Blending Western and Eastern fashion discourse has never been more relevant. And Marine Serra is at the forefront of making that movement powerful and beautiful. Her graduate collection from the Academy of La Cambre Mode in Brussels named Radical Call for Love was shown in June 2016 and echoed throughout the fashion industry. Her harmonious synthesis of traditional Arab dress elements – intricate embellishment, caftans and sirwal trousers – with late 20th century sportswear was a reaction to the terrorist attacks happening in both Brussels and Paris as well as the wider political climate of today. Serre even created her riff on logomania – an Islamic crescent moon multiplied over nude body-con pieces and the centrepiece of her signature headband (another reference to both sportswear and Eastern dressing). The presence of sportswear in Marine Serre’s designs isn’t a coincidence – as a teenager, she was a high-level tennis player.

And it’s not just the LVMH that’s seeing the potential in the young French designer. Her role as a designer at Balenciaga proves the contemporary spirit of her voice is equal parts creative and commercial. This LVMH-prize nominated talent is on the road to becoming the next big French thing. Our entry into the world of Marine Serre? The tea-dresses created as a blend of activewear and elegant fashion. The perfect answer to a typical London daily schedule – ready-made to go from work into the gym and then back to a party.

Here’s Marine Serre’s Because Passport application:

FULL NAME: Marine Serre

DATE & PLACE OF BIRTH: 13 December 1991 in Corrèze, France

BRAND: Marine Serre (womenswear)

BRAND’S DATE & PLACE OF BIRTH: 18 October 2016 in Paris

CURRENT LOCATION: Paris

What are the places in Corrèze, Brussels or Paris we have to visit?

The village of Cevennes in the region of Corrèze, where my parents live. It’s a lost place not to miss out on.

French or Belgian food?

Do national kitchens still exist?

Favourite expression in French/Flemmish:

Kaassoufflé [A dutch snack of melted cheese inside a thin dough-based wrap which has been breaded and then deep-fried].

Do you feel more like a French or a Belgian designer?

I have a French passport, and a French family. My boyfriend has a Dutch a passport. Most of my friends live in Belgium, but I live in France where I mostly speak English. So, I don’t know – I guess I am just confused on the whole concept of identity.  

Is the feeling of belonging to a place/nation important to you?

Nation is not important to me, but yes, the feeling of belonging and attachment to certain places certainly is.

Follow Marine Serre  through Instagram at www.instagram.com/marine.serre. The finale of the LVMH Award is being held on 16 June at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. Find out more about the finalists at lvmhprize.com.

Text by Dino Bonacic

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