Marine Serre’s spring collection film was an ode to slow living.
While the crush to get into the physical screening of the movie on the first day of Paris Fashion Week was a reminder of the excesses of the past, Serre doesn’t want us to forget the lessons of the coronavirus pandemic.
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The title, “Ostal 24,” means “house” in the old Occitan dialect of her native Corrèze region. Taking place over the course of a day, it showcased everything people did during lockdown: cooking, meditating, dancing, yoga — though in typical Serre fashion, there was a disquieting edge to the proceedings.
What to make of the lunch guests with napkins over their heads, eating gloopy black pasta? Or the woman in a harness, hanging from the ceiling in a bat position? No matter. The hypnotically paced film gave you plenty of time to soak up the clothes, which were variations on her signature regenerated and recycled designs.
Serre has been refining these over the last 18 months, and this time incorporated domestic staples like terry tea towels, which she turned into boxy jackets and boots, and Dutch embroidered tablecloths, which became poetic versions of lab coats.
“We’re reaching a level of maturity in the upcycling work, which is interesting, because now that we’ve mastered certain techniques, we can really streamline that style and make it more relevant and also more wearable,” she said in a Zoom call.
A colorful dress and hooded cape made from that ‘90s relic, popcorn fabric, were surprisingly chic. Catsuits, dresses and track pants came in a psychedelic print made by digitally combining vintage motifs. Forks, meanwhile, found a second life as earrings.
Alongside these novelties were new variations on Serre’s signature styles: dresses cut from upcycled scarves and T-shirts; overdyed patchwork denim jackets and pants, and moiré sportswear.
At a time when many are returning to pre-pandemic lifestyles with gusto, she deliberately kept a foot in the recent past, reasoning that the global crisis had a silver lining: prompting many people to reconsider their consumption habits.
“Deep down, maybe I’m afraid that all of a sudden, everything will go back to how it was before, and I will have to do dystopian shows again,” she said, referring to her past runway displays warning of climate apocalypse.
Hopefully, that won’t be necessary. If her right-on environmental credentials don’t convince you, her alluring designs surely will.
Launch Gallery: Marine Serre RTW Spring 2022