It’s no accident that Lingerie & Desire, the first book to chronicle the evolution of Italian superbrand La Perla, resembles a coffee-table book of great fashion photography from the past half-century.
Presentation has always been a central part of La Perla’s seductive allure, and over the past 60 years the company both attracted and commissioned some of the world’s best photographers to create memorable, lasting portraits of its luxurious garments. As a result, La Perla’s marketing campaigns — like its lingerie collections — are usually several notches above anything similar, and eagerly anticipated by fans and competitors alike.
Lingerie & Desire, loosely timed to mark the company’s upcoming 60th anniversary, brings together many of the great images used to promote the brand since the early 1960s. Now, removed from the mundane context of seasonal marketing, the artistry of the La Perla portfolio is given the showcase it deserves.
Here you’ll find work from great lensmen such as Alastair Taylor Young, Marino Parisotto, Michelangelo Di Battista, Vincent Peters, Nadir, Macro Emili and Mary Rozz, as well as a history and appreciation of the brand written by La Perla’s former magazine editor Isabella Cardinali.
Lingerie & Desire is dedicated to La Perla founder Ada Masotti, a corset maker who launched the label back in 1954 at a time when the artistic evolution of women’s undergarments was just getting started. It’s also a tribute to the artisans of Bologna, La Perla’s hometown and a vital part of the brand’s DNA. (Here’s La Perla’s video salute to Bologna, shot earlier this year.)
Lingerie & Desire ($85) is published by Rizzoli New York and scheduled for release on Oct. 23. It’s available at La Perla boutiques, selected bookstores and La Perla’s online shop, and you can pre-order it for a discount price of $53.55 on Amazon.
Below is a sneak peek at some of the archival imagery it offers, from past La Perla campaigns.