Posted by Stephan Moskovic | June 8th, 2017

MARINE SERRE

Marine Serre, both as designer and emerging label, has made full use of the unexpected: As a young girl from a small hamlet in Corrèze in France, Marine grew up putting her energies into playing sports like tennis rather than fashion. It wasn’t until the age of 14 when she went to an art-specialized secondary school that her focus began to shift towards clothing design. After beginning her technical fashion education in Marseille, Serre moved to Brussels to attend the Academy of La Cambre Modes, where her graduate collection “A Radical Call for Love” would go on to earn her this LVMH Finalist nomination. The collection got its name as unexpectedly as she’d found accolade for her work, “I started this collection when the attacks in Paris and Brussels happened. Both took place directly next to my door… My way of dealing with this was finally to dive precisely into this tension between traditional Arab dress and modern sportswear. A friend then wrote a short essay titled “Facing Terror: A Call for Radical Love, or, A Radical Call for Love”, and I thought that was somehow fitting for what I was doing as well.”

That lack of predictability made its way into Serre’s handiwork, her designs, though indirectly addressing the serious, toy with your sense of direction. Marine knows it, “At the heart of the label, as it stands, is everyday life and its many crazy hybrids…ignoring the division between contemporary sportswear cuts and techniques on the one hand and savoir faire and tailoring, or traditional fabrics like moire.” Radical Call, her genre-defying, futuristic fifth collection, harnesses those contrasting ideas and makes good use of them: crescent moon branded tights and sweatbands, oversized tennis dresses with platform heels, all done in cuts of spacewoman fabrics of orange, blue, green and tan.

“At the heart of the label, as it stands, is everyday life and its many crazy hybrids…ignoring the division between contemporary sportswear cuts and techniques on the one hand and savoir faire and tailoring, or traditional fabrics like moire.”

Present throughout her collection is the Islamic crescent moon, which Serre has interpreted within the universe of her own brand. “The crescent actually has a much older and very diverse history. So, like with all logos, there is not really a single clear meaning,” says Serre continuing, “You can also not see it apart from the garments…it works really well for me because the crescent is very effective and powerful in bringing about this sportswear feeling of a team.” As a designer she manages to capture something rare in a newer, homogenized fashion world: time and place. Does that make her a modern alchemist? “I really think a good designer is ultimately little more than a hyper-sensible sponge, always adsorbing what is around her. Perhaps a lot of people thought for a long time that times and places were all becoming the same. So, I think this was never really true.”

Currently based in Paris working as a junior designer at Balenciaga, the recognition for her own label came suddenly, “We were not prepared at all for the attention we’re getting now, so we’re just taking it one step at the time.” There’s no shortage of what she plans to do if she wins the LVMH prize describing a laundry list of to-do’s, “Now we have more or less nothing. We are currently in need for a bigger space, and I would love to pay my friends that have until now worked so often for free. I could hire some skilled people to work with me, invest and develop the new collection, and finance the new show that now stands planned for early 2018. Then, the shoot and campaign materials afterward, and so on and so on.”

The LVMH 8 2017

Presenting Models.com’s exclusive spotlight on each of the eight finalists for the 2017 LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize in anticipation of their final presentation at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris.

On June 16, LVMH will announce the winner of their 2017 Young Fashion Designer Prize, chosen from a pool of eight finalists: Ambush, Atlein, Cecile Bahnsen, Jahnkoy, Kozaburo, Marine Serre, Molly Goddard, and Nabil Nayal. First launched in November 2013, the LVMH Prize was created to help celebrate rising design talent and encourage their growth, with the winner receiving both a 300,000 euro grant and a year of technical and financial support from the LVMH Foundation’s experts. These eight young designers from across the globe reflect the industry’s international reach, demonstrating expansive visions in an era of ever-tightening horizons. As barriers go up across borders and the world turns inward, they offer a reassuring reminder that creativity is about confronting the foreign and finding yourself changed for the better.

The winner will be selected by a jury comprised of some of fashion’s most notable creators, from Marc Jacobs and Karl Lagerfeld to Riccardo Tisci and J.W. Anderson, overseen by LVMH’s Delphine Arnault — a group that should have no trouble picking a standout talent. Victory will be sweet of course, but if past years are anything to go by, this is one prize where being nominated is truly an honor in and of itself.

Photography by Steven Yatsko for Models.com
Stylist Ron Hartleben
Makeup Feride Uslu (MAM) using Uslu Airlines
Hair Shinya Nakagawa (ArtList)
Manicure Yukie Miyakawa

Art Direction Stephan Moskovic
Editors Irene Ojo-Felix, Jonathan Shia & Steven Yatsko
Text by Steven Yatsko

Models
Alicia Holtz
Chiharu Okunugi

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