There have been countless Mad Men-inspired collections and marketing tie-ins from fashion lingerie labels in the past couple of years. But one name was conspicuously missing in the giddy rush to revisit the 1960s: La Perla.
A bit late to the party, perhaps, but the Italian superbrand’s entrance was worth waiting for. It’s gasp-inducing gorgeous, utterly original and offers a thoughtful evaluation of what style signatures from the 1960s were really worth reclaiming.
It’s not even remotely nostalgic, but it’ll make women who lived through those times wish they could have looked this good back then.
La Perla‘s take on ’60s glamour is more Holly Golightly than Joan Holloway. There are no stiff foundation pieces here, just plenty of soft silhouettes that evoke the sleek, effortless elegance of Jackie O and other high society icons.
The new style ranges are grouped under the name A Sixties Flair, and the collection is showcased in its own dedicated website.
But La Perla is careful not to call this a vintage collection. In the same way that last year’s Roaring Twenties collection offered La Perla‘s thoroughly modern re-interpretation of Jazz Age style, A Sixties Flair uses ’60s style only as a starting point.
Example: the early ’60s was the era of the stylish, semi-sheer negligée — but wait till you see what La Perla does with that. Their Belle De Jour nightgown (main photo above) takes a sheer tulle nightie, dresses it up with La Perla‘s heritage soutache embroidered neckline and a plumetis raised-dot pattern, THEN adds a Leavers lace bodysuit and satin bandeau underneath. It’s a masterpiece of conception, design and craftsmanship.
La Perla sees the ’60s as a stylistically complex and contradictory period, an era that warrants much more than just a line of bullet bras and high-waisted briefs.
Thus, A Sixties Flair includes references to New Wave cinema with style ranges like Belle De Jour and Blow-Up — not exactly the bubbliest screen gems from the period! But there’s also a kittenish Lolita set and plenty of very subtle floral lace — including a daisy macramé pattern — that recalls the later, golden age of flower power.
And, although La Perla is best known for its classic black finery, this time the color palette is filled with airy pastel hues like peach, mimosa, aqua and a bold yellow. It’s all meant to convey the period’s playful, nonchalant approach to fashion — something we could certainly benefit from in this century.
Have a look at some of the images below from the brilliant A Sixties Flair photoshoot from photographer Mary Rozzi and art director Michela Borgatti, who have placed model Jeisa Chiminazzo in some very Mad Men-esque environments.
Just remember, it’s all an illusion: the ’60s never looked this good, and its underfashions weren’t even close to what La Perla has achieved.