Interview of La Cambre student Marine Serre

Interview of La Cambre student Marine Serre

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Interview by Margot Thibaut.

When and how you decided that you wanted to be a designer?

I never really chose for it, it more or less just happened.

Was it your dream job?

Actually not at all. When I was young I just wanted to save animals. When a bit older I played high level tennis competition and all my energy went into sport. Its true however that I was already passionate by collecting all kinds of clothes from second hand stores and dress myself with it. As I was a tough sporty girl, this was really important for me, to explore and express my feminine identity so to say. But I was not conscious at the time that it would become my job.

What is the first thing you designed and for whom (yourself, a friend…)?

The first thing I designed was for myself: a vintage white and yellow striped pants that I reworked to fit on my little body. You know, I always have to rework things because I’m little.

Who’s the designer you admire the most and why?

I would say Raf Simons for the honesty and sharpness he brought (back) to fashion. More generally, I have always been attracted by designers that really try to say something, like Martin Margiela, Rei Kawakubo or Hussein Chalayan. They have constantly influenced my work.

Who’s your muse, your icon, when you create a dress?

I don’t really have muse – or then they are all my friends or people that I just meet or see in the supermarket. It’s more about attitude than esthetic.

If you had to design an entire collection using just one color, which is the one you’d pick and why?

I love colors in confrontation to each other, it’s where they become alive.

Who’s the first person you show your sketches to?

My weird Dutch boyfriend Pepijn. He is completely outside of the fashion world but has a really sharp eye for things.

The fabric you love the most…silk, lace, velvet and why?

I like a lot of different materials — but if I have to choose: perhaps just a good quality cotton.

If your clothes had a soundtrack, which songs you’d choose?

I think I will choose There Will Never Be A Better Time of PJ Harvey from The Desert Sessions Vol. 9. It’s a song she recorded when she retreated with a lot of other rockers in a lone studio in the middle of the Palm Desert.

Do you have any trick to avoid that “blank page” moment when you’re at the beginning of the designing of a new collection? Do you watch a movie, flip an old magazine…

Hmm, I don’t know. I just start, doing lots of research. I actually never have blank page moments – or rather I never accept having one – when I feel bad about something I just try harder and experiment more. There is no way everything can be thought of in advance anyway, and paths can only be left when they have been tried. But maybe I should say here: go out, let it go and then fix a point and go with it, research about it, buy a book, watch a movie, listen to music, talk with friends…

If you weren’t a designer which job in the fashion world you would like to do and why?

I really don’t know, I think I will just do completely something else. I would like to be a dancer!