latest runway show of Marine Serre, the 2017 winner of fashion’s richest award. A diminutive but very determined young lady, Serre named her show Manic Soul Machine, a reference, in part, to the never ending demands made on any talented designer by the fashion system.
Several things made this collection special. Serre tagged many looks FutureWear, and she certainly offered multiple ideas for modern living. From revamped hunting gear, denim jackets or horse riding clothes cut into snazzy urban “survival gear” looks, with multiple pockets for mobile phone, water bottle, purse and lipstick.
“How do you do an outerwear garment today. It’s an answer to today’s daily life… Manic Soul Machine? It means what I have lived these past six months and probably what fashion is today. A manic scene, where we are all machines, and I just hope I keep my soul,” said an emotional Serre in the backstage among a gang of tearful models.
Though the core idea was really the body stockings, leggings and stretch tops, made in crescent moon prints, a motif seen in earrings and enlarged patterns. Even her electronic invite had a gal in a crescent mood ski cap batting her eyelashes. The overall mood was utilitarian – perhaps a tad too much so – yet defiantly sexy. Meaning Serre’s gals commute to work with panache.
“I am looking to the future, but with clothes you can wear everyday,” added Serre.
Though her finest moment were the final passages where she up-cycled silk scarves found in Rouen and Marseilles. She bedecked surf suits and gym tops with a whole series of colorful scarves that floated away from the body. Hybrid chic for a latter day Isadora Duncan, who happens to be a gym rat.
Besides the 300,000 euros first prize, Serre also gets a year mentoring from a LVMH executive. In Marine’s case the wise and energetic Sophie Brocart, LVMH Senior Vice President of Fashion Ventures, who has already worked her magic at J.W. Anderson and Nicholas Kirkwood. The latter’s shoes – notably some bold moiré silk boots in violet – added the right soupcon of off-beat luxury to the show. As did the football shaped silk scarf bags, curiously in keeping with the 19th arrondissement street where the show as staged. Directly opposite – massive graffiti portraits of stars of Frances’s top soccer team, Paris St Germain, in all their glory.
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