Marine Serre

Answering the Call from Fashion

Riddle: What do you get when you artfully combine sportswear with ball gowns and costume jewelry? Answer: a Radical Call for Love. Marine Serre’s decidedly futuristic, unapologetically feminine collection, “Radical Call for Love” brings Judy Jetson’s wardrobe to life in frothy, ice cream hues with sporty separates and accessories. Born and raised in a small French town, the Paris based designer cites her tomboyish youth and recent tur-moil in world affairs as some of her inspiration for her radically cool collection.

The androgynous and unassuming designer embodies Parisian cool with her pixie cut, dark natural brows, and chic-but-casual attire; her designs reflect all that she is and all that the world could be. Ironically enough, according to the designer, she was not very interested in dresses and frivolity when she was young, but rather in building forts and playing wild Indians. Her parents thought, maybe, she would be an athlete with all that extra energy, and signed Serre up for tennis classes. When that did not adequately quench her ardent spirit, they realized that perhaps her energies came not from a physical need, but a cre-ative sensibility. Serre’s parents then packed their daughter up, along with her imagination and artistic tendencies, and sent her to a school that offered visual arts courses. There, Serre’s passion started to take form as she channeled all her athletic fervor into her art, her wardrobe, and her vintage collections.

It is said that as Serre began developing her sense of self, she quickly became recognized in her school as “the most exorbi-tantly dressed.” Now, you will see Serre dressed quite simply, with a classic combination of neat trousers and a sometimes brightly colored shirt. Though she inhabits a diminutive frame, and is often seen blending into the background of her collec-tion, she cannot be missed, as she radiates with a hyper energy, and her big eyes stare directly ahead, confronting whoever may encounter her and her collection.

Serre is quickly earning her tags and gaining accolades, such as the Moet Hennessy-Louis Vuitton (LVMH) 2017 Award. LVMH has a long history intertwined with some of fashion’s biggest names, and has consistently cultivated spaces and opportuni-ties for emerging artists and designers to showcase their work and earn the recognition needed in such a competitive indus-try. The LVMH Prize was established in 2013 to “honour and support young designers around the world.” The organization collaborates with world renowned designers and artists to find and award the most promising designers. This year, Rihanna announced Serre as the winner. In addition to the LVMH Prize, Serre has also been nominated for the Association Nationale pour le Développement des Arts de la Mode (ANDAM) Award. The winners of this prize will be announced at the end of the jury meeting, held this coming June 30th, 2017. If Serre wins this, she will receive international endowment, endorsements from dif-ferent makeup and fashion companies, as well as support from a variety of different fashion experts and influencers. If her track record thus far is any indication, Serre is on a clear path to victory.

Serre’s most recent collection, “Radical Call for Love,” came out of Serre’s inherent need to address some difficult questions that she found asking herself after the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels. Mainly, Serre wanted to find how fashion is “to connect to a fractured world in ever-increasing turmoil.” She wanted to use her designs to connect with the world without becoming “morally heavy-handed, or missing out on color, shape, and form – without missing out on fashion.” “Radical Call for Love” was the solution to these challenges. This collection clashes sportswear with classic silhouettes, like ball gowns, for unexpected and refreshing fashion. Serre chose 19th century, luxurious, Arabic fabrics for her designs, and the luxe texture of the material is a stark contrast with some of the more prominent features of the line. One piece, for example, is a full, head-to-toe body suit made in a pale, nude color printed with tiny, black crescent with matching platform booties. This particular piece juxtaposes the many flounces, ruffles, and viv-idly colored pieces that define the collection. The skin tight, athletic look is reiterated throughout the collection in different forms, such as booties, tops, and head pieces.

One might say that Serre’s defining feature in her work is volume. Her previous collection, titled “15-21,” features coats with exaggerated layers of multicolored ruffles, a long petticoat-like skirt with a thigh high slit separating the flounces, and frilly frocks that seem mature, despite all the ruffles. In “Radical Call for Love,” the volume is still present, but in a more sub-dued manner, with full skirts bustled up, exaggerated sleeves, and structured coats. The crowning jewel of the collection is a two-toned pink, full skirt topped off with a Kelly green top. The look is styled with an oversized headband with the signature crescent moon, oversized costume earrings, and elbow length gloves with exaggerated openings. As we anticipate the results of the ANDAM Awards, we look forward to Serre pumping up the volume in the fashion world.

Text by Leah Tassinari
Photograph by Tanguy Poujol