'Marin' Tattoo Embroidered Tulle Bra & Shorts By Jean Paul Gaultier For La Perla

'Marin' Tattoo Embroidered Tulle Bra & Shorts By Jean Paul Gaultier For La Perla, c. 2012, Italy. The Underpinnings Museum. Photography by Tigz Rice.

Date: 2012, created for SS13

Origin: Italy

Fabric: Nylon

Brand: Jean Paul Gaultier for La Perla


An underwire bra and French knicker set, incorporating appliquéd, machine embroidered, navy motifs in floral and sailor tattoo inspired motifs (a recurring theme within Jean Paul Gaultier’s design archive). The cream mesh is trimmed with contrast navy elastics. The underwire bra incorporates a dramatic ‘U’ wire separator at the centre front. The French knickers have a high leg split on both sides, framed by embroidery. The embroidery is arranged in a stripe formation throughout this range; the effect is subtle on these two pieces, but on the tops and chemises within the range the placement feels like a lingerie-inspired nod to the ‘Breton stripe’ motif that remains a signature of many Gaultier’s designs.

This garment is from the ‘Marin’ range (which translates as ‘Marine’) 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. Garments in this range were available in two colourways: beige/navy and black/navy. 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

Museum number: KL-2018-033


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