Suzy Menkes

#SuzyPFW Marine Serre and Jacquemus: Leaping Forward And Looking Back

Marine takes her upcycling philosophy to another level while Jacquemus is fixated on the Mediterranean world.

Marine Serre leaps ahead

The speed with which Marine Serre has developed her philosophy of upcycling - turning the lowly into the exceptional, her re-worked sporty denim, her joyous sense of colour and originality of expression - is astounding.
Marine found new ways to use the moon shape logo that has become her trademark.
At age 26, she has done more than seems credible to turn ageing T-shirts into joyous re-models and, of course, to find new ways each season to use the new moon shape that has become her logo and symbol.
Every single thing about her spring/summer 2019 collection was exceptional - starting with its name: 'Hardcore Couture’. It suggested tough work and unexpected treatments, such as keyrings hung all over a coat.
Even the choice of venue seemed inspired: a long walk down a narrow school pathway running parallel to a train station in the rough, tough multi-ethnic outskirts of Paris.
This inclusive attitude was reflected in the models as men and young women with kids walked the runway - the clothes as varied as flower patterns and stretch sportswear. With her customary cracking speed, Marine and her Dutch partner Pepijn van Eeden have now linked up with shoe makers Melissa from Brazil and sportswear giant Nike.
'Hardcore Couture’ featured keyrings hung on a coat.
What inspires the designer to have a story and a message behind almost all her creations?
"My idea is not that you see it, but you should know when you buy that you have a story behind it," said the designer of her upcycled eco-futurist Green Line where all the denim, for example, is recycled.
The T-shirt re-make is another story.
"There is a big warehouse that has tons and tons of T-shirts that are all recycled, so nothing is actually new," Marine says. "For the jeans, we wash them, then do a print on the top and then we cut.”
The finale dresses looking elegant and high fashion, are yet another upcycle.
“We had three or four blankets and a little fleece from the same fabric that is more like ready-to-wear.” 
Another piece made from a rug was a coat with a yellow sunflower across the front.
This output of imagination in a young, if fast growing, business is exceptional and is, in part, thanks to Marine winning the LVMH young talent award in 2017. But her mighty talent is all her own.
Adrian Joffe of Dover Street Market, who has supported the fledgling Marine Serre brand from its birth, had an emotional reaction to the show.
"The evolution from the last collection is amazing," he said. “She took it to another level."

Jacquemus' romantic Riviera

Teeny tiny bikinis - orange at the bust, green thongs down below - are the concept of swimwear at Jacquemus.
A sky blue dress has a triangle of flesh at the chest; a mesh skirt dissolves into thin straight lines at the thighs; an azure blue dress is slashed at the bust and hips.
Even walking down a raised runway in the grounds of a grand Paris building, designer Simon Porte Jacquemus seems to be in love with the South of France, the heart of his childhood and the home of his late mother.
Simon Porte Jacquemus takes a bow after his SS19 collection.
But are the clichés of glam Riviera summers quite enough?
“I’m a South of France boy; I never want to say something about Paris, and I like the Mediterranean girl,” said the designer after the last bronzed leg had stepped forward in the shoes with transparent ball heels that Jacquemus has made its trademark.
Each outfit seemed to have had scissors go through cloth, whether it was a neckline held together only with sparkly string, or a puffy dress looking like its hemline had blown upward in a mistral. The models carried giant woven raffia bags with string fringes all around.
Jacquemus paid homage to the Mediterranean girl.
A reality check maybe? The waterfront of Nice today is more a gathering of Russians or Middle East clients than the original ‘Bay of Angels’.
No one would expect the designer to encompass in a fashion show the 2016 Bastille Day attack in Nice, but this collection needed something edgy, modern or realistic to pep up the cliché of the magical Mediterranean.
The designer has touched in other collections on the Maghreb, as France calls North Africa, but this year’s accent on Italy looked on the runway like more of the same.
Jacquemus brought the South of France to Paris.
“I think they ARE the same - there is something very sensual - you go to the beach and at the same time you go to a restaurant. You don’t know exactly where you are going to go," said the Jacquemus designer. 
The words sounded sweet, but vague - much like the collection.