Since her explosion onto the scene in 2016, the Parisian designer Marine Serre has become a kind of north star for the future of fashion. The 29-year-old took home the prestigious LVMH Prize in 2017, and has continued her reign as the queen of alternative Parisian cool in the years since. But it’s her radical approach to fabrication and unwavering commitment to ethically-produced fashion that continues to have the industry talking—as a small, independent label Serre manages to devote more time, energy, and finances to sustainability than most luxury conglomerates.
For Spring/Summer 2022, a collection titled ‘Fichu pour Fichu’, Serre continued to up the ante. 45% of the materials used were regenerated and another 45% were recycled. Old tea towels were repurposed into remarkable hand-embroidered coats, jackets, and dresses, silk scarves were stitched together to make compelling day dresses, while old denim was mish-mashed together and dyed pink to create eye-grabbing patchwork denim pieces. The patchwork theme continued throughout the collection, culminating in a handful of standout patchwork leather pieces that closed off ‘Fichu pour Fichu’ splendidly. The lookbook was shot in a quintessentially French if slightly crumbling suburban home, adding to the notion that these are pieces made to be worn daily and loved accordingly.
That homespun sensibility increased ten-fold with the dreamy short film Serre unveiled the new collection with. Rather than stage a runway show in person, Serre commissioned filmmakers Sacha Barbin and Ryan Doubiago film to create a short that celebrated S/S 22 in narrative form. The end result, Ostal 24, was shown to an intimate (if boisterous) crowd of fashion folk in Paris’ trendy Marais district last night. Touching on intimate parts of home life—morning yoga, serving dinner, dancing in one’s living room—the film was a darkly beautiful testimony to clothes that are lived-in and experienced. Sometimes, this season, I’ve found myself wondering whether runway shows are really the most intimate, or powerful, way a brand can share a new collection with the rest of the world. Marine Serre made a fairly convincing argument that they no longer are.