The Year of the Dragon is turning out to be an auspicious one for lovers of fine lingerie.
La Perla's sensuous new Oriental Suite is the second major European collection of 2012 that draws its inspiration from Asian design and cultural influences — the other being Marlies Dekkers‘ colorful spring-summer swim and lingerie line called Far East.
La Perla's fall collection is a pan-Asian mélange of inspirations from a variety of Oriental cultures, both modern and historic.
You should spot some of the more obvious Asian references right away, like obi-style belts and gorgeous satin kimono-like robes. But there are some unexpected delights too, like the dramatic dress in the first image below. It uses uses clamshell cups made from Leavers lace and held in place with nude tulle, and it mimics the erotic tease of traditional Japanese fans.
This is a richly detailed collection, but it's a lot more than just an homage to Asian art and society. Instead, La Perla uses Oriental themes as the starting point for some exquisitely modern, and inventive, looks.
A good example is the peachy pink babydoll whose mid section uses embroidered bamboo canes on a tulle background, a unique approach inspired by the Japanese practice of furoshiki or wrapping gifts in decorated fabric.
There's even one piece specifically designed to salute the Year of the Dragon, which is considered the most favorable year in the Chinese zodiac. It's the striking black bra embroidered with a gold metallic dancing dragon and, like so much of La Perla’s work, it’s hard to imagine concealing this piece under anything.
In a way, La Perla's visit to the Orient makes perfect sense because it marries the great Italian brand’s legendary artistry in lace with the East’s rich heritage in silk. And there’s plenty of gorgeous silk and silk satins in this collection, often in contrasting Oriental colorways like yellow curry, pink camellias, red lacquer and china blue.
Here’s a look at some of the pieces from La Perla's Oriental Suite, which reaches stores this fall.