Wednesday 25th September

| BY Dino Bonacic

Marine Serre: Ready-To-Wear SS20

After Milan wrapped up, and just before Paris Fashion Week kicked off, the world echoed the emotional voice of activist Greta Thunberg sharing her concerns with the state of the world at the United Nations General Assembly. “The world is waking up, and change is coming, whether you like it or not,” she powerfully stated in the speech about the environmental emergency we are all part of. The morning after, by kicking off the official first day of Paris shows, Marine Serre sent a timely response to Thunberg’s urge to change.

Serre’s SS20 show invites were umbrellas, an anticipation of the climate change effects and the fact the actual catwalk was set in the fresh air of the 16th arrondissement. On the day of the show, the rough industrial space was embellished by heavy raindrops chucking it down on the fashion troupes. Dramatic and self-fulfilling, the natural scenario fit into the post-apocalyptic narrative the French designer imagined for the season. Each of her collections follow a timeline of the world in the future. Some may call her pessimistic, others a realist, but Serre is aware of the state of emergency our world is in and she isn’t afraid to remind her audience of it.

With a sense of community close to the core, her SS20 show told stories of different clans in the Marine Serre world. The first section was all about Matrix black morphing a sense of utility, the slick artificial fabrics most referential to the show’s title – Marée Noire (French for “oil slick”). The second tribe are the execs of tomorrow, quickly adapting their crisp tailoring to the new conditions of their everyday life, with layers of fabrics worn both over and under their suits. The third generation transformed doilies into garments and pot holders into bags – their mission is to rethink old ways into new. The fourth group is just embracing the heat-induced sweat – their whole garments, including the turbans on their head, are made out of towels. Serre described the final group as “this alien Seraphim,” her gown wrapping the body and morphing it into the amphibian Queen of this world.

Aside from the storyline, the tribe division also served as a way of interpreting the three lines Serre’s brand is streamlined in –  seasonal couture red, foundation white and experimental gold. The fourth, sustainable green line which focused on upcycling has now become part of the brand on a whole as around 50% of Serre’s seasonal styles are created out of existing product. And while breaking down the collection into separate pieces somehow seems wrong, it’s important to say there was plenty to desire and be excited for, despite the doom hovering over our heads. We can only hope Serre’s predictions don’t become a reality by the time this collection hits the stores in six or so months…

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.