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Since her triumphant Paris Fashion Week autumn/winter 18 debut, Marine Serre has been busy crafting a sustainability-focused soft power movement that has demanded that the industry be more conscious of the world around it. Throughout, she’s asked herself one simple but powerful question: “Why does the world need another fashion brand?” Her answer has been to create no ordinary fashion brand, hers is something that the world needs. “It’s not enough to dream,” the Corrèze-born, La Cambre-educated, LVMH Prize-winning talent has told LN-CC previously, “you have to follow through with action, you have to question, you have to provide answers and it has to be real.”
From the climate crisis to far-right populism, she has continually taken an unflinching look at our troubled world and responded with hope-filled creativity, providing everyday armour that protects reality and provokes fantasy. Weeks before the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic forced Paris into lockdown, her use of face masks – first introduced for autumn/winter 19 when she collaborated with R-Pur, the French-made anti-pollution coverings, while warning us that “in 10 years we might need to wear a breathing mask everyday” – convinced many of her powerfully prescient vision. Just 18 months on, face masks are part of our collective everyday reality.
While many of her contemporaries either reflect or refract the world, Marine reacts to it and her unblinking mind’s eye seemingly sees tomorrow and helps her design upcycled, sartorial manifestos that depict a better future. So, how has the global pandemic shifted her vision? Take a leap into the unknown as LN-CC presents AMOR FATI, an epic 13-minute film that reveals Marine’s latest collection and so much more. “A cycle of timeless events and encounters are performed by mystic characters immersing the viewer into their world,” explains the press release. “With the aid of token items, two cryptic individuals navigate between parallel existences, living an astral projection, guided by each other’s truths." As they explore each environment, a series of tightly knit clans witness their rites of passage. “Despite feelings of danger, care, seduction, and vulnerability, the two chameleonic figures take a leap of faith into the unknown: AMOR FATI.”
For the non-Latin speakers among us, the phrase Amor Fati can be translated "love of fate" or "love of one's fate". Essentially, it is used to describe an attitude in which one sees everything that happens in one's life, including suffering and grief, as good or, at the very least, necessary. While the phrase has links to the Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus, its most explicit expression in Friedrich Nietzsche, who made love of fate central to his philosophy. "My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity,” the German philosopher, essayist, and cultural critic explained in Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is.“Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it — all idealism is mendacity in the face of what is necessary — but love it." For Nietsche, each and every moment – no matter how challenging – should be embraced, not avoided. Like oxygen to fire, obstacles and adversity become fuel for your potential. More recently in The Myth of Sisyphus, French philosopher Albert Camus spoke of a desire to accept, and even come to love, difficulty. Ultimately, amor fatiencourages us to say: we will put our energies and emotions and exertions only where they will have real impact. That’s just what Marine Serre does with her Paris-based house.
While not sure many of us would go as far to confess a love for COVID-19, we are united in our inability to ignore it. Meanwhile, Marine’s imagination-igniting, boundary-pushing, detail-filled existence is one we can escape to over and over again.
AMOR FATI by Marine Serre.
Directed by Sacha Barbin and Ryan Doubiago.
Starring Sevdaliza and Juliet Merie.
Produced by Avoir