Just Drive. Marine Serre AW23

Nothing is created. Everything is transformed. To love is to repair. It must be simple. We are repaired, we are reused… We are restitched, we are re-embroidered…”. So went the poem – written by Marine Serre – at the beginning of her public-facing autumn-winter 2023 fashion show. In the heavily light-produced outing, Serre systematically set about showing what she could do with deadstock materials. The first eight looks or so were crafted from the totes, and included the cropped jacket silhouette that would ricochet across the collection. The next set was denim, and featured Caroline Issa who wore a siren silhouette denim dress with Serre’s new moon breast inserts. Other looks featured jewelry fashioned from upcycled cutlery. Then we pivoted to motorcycling gear, recycled. Although the motocross trend is widespread (all thanks to Rosalia’s seismic success of Motomami), Serre is a designer who owns that aesthetic, regardless if it’s trending or not. Next we hit knit: Look 20, on a proudly body-positive model, featured a patchwork “lozenge” knit fashioned from 15 or so pullovers. After that were upcycled or chemical-free processed leather looks which sometimes came with some pulled-pile knit trims that understandably set their models in unplanned directions when used as face coverings. A series of sophisticatedly faux-sophisticated moon monograph pieces followed. We were getting to the climax now, building tension with a swathe of house moiré looks interspersed with tapestry topped couture shapes and reclaimed upholstery fabrics. Then a series of pieces fashioned from strips of material, specifically scarfs, that were amongst the most compelling here. This was another highly effective and affecting collection from Serre.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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Motomami. Dion Lee SS23

The scene at the Dion Lee spring-summer 2023 was like a look book by the New York–based Australian designer come to life. In the space a lineup of influencers, models, and more stood around in full looks by the brand. All tall, slender, and muscular. All very cool. All, of course, very Dion Lee. The label’s offering usually teeters between day and night. Its knits and cargos feel both rave ready and casual enough to wear during the day, while its miniskirts, leather separates, and dresses feel dressed up enough for an evening out – perfect for a day-to-night-to-day lifestyle. But for spring Lee expanded on both ends of the spectrum. His very chic and well-cut tailoring and denim (in a just-right, grayed-out wash) offered a more dressed-up daywear assortment, while his floor-length slinky knit dresses and skirts and metallic fringe separates introduced a true evening selection. Backstage after the show, Lee pointed out that this season he honed his interest in patterns of anatomy. “I like to place things on the body in a way that relates to the structure of our form,” he said in reference to his cutouts and layering. This is something Lee does extremely well. He understands the human shape, particularly the muscular and slender type he prioritizes in casting, and knows precisely what areas of the body to uncover or enhance. His clothes are incredibly sexy; they’re alluring and exact, aggressive but curiously inviting. It would be interesting to see him build around other body types, as one often sees his clothes out in the city, and they tend to adapt well to different shapes. Lee also experimented with moto language over the summer (perhaps a nod to Rosalía’s Motomami – he outfitted her tour). These padded and more industrial fabrications worked surprisingly well with his recurring monstera leaf motif, which now bleeds past tops and dresses into footwear and handbags. He said he looked to establish a relationship between nature and what he sees in his daily city life. The designer also introduced a scuba capsule, the bodysuit of which wouldn’t look out of place in a club – it’s Dion Lee, after all.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Don’t forget to follow Design & Culture by Ed on Instagram!

NET-A-PORTER Limited