Marine Serre’s Hardcore Couture, during a ready-to-wear season
There are few more fertile imaginations in European fashion today than Marine Serre.
Her clothes are hybrid and experimental; don’t really follow mainstream trends and are shown with zest and novelty. She breaks boundaries weaker designer don’t even notice exist.
Serre’s key references are technology, urban living and speed. And this season, her staging was flawless and fortunate. Serre used a 200-meter stretch of wooden boardwalk in a brand-new north Paris urban park overlooking a major suburban train line on Tuesday morning. If it had rained it would have been a bleak disaster, but it was sunny, albeit chilly, and the single row of audience was in perfect position to witness her excellent show.
The collection was excellent too. Her cast was heterogeneous, and so were her clothes. Brilliantly cut Grecian warrior dresses in white cotton, subverted with graphics, floral inserts and soccer headlines; or a striking veiled Moorish dress in a whole blast of contrasting silk prints. Think Gianni Versace meets Hermès.
Serre loves a busy woman, one who is open about her personal drive. Hence, her see-through plastic totes, with the Hardcore Couture insignia, contained wallets, water, foundation and a copy of Le Monde diplomatique.
She even had a white Formula One jumpsuit, with her own name logo, of course, anchored by a pair of sneakers in her signature twisting 'C' print. One mum and her two-year-old son, carried in a front harness, were dressed in jumpsuits in the print. It also appeared in some great jean jackets for gals, and boy toddlers, that will be surefire commercial successes.
The whole shebang was a tad wacky – we could have done without the bowling ball bags – but that’s a minor quibble about a collection that was hyper contemporary, and very relevant. The fact that many of the looks were culled from upcycled used garments made all them that much better. “Clashing with one another on the bad edge of taste,” as the designer put it in her program notes. And, the clever insider move, of sending out Elfie Semotan, Helmut Lang’s most famous model, was brilliant touch. Double so, as Elfie looked amazing in a giant coat covered with hundreds of plastic key chains.
In a word, Serre may well be petite and diminutive looking, but her ideas are revolutionary and bold. She is writing a new page in fashion. Serre is really that good.
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