Lingerie designer Laura Mehlinger gained a valuable perspective during a recent trip to Japan.
Laura, the proprietor of the boutique label Lola Haze, would scan the hordes of humanity on the streets of Tokyo and notice how very different-looking girls shared something in common: they were “devoted from head to toe to a single fashion identity.”
“A funny visual thing would happen,” she said. “In one visual field, I might see a neo-punk girl, a Harajuku girl and a new romantic girl brushing past each other. Together, they created a sort of style pointillism in which each person’s style expression contributed one pixel to a greater picture of a complex vibrant city.”
That realization — how individual style contributes to a broader urban canvas — helped inspire Lola Haze’s new spring collection, called The City.
It’s also a reassuring metaphor that helps explain the place of smaller designer brands in the vast sea of color and fabric that is the lingerie market. Not everyone will be drawn to Lola Haze’s idiosyncratic styles, but then it’s not a brand for everyone. It courts the glamorous iconoclast who wants to develop an individual style that stands apart from the mainstream — regardless of how many other women may be following the same path.
Lola Haze is currently hosting a special pop-up shop, called Valentine’s Quickie, in Manhattan in collaboration with jewelry designer Victoria Bekerman. The shop is at RSpop on Lexington until Feb. 14. (Mention you heard about it from Lingerie Talk and receive 10% off your order!)
The City collection offers some new looks that reinforce the Lola Haze aesthetic: color-blocked, asymmetrical shapes that create bold visual statements. Those graphic signatures run throughout the collection, but the effect is most pronounced when it’s on a broader canvas, like a chemise or slip or a robe, which sometimes look like abstract pop-art pieces.
There’s also a more conventionally glamorous and seductive side to Lola Haze, which found expression in the brand’s new diffusion line, Lola by Lola Haze (above). It’s a luxury collection of teddies and chemises based on the shimmering black-gold wet look that designer Laura first employed a couple of seasons ago.
And for purely seductive purpose, The City collection includes a thoroughly modern range unlike the others: the Web of Seduction ensemble (last photo below) that combines sheer black mesh, silvery strapping and a stunning web of gunmetal chains that envelops the body.
Altogether, a standout collection from a young label that this week earned a spot in Vogue’s spring lingerie guide.
Check out their popup shop to find the perfect V-Day gift for the woman who, like Lola Haze itself, is determined to stand out from the crowd.
[NOTE: Images below from Lola Haze’s ‘The City‘ collection for Spring 2013.]