LINGERIE brands often have a hard time breaking into the ready-to-wear market. Something about the inherently risqué nature of lingerie makes this type of design sometimes difficult to translate. But, some lingerie brands get it very right, producing prêt-à-porter clothing with all the sensuality and craftsmanship of high-end lingerie but with a delicious wearability.
Case in point – the recently debuted La Perla Atelier Collection. This ready-to-wear collection debuted on Monday, 26 January at the Hotel Salomon de Rothschild in Paris, as the couture shows kicked off into high gear. Featuring the likes of Naomi Campbell, Natasha Poly and Lindsey Wixon, this collection fuses modern design with the artisanship one has come to expect from La Perla – with all the delicacy, luxe fabrics and immaculate construction.
The 2015 La Perla Atelier Collection interestingly questions the boundary between lingerie and clothing, not just through literal lingerie-style detailing on clothing but through the application of intricate techniques in new and innovative ways. This collection builds on the brand’s signature designs through the utilization of quietly ostentatious frastaglio detailing, including gold thread, crystals and feathers overlaid on floral patterned silks and tulle. Designs tease at the anticipation of a reveal without showing too much, through layers that show off the fundamental architecture of a dress.
Both the design and materials speak to La Perla’s 100+ year heritage. Some are deliberately referential to early archive patterns from the turn of the 20th century; and others incorporate lace techniques straight from lacemakers in Calais. While traditional techniques are used, the designs feel fresh and new and feel like proper clothing with a hint of the structure and sensuality of undergarments, but in the most sophisticated way. Metal buckles replace bra straps and shorts are elevated through the clever application of precious tones and embellished embroidery. Part of the success of this collection lies in the muted colour palette, wherein primary blacks are complemented by a range of pink, grey, white and red with blue and nude accents here and there.
by Jessica Quillin