'Surpiqué' Quilted Satin Cone Bra Bodysuit By Jean Paul Gaultier For La Perla

'Surpiqué' Quilted Satin Cone Bra Bodysuit By Jean Paul Gaultier For La Perla, c. 2010, Italy. The Underpinnings Museum. Photography by Tigz Rice.

Date: 2010, created for AW10/11

Origin: Italy

Fabric: Polyester satin, stretch nylon

Brand: Jean Paul Gaultier for La Perla


A structured bodysuit incorporating decorative quilting embroidery. The main body of the garment is formed of firm stretch powernet mesh, with decorative striped mesh panels at the side of the body. The cups and centre panel of the garment are created from a heavy synthetic satin fabric, with decorative ‘sunburst’ style quilting embroidery. The bra cups have a dramatically pointed bustline, likely inspired by 1950s silhouettes. They are structured with foam padding and underwires. The bodysuit fastens at the centre front with a corset busk closure, and adjustable satin button and loop closures at the centre back. There is an additional row of hooks and eyes at the gusset, to allow for adjustment of the body length and convenience during wear.

This garment is from the ‘Surpiqué’ range (which translates directly as ‘stitched’) 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. Within this collection, a bra retailed at $395, a brief at $200 and a corset at $720 . The range was available in three colourways: peach, black and orange. 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-2018-037


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