Summer is a time for sequels and, let’s face it, most of them — the Hollywood kind, at least — leave us feeling disappointed and a bit ripped off.
The same cannot be said for Jean Paul Gaultier‘s follow-up lingerie collection for La Perla which, unlike most sequels, doesn’t try to recycle ideas from last year’s head-turning debut.
If you recall, the French design legend teamed up a year ago with the Italian luxury label to deliver the limited edition Créateur collection, a small set of technically complex pieces that challenged consumer tastes and absolutely flew off the shelves. Is there anyone who doesn’t agree that Gaultier’s Madonna-inspired silk braid cone bra and corset set was, quite simply, the best fashion lingerie ensemble of the year?
Surprisingly, Gaultier’s new Créateur collection, which showed up in his couture runway show in Paris last week, is a different animal altogether.
Gaultier leaves Madonna out of the equation this time (been there, done that?) and instead offers a a lush, feminine collection that reveals as much of La Perla’s DNA as his own. Yes, Gaultier has gone girly — in the best possible way.
Look for elegant silk and Calais lace-trim lingerie sets, along with several masterful embroidered babydolls that have a very vintage look despite the liberal use of ultra-modern, geometric tulle panels. The photo above should give you a sense of the bravura workmanship involved: that’s a futuristic, laser-perforated leather hook-and-eye corset paired up with an exquisitely layered silk-and-lace faux vintage chemise.
Most surprising are several pieces that use densely ruched ruffles to create a pom-pom effect — très coquettish indeed. The black tulle and silk ruffled babydoll and slip dress, below, look like they were plucked from a 1960s film set: this is directional fashion lingerie that points both backward and forward.
And, despite Gaultier’s reputation for creating punk street looks, the most appealing set in his new Créateur line will almost certainly be the super-sweet baby pink demi bra and thong. So frou frou it’s like Etam on steroids.
This collection is aimed at the 2012 Spring-Summer market, so watch for it to move into La Perla’s boutiques by the end of the year. Most pieces will be available in black, nude or pink colorways.
Note: The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is hosting an exhibition of JPG’s work title The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier until October 2. I’m heading down there next week, and lovers of fashion and/or Gaultier and/or Montreal should not miss it!