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When Marine Serre plays with our emotions

On May 15, 2020, in
the middle of a pandemic, the French designer Marine Serre published a
tutorial video to make a mask. Beyond the symbol of the current health
crisis it represents, the small protective accessory is emblematic of the
post-apocalyptic style of the designer. This timely tutorial thus gains
credit and reflects the DNA of a house focused on upcycling, where the
production process is as fascinating as the garment itself.

It is also through the video that the label shares the stages of production
of its famous up-cycled pieces. Since the spring-summer 2019 collection,
the brand has taken care to record the different phases of the
manufacturing chain of so-called “Regenerated” items – the designation
applies to upcycled clothing and accessories from old stocks of textile
products.

The publications on the Paris label’s Youtube account present the qualities
of ASMR, this fetishistic craze for videos whose exacerbated quality of
sound aims to relax the audience. At Marine Serre, the sound of hands
digging through plastic bags, steam escaping from the iron and the sound of
large, well-paced machines mix with the pleasure of glimpsing the underside
of a large house fashion.

To find out more, FashionUnited asked the questions to the author of
these videos, Giulia Roman, Upcycling Product Developer at Marine
Serre.

You are a developer of upcycling products for Marine Serre. Could you
share some of your work with me?

I work for Marine Serre from Italy where I follow the development and
production of the “Regenerated” collection and make videos and photography
for the campaign.

The way I started working for her is quite unusual. I used to go to the
factory where we now produce most of the recycled parts just to observe and
learn more about the process. I have a background in design and it was so
inspiring for me to discover all the techniques and possibilities. It was a
great way to broaden my horizons.

One day, the factory manager received the first prototype of a pretty crazy
and very special top from Marine Serre, made from recycled t-shirts. He
asked me to help him figure out how to do it. It was a real puzzle. I
thought it was incredible! Then everything was done naturally. I met Marine
at the show and since then we have been working together.

What did you want to portray through the “Regenerated” videos?

Nothing more than what is being shown.

There is a hypnotic pleasure in watching them, this feeling makes me
think of the ASMR video. Was that the goal?

I didn’t have a specific goal when I did the first one. It was more for fun
and to show the team what was going on behind the scenes and how we were
structuring and revolutionizing the cutting and assembly process at the
factory while turning all these T-shirts into couture dresses. So, of
course, there was no need to embellish the images.

When we decided to create the campaign, we wanted to keep it exactly as
it was. The sound of the machine, sharp scissors, Italian voices in the
background were an essential part of the whole project.

What feedback do you receive from people who have watched the
videos?

Everyone loves them! I did not expect such success. I think what people
appreciate most is that everything is real. I think it’s a pretty pure way
of looking at fashion.

Are you planning to make new videos like this for Marine Serre?

Yes of course!

Could you tell me more about your collaboration with the designer
Marine Serre?

The Marine Serre team has grown considerably. We have a structured design,
development and production team and I work closely with them.

Regarding clothing, how long does it take to make a garment from the
“Regenerated” line?

It depends. The first samples always take longer. It can take three to 15
hours, it also depends on the problems encountered. But when it comes to
the production stage, when all the stages are clear, it flows by itself.

How do you go about finding the stock of raw material? Is it a long
process?

Yes, it involves a lot of research and there is a large team doing it.
(Giulia Roman is not responsible for the supply of raw
materials.)

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How many people work on the production of an item?

It’s a big team effort. One person for cutting, one for preparation, one
for sewing, one for all stitch finishing by hand, then quality control,
ironing, packaging… A piece of clothing is the result of the work of so
many caring hands.

This article was originally published on FashionUnited.FR,
translated and edited to English.

Photo credit: Marine Serre Collection, presented at the Hyères
Fashion and Photography Festival in 2017 – Anne-Christine Poujoulat /
AFP

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