Marine Serre S/S 2020 Paris Fashion Week Women’s

Marine Serre S/S 2020 Paris Fashion Week Women’s

Moodboard: Two days ago, teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg made clear in her UN speech in New York the fears of an entire generation about the future of planet Earth when it comes to climate change. Yesterday, in Paris, Marine Serre actually dared imagine that future. With a show titled ‘Marée Noire’ (black tide), she depicted a post-apocalyptic world rife with climate wars, heatwaves and mass extinctions where only a small group of people survive in a wasteland of oil and water. It was a fitting and genuine statement. Another statement; Serre’s work is as known for its focus on sustainability as it is for its beyond covetable status. 

Scene setting: The weather helped, adding to the ominous theme of the collection: it was a somber, rainy, windy morning at the Stade Suchet – hidden in the depths of the 16è arrondissement – when guests arrived to an open air venue equipped with shiny black umbrellas with a mineral oil-inspired texture the designer had thoughtfully send beforehand. The oil theme was everywhere in the outside garden, where two catwalks covered in draped glossy black cloth had been set over a small water canal framed by overgrown grass. The music was as ominous as the setting, started with a muted thud and progressively evolving into a full-fledged electronic score. 

Best in show: The clothes, however, were far from sinister. Although the designer is rarely known to work in black, she opened the show with a series of black utilitarian overalls in moiré and satin, and recycled PVC raincoats. But that quickly evolved into a series of desert-inspired terracotta red structured suits complete with djellaba-like headgear, a series of feminine, pristine white dresses repurposed from old shawls, aprons and nightgowns, finishing with a bunch of draped dresses printed with natural motifs, suggesting, as the show notes said, ‘evolution and hybridisation’. All in all, it was an exquisitely balanced collection. Serre has recently expanded her sustainability efforts from her new 19è arrondissement studio, going from collections 30 per cent made from upcycled materials to 50 per cent, with the rest of her fabrics sourced from French mills. §

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