In Milan, Italy, La Perla’s spring/summer collection at Palazzo Clerici recently drew a standing-room-only audience. The company showed lingerie, accessories and ready-to-wear. La Perla’s creative director, Julia Haart, approached her ready-to-wear designs with a unique knowledge of the female body. She worked closely with Ada Masotti, a corsetiere who opened her lingerie laboratory in Bologna in 1954. While creating the lingerie for the line, Masotti relied on her knowledge of how women wanted to feel in their lingerie. Feeling sensual, beautiful and comfortable with yourself is important. Curves are intrinsic to feminine identity. When you are designing clothes, the process must begin with the understanding of women’s bodies. Julia Haart shares these values.
In the women’s ready to wear collection, the designers created clothes that were inspired by lingerie. They are experts with close-cut styling. Their clothes embrace the body like perfectly fitted lingerie, with fabrics that feel as good on the inside as they look on the outside. These pieces can be worn by all women, for all occasions.
Haart’s ready-to-wear for La Perla offers prints of flower blossoms, geographic maps and colorful, shimmering silk forms as the visual threads that run through the collection. The beautiful, often revealing designs are rendered in soft stretch fabrics that move as the models move on the catwalk.
Prints are eye-catching in typographical patterns in micro and macro motifs. There are close-fitting print jackets with high-waist tailoring shorts. Outfits are often paired with bralettes and vests that take style cues from a bustier. These pieces enhance curves without any traditional wiring.
Three show-stopping long dresses anchor the collection’s red carpet styles. In details, a shirt collar is the perfect counterpoint to a high split. One print is dotted with hand-sewn sequins. Another calligraphy print motif is embroidered over stretch silk with black inserts that emphasizes the decollete. A silk georgette look is embellished with soutache inserts that play with sheer detailing at the sides and neckline. These looks are dazzling and refined. Made in stretchable fabrics, they are easy to wear and adapt to the female form.
Meeting the needs of a woman’s wardrobe, mosaic prints in vibrant colors echo the magnificent color cues of cool corset jackets. They embody the feeling and support of lingerie with internal cups and finely tailored darts, sized according to the bust sizes for the perfect fit inside and out. Jackets fasten with a row of hooks and can be worn without additional undergarments. These pieces can also be worn as suits in their dress-up versions, or paired with new soft wool leggings.
The same tailoring strategy is at the core of shirts shaped to the body. T-shirts are designed and cut to the feminine form in silk, cotton and stretch fabrics.
In the lingerie and nightwear segment, there was a lot of tulle. Leavers lace and macramé are La Perla’s heritage fabrics. Silhouettes are modern. In particular, Haart focused on variations of the bra, such as the nonwired pushup bra or the triangle bra with a plunging V-neck. There is also much macramé, sheerness and flirty babydoll looks. These pieces are versatile, including graphic tops and body suits in soft, stretchy silk yarn that wraps around the body like a caress. Colors are black, silky white, nude, sky blue and red.
In beach and resort collections, cascades of pearls outline the curves of the body, transforming one-piece suits and bikinis into garments begging to be worn both on and off the beach. There is a color block trend that’s freshly interpreted in geometrically shaped pieces. Swim styles here are inspired by Ursula Andress and the Bond girls of the 1960s. Vivacious energy exudes from these pieces. On some suits, a sensual back is emphasized with cut-out accents. Other suits show off plunging necklines and boy-shorts that reveal a new side to swimwear’s personality.
Cover-ups create news in cotton stretch seersucker (an old-fashioned fabric stemming from yesteryear) with multicolor mosaic prints and patterns. For the beach and boardwalks, an elegant cape with contrasting trim and a two-toned dress with paneling contributed to the casual glamour of the collection’s rompers and shorts. Special attention was paid to the warm weather jumpsuits that flowed over the body. They were a perfect alternative to the evening dress. Colors include cobalt blue, lagoon blue, red, fuchsia, purple, white and black.