Marine Serre’s new film explores a post-apocalyptic, dystopian Paris

The videogame-like ‘Radiation’ was directed by LA-based 3D artists Rick Farin and Claire Cochran and features a series of digitally rendered models

Set deep under the streets of Paris in a series of dark, winding tunnels, Marine Serre’s AW19 presentation was less a fashion show and more a glimpse of the post-apocalyptic future we’re currently hurtling towards. Instead of a catwalk, the labyrinth became a bunker, as models paraded through its corridors wearing the designer’s signature FutureWear: with protective, second skin-like bodysuits, breathing masks, and accessories made using computer chips, shells and coins – the artefacts of the future – all featuring heavily.   

Now, Serre releases a new film, Radiation, which explores the devastation of the planet and what its landscape might look like 100 years down the line. Directed and animated by LA-based 3D designers Rick Farin and Claire Cochran, the short opens with a digitally rendered, Marine Serre-wearing avatar listening in to a crackling radio broadcast detailing storms which decimated parts of the US. Leaving the safety of the boulangerie she’s taken refuge in, the avatar then emerges onto the Paris streets, bumping into others along the way: including one whose eyes are clouded with cataracts and another who enters a park only to be confronted by a silver, otherworldly entity. Later, one sits down to eat a picnic in the grass, as clouds of toxic, neon smog swirl around her.  

“In Radiation, everything has re-started – not a lot is left of the old world,” says Serre of the film’s concept. “A new community of people is emerging. Nature and culture has become indistinguishable, new rituals of life appear, people are transforming into something else and changing forms, and boundaries are fluid. You will feel like you are entering a virtual world, but it’s not so far from the way we could be living very soon.” 

In fact, while many of us are concerned with averting the apocalypse, Serre explains we are essentially living in it already. “We’re already finding ways in our everyday life to survive!” she says. “The apocalypse is now, we are in the middle of it. We have no choice but to adapt to violent climate change and political uncertainty, to look at what is already there and what we have created, and work out new ways to live, to eat, to move, to dress… for example, the breathing mask in the collection: I don’t think it will be long until this is one of the most indispensible accessories in our wardrobes. They’re already needed in many cities around the world right now.”  

As one of the most radical, sustainability-focused labels on the fashion landscape, Serre has a head start when it comes to adapting to the challenges we are currently facing, with her SS20 collection, set to debut at Paris Fashion Week later this month, expanding on her vision on what the future might look like. “We are trying to find coherence in what is going to be our future and, more precisely, we are trying to actualise our ideas properly,” she confirms. “We will continue making garments from reappropriated materials, processing our collections with our own hands, and work to trace and offset our carbon footprint.” 

Watch the full film above.