Review of Marine Serre

Fall 2022

Review of Marine Serre Fall 2022 Fashion Show

Couture For A New World

By Anna Ross

Another day in Paris, another cult brand with a crowd of mega-fans waiting outside, hoping for a piece of the action. These crowds parallel those outside of Balmain this week, which is a testament to Marine Serre, whose brand is all but 6 years old. 

Inside, an atelier at work, upcycling deadstock garments into new treasures. They continued their work even when the lights were down. Sustainability never sleeps. 

For the next few days, the designer will take over the three stories of Lafayette Anticipations, even the very layout of the space considered from a conceptual point of view as the ‘Hard Drive’ of the brand. 

Walking through the space, guests could see the meticulous process that goes into her work. First, sorting: The team was in place selecting deadstock materials that informed the makeup of her iconic patched and pieced garments. Next, each piece is assessed by the atelier before cutting and sewing, which requires individual, couture-level attention as each material is different. Finally, ironing, and the ‘finishing,’ which to Serre refers to as both how it is finished (to perfection) and when it is finished, time-wise.

Marine Serre and her team are beyond dedicated to their craft; they exist for it. It was awe-inspiring to see the level of detail and time that goes into every piece. No wonder they’re a cult classic. It’s couture for a new world. 

The space surrounding the production line was packed, audience members desperately seeking space inside to stand, sit, peer – whatever – as long as they were there as a witness. Around the room, iconic paintings of females from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries re-robed in Marine Serre creations. 

When you work with deadstock, you can’t anticipate an outcome. The material defines your journey. You must expect a meandering path that encompasses several narratives, and Serre is a master of storytelling her creations in a way they don’t end up as simply mish-mash.

These women became Serre’s protagonists, her personalities and muses throughout her new season. The Dutch masterpiece ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ was reframed as ‘Girl with a Fork Earring,’ the designer’s jewelry taking on the same magpie mentality of discarded everyday objects, her infamous blue robes updated in a repeat moon-motif across sartorial suiting. This felt like a new direction for Serre’s handwriting. 

Next up, a girl from a 16th century Caravaggio painting was reportedly tortured for being literate. Not anymore; Serre has given her tools for empowerment and a new punk attitude, equipped with pieced tartans, reworked fair isles, heavy-metal tees and reclaimed jewelry. 

In ornate damassé and jacquards, a more romantic mood was seen across couture-like corsetry and quilted jackets. These fair maidens are on a voyage of eco-awareness. 

Elsewhere, ex-surplus utility was put to good use, creating swirling camo structures juxtaposed with Damask. The woman? A a goddess of hunting, “for she knows the power of hybridization.” 

Finally, a warrior-goddess, her story tattooed on her body, the designer displaying new symbolism across her iconic second skin materials. A fresh new wave of cult classics for troves of loyal fans inside and out. 

Today’s schedule of young designers are on a collective mission to change our world for good. Serre is someone who’s managed to balance said mission with a desirable product that tells a compelling story with a whole new world of mega-fans to boot.