Fashion Week

Marine Serre's Apocalyptic Collection is More Realistic Than You Think

The day after Greta Thunberg made her speech at the United Nations, the designer is once again adding her sartorial point of view to the climate change discussion.
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Photos courtesy of Marine Serre

“Imagine… By hiding in caves and shelters deep underground, small but illustrious groups have survived the Apocalypse – the climate wars, the heatwaves, mass extinction.”

Marine Serre debuted another apocalypse-inspired collection at Paris Fashion Week for Spring 2020. Serre has named the collection Marée Noire, or “Oil Spill.” With it being Climate Week in New York as young people like Greta Thunberg go on strike and the United Nations makes some major decisions, the timing of the sartorial event could not be more perfect.

The first dozen looks down the runway look much different than Serre’s usual, recognizable moon print. It’s not hard to imagine the plain black jumpsuits in a toxic, ruined world. Patent trench coats, skin-tight gloves, and shiny black boots become a literal marée noire. Another handful of designs are almost like an inversion of the stark, monochromatic black: flowing white pieces and florals that emanate a soft feminine power, though they give off the same feeling of defiance and survival.

Serre's most iconic previous designs are her full-body catsuits with her signature moon print, a signature piece that helped to attract the world's attention and earn her the LVMH Prize in 2017. This time, though, Serre went far more subtle with her trademark design. Infrequently, the moons do make an understated appearance. A few models wore catsuits with a single moon peeking out against their clavicles. Another model’s coat featured moon imprints, a more stately iteration of the pattern. Overall, it showed a continued evolution in the young designer's aesthetic as she honed into what she knows best much like Molly Goddard did with her signature tulle in London.

Serre displays a consistent dedication to exploring sustainability through her work, and the idea of creating fashion for a world that’s been destroyed, or rather being destroyed, is simultaneously fascinating and unsettling. Hopefully, this will lead to the industry and the world becoming more conscious of the ongoing destruction.

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