Passionate, intelligent, self-assured, pioneering: these are all qualities associated with people born during the year of the dragon, which begins today and is considered the most favored sign in the Chinese zodiac.
Those are also characteristics often ascribed to Marlies Dekkers, the renowned Dutch lingerie designer who has chosen to welcome the year of the dragon with a dramatically artistic tribute collection to all things Asian.
With six unique style ranges, Dekkers’ Far East collection for spring 2012 covers a lot of bases, from Japanese cranes to Thai temples and even female ninjas. None of this is random; Dekkers chooses her inspirations carefully, assembles her collections thoughtfully, and ensures that each style has a rich and meaningful story behind it.
A great example of this is the Blue and White China set, which really is the heart of the Far East collection. This is a white mesh set overlaid with a blue pattern of Chinese pagodas, screens and cherry blossoms, all meant to emulate original patterns from Delftblue china. And it’s more than just a gorgeous print: it’s Dekkers’ salute to the historic porcelain trade between China and her native land, and one of its most famous cultural exports.
Most of the style ranges in the Far East collection are based on a print or a particular colorway, and all offer the latest variations in Dekkers’ instantly recognizable multi-strap looks. The top photo, for instance, is from the Heavenly Crane range, a special-sizes range that combines a pinkish-nude base with a printed motif of the red-crowned crane, a powerful symbol in both Japanese and Chinese art.
Two styles in the Far East collection are tributes to legendary Chinese films, both of which feature powerful women in lead roles: the black stretch satin Crouching Tiger set (which comes with a gift necklace in the shape of a bow!); and the pink-on-red Raise The Red Lantern set, named for the groundbreaking 1991 film that introduced Gong Li to western audiences. This range includes matching stockings and a wrap dress, and all purchases come with a gift fan bearing the style’s lantern print.
Those historic inspirations in the new collection are balanced by the White Temple range, a white-on-white set that attempts to mimic the majestic all-white Wat Rong Khun temple in Thailand. This ultra-modern look (the temple itself is still under construction) includes silver dragon strap embellishments against the pieces’ white microfiber base.
Finally, we’re betting the most popular range in Far East is going to be the black-and-gold Kunoichi set (above), which is the name given to female Japanese ninjas. Look for black floral lace overlaid and gold accents on a nude microfiber base for and exceptionally fashionable but wearable ensemble.
The Far East collection is significantly more detailed and artistic than Dekkers’ recent collections. That’s not a knock against this outstanding brand, but it shows the wisdom in Dekkers’ recent move to resurrect the Undressed name as a way to offer catalog favorites and youth-oriented basics under that label while using her signature label for the higher-reaching luxury designs such as these.
The year of the dragon is also considered by the Chinese to be one of abundant success and good fortune, and there is little doubt that this inspired collection will help Marlies Dekkers reap the blessings of this auspicious year.
Watch for these pieces arriving at your favorite boutique this spring. In the meantime, here are campaign images from the Far East collection.