'Rubans' Silk Ribbonwork Bra by Jean Paul Gaultier for La Perla

'Rubans' Silk Ribbonwork Bra by Jean Paul Gaultier for La Perla, Spring/Summer 2013, Italy. The Underpinnings Museum. Photography by Tigz Rice.

Date: 2012, created for SS13

Origin: Italy

Fabric: Silk and nylon tulle

Brand: Jean Paul Gaultier for La Perla


A plunge style underwire bra, incorporating molded foam cups and a dramatic ‘U’ wire separator. The cups are overlaid with beige tulle that has been intricately embroidered with ruffled silk ribbon in flowing organic patterns. The detachable shoulder straps are overlaid with additional ruffled ribbon.

This garment is from the ‘Rubans’ range (which translates as ‘ribbons’) 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 the dress from this range retailing at $1850. Garments in this range were available in two colourways: beige 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

Museum number: KL-2017-140


Adverts keep The Underpinnings Museum running! Please consider visiting our sponsors if you enjoy this website.