Marine Serre’s Rising Shelter

2 models walking the marine serre runway with towering discarded clothes behind them

To Love is to Repair

When we love, we repair. Torn relationships. Damaged trust. Worn out assumptions. There’s many ways to unpack this. And while Marine Serre’s show displayed more literal interpretations of that sentiment the underlying message is the same.

Consideration for the world beyond fashion has always been part of her ethos (her collections generally have 50% recycled material) but she brought it front and center at her recent show. Starting with three massive towers of tightly compressed abandoned clothing at the back of the runway. Clothing that she’ll ultimately use to transform into new designs. But also a minor drop in the bucket of what ends up in landfills each year.

Her collection, shown during Men’s week but made for all people, began with garments created from beige and white tote bags. The following looks were from upcycled denim and this was followed by pieces made from used motorcycle gear –and it finished with more traditional Serre pieces with her crescent moon motif.

And because they can do more justice by way of description this is from the show notes:

The house’s collection of elegant designs begins with a grouping of signature fluffy knit designs, with their playful coquettish spirit. Next, the MARINE SERRE team adapts an array of deadstock fabrics more commonly spotted inside highly ornamented interiors (including patterned tapestries, jacquards, and brocades), transforming them into body-skimming patchworks that rely on orange lines to delineate and accentuate curves, creating complex-yet-minimal silhouettes. Somehow, grandma’s favorite living-room fabrics have been unexpectedly reborn, making for the most modern of offerings.

They are followed by a very feminine grouping of black tailoring designs accentuated with contrasting top stitches. Finally, the layered floral patterns and acid-green tones of the sensual repurposed silk scarf designs help wrap up the show with a needed focus on rebirth and nature. This hope of transformation, of course, depends on each of us doing our part. And that’s why MARINE SERRE continues to make every effort to form part of the solution—all elements of today’s show, for example, rely on found elements and the eight-meter tall towers of abandoned textiles are destined to provide the raw materials of future house designs. Setting imagination and creation at the service of transformation is key—each of us holds the power to help slow down the present accelerated timeline.

More than in any of her previous collections Serre shone a spotlight on the idea of Recycle/Reuse/Repair. And in my mind threw down the gauntlet for other sustainable brands challenging them to do the same. We have so much that exists already. What can possibly be more sustainable than reusing it? And by doing so we repair our relationship to our planet and our assumptions that this is the best we can do. Because Marine Serre is showing us another option.

Marine Serra Fall 23 RTW 3 looks from upcycled cotton totes
Marine Serra Fall 23 RTW 3 looks from upcycled denim
Marine Serra Fall 23 RTW 3 looks from motocross material
Marine Serra Fall 23 RTW 3 looks from upcycled materials with crescent moon
Marine Serra Fall 23 RTW 3 looks from furry material

-Katya Moorman

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