As an art form — and it is an art form — lingerie design might be the only creative enterprise that reaches a public audience second-hand, through a camera lens.
Since it’s also a personal consumer product, lingerie spends most of its time in drawers and closets or shared intimately in discreet settings. Only the most determined shoppers ever get a chance to view and appreciate the enormous range of artistic acheivements produced every year by the world’s great intimates designers.
New York editor Patrice Farameh knows that paradox well, and sets out to address it in her new book, Second Skin, a luxurious, boxed edition that explores the erotic art of couture lingerie.
For those who appreciate fashion, art, photography, erotica or any combination thereof, Second Skin makes an edgy statement as a coffee-table book, or an intimate one as a gift for the bedside table.
“Lingerie is the most delicate art in fashion design,” Patrice told Lingerie Talk. “It really is the second skin on a woman.”
In preparing Second Skin (which was released in North America two weeks ago), Patrice consulted with dozens of the world’s premier labels “to show the whole spectrum of what’s really going today in lingerie design.”
Eventually, 40 top labels were profiled in the book, which combines artistic photography, quotes and background information about the brands, their designers and their philosophies.
Included in this who’s who of contemporary lingerie artistry are familiar European names like La Perla and Andres Sarda, along with smaller independents such as UK corset label Eternal Spirits and Australia’s Hopeless. U.S. designers aren’t forgotten either, with Undrest, N De Samim, The Lake and Stars and Jean Yu among the American labels represented.
Second Skin includes a compelling introduction by Lisa Z. Morgan of Strumpet & Pink, and a foreword from the Seven Bar Foundation, the non-profit group that stages luxury lingerie runway shows to raise money to help women entrepreneurs in disadvantaged countries.
And it’s more than just a photography book; Second Skin also tries to understand the erotic appeal of lingerie and its role in how women perceive themselves.
“Where does that alluring power come from, and how does a designer work that magic into each gorgeous flesh-wrapping piece of art?” Patrice asks in the book’s introduction. “I’ve learned that lingerie is only as erotic on the outside as the woman feels on the inside. And the designers [in Second Skin] are incredibly skilled at creating that sense of desire from within.”
Second Skin is published under the Daab Media imprint, and is one in a series of unique luxury books in Farameh’s ‘Curated Collection’ that look at semi-hidden niches in the world of art and culture. (One, called Skull Style, looks at the artistic use of skulls in popular culture and is a must-have for McQueen devotees!)
Second Skin ($85USD) is available now on Amazon and discriminating bookshops. For New York shoppers looking for a last-minute gift item, check out Clic bookstore and gallery, which held a launch party for the book.