Date: 2010, created for AW10/11
Fabric: Silk and nylon tulle
Brand: Jean Paul Gaultier for La Perla
A bra and brief set with extensive ‘soutache’ silk braid embroidery. The bra has a dramatically pointed bustline and uses a combination of underwires and boned structures throughout the cup to achieve a silhouette reminiscent of 1950s foundationwear. The soutache embellishment covers the body of the cups, with small flourishes of the technique on the bra wings. Plaited silk braid forms the shoulder straps, and the interior bone and wire channels are encased in silk. Raw edged silk georgette trims the bra neckline.
The main body of the knickers is formed of a sheer synthetic stretch mesh, finished with an extremely narrow babylock stitched edge. The centre panel of the briefs is embellished with further soutache embroidery, with raw cut silk georgette trimming the waist edge.
These garments are from the ‘Feuillage’ range (which translates as ‘foliage’) of the Créateur collection, a collaboration between French couturier Jean Paul Gaultier and heritage luxury lingerie house La Perla. The collaboration was launched to the market in 2010 to great critical acclaim at a particularly high price point, with bras in the Feuillage range starting from $500 and briefs from $300. Garments in this range were available in three colourways: teal, blush pink and black. The collection was particularly noteworthy for its use of intricate and time consuming embellishment techniques, many of which are rarely used in contemporary design.
Jean Paul Gaultier founded his eponymous label in 1977 in Paris, France, and soon became renowned as the ‘Enfant Terrible’ of French fashion for his daring and playful approach to design. The label encompasses a fashion empire that covers haute couture, ready to wear, eyewear and perfume. Many of his designs have been strongly influenced by historical lingerie designs, with famous silhouettes including dramatically shaped corsetry and exagerrated bullet bras. The designer has collaborated on a number of ‘ready to wear’ projects, including with the label Wolford in the late 1990s, and with La Perla in the early 2010s.
La Perla was founded in 1954 in Bologna, Italy, by master corsetmaker Ada Masotti. The brand’s name (‘the pearl’) came from the decision to present lingerie as fine jewellery, with the associations of luxury and femininity. The first brand collections were even presented in velvet-lined boxes. The brand treated lingerie as a fashion accessory rather than simply a clothing necessity, using fine fabrics such as French leavers laces, and silks.
From the collection of Karolina Laskowska