What do you consider to be essence of lingerie design?
Paloma Casile / I would say that it’s a matter of pushing the technical limits to create lines on products that leave the seams highly visible: this little folly is actually not incidental, because seams are essential to the construction of the piece. It also means using the crucial elements of corsetry, such as the placement of lace, the setting and positioning of elastics, or the visibility of seams, to offer an ultra-graphic type of design. The sheerness of the zone where straps cross at the back of bras adds a highly structured touch, whereas previously, these functional fastenings would have remained opaque.
It is this pushing the limits that, in my view, updates lingerie: we don’t always need to eliminate something…on the contrary, here, we’ve shown it off.
Is this a trend that’s set to last?
P.C. / We’ve gone from lingerie that we wanted to conceal to lingerie that we want to show off; the best way to do this is to work around the neckline. Either we really go for it with pieces that have highly visible strapping, or we don’t do it at all. It’s important to have several ideas within collections. We have, precisely, chosen to develop both of these solutions for more comfortable items: this is also what is expected from a corsetry brand today. Style, of course, but also comfort. This doesn’t mean that strapping precludes comfort, but it assumes a certain seductive quality: women are also expecting something “simple” and more minimal.
Do you still consider your collections to be part of the “strapping” trend?
P.C. / What makes us different from other brands with a pure bondage inspiration is that we offer a softer version of this spirit, with a more design-oriented, bejeweled-detail focus. Though British and American brands are bold in their strapping, we, as a French brand, are less comfortable with the openly erotic connotation of bondage.
We don’t have the same approach to femininity, and it’s crucial for us to offer something else based on the same idea. These truly elegant straps are also part of our brand image, with a precise placement that is meticulous in terms of elastic bands in sheer chiffon, and rectangular clasps that are very simple, though shiny. Our ultrasimplified fastenings add a bejeweled aspect: therefore, it looks more like a necklace underneath a T-shirt.
What materials and colors are you highlighting this year?
P.C. / I’ve worked exclusively in black for the past three years, but this season is a celebration of color for us. We gradually introduced ivory, bordeaux, and navy-blue last summer, and we’re going to add nude and a very light khaki green. I opened myself up to color because clients were asking for it. Even though color is alluring at first, clients leave our boutique with a black set 90% of the time.
I’ve tried lots of things ever since I launched my brand, and, in the end, only lace items sell really well. So, I work with exceptional lace makers in Italy and Calais: the Italians aren’t afraid to try incredible blends with electronic laces. In Calais, we’re mostly talking about gorgeous motifs that are carefully crafted. With Jean-Bracq, we only work with cotton/nylon laces (otherwise, they don’t hold up well).
Women no longer want fluid lines, and are asking for more clear-cut, marked, “Instagrammable” items. I’ve always been a fan of this type of visual impact that’s really important in photos.
I also use jersey crepe, a weaving technique that produces an extremely matte aspect for the fabric and is really comfortable. There are so many satin-textured fabrics on the market that I prefer to use crepe and tulle. In the new collection, we have ultra-thick, ultramatte, ultra-black knit, or very thin, nude tulle that’s somewhere between taupe and cappuccino. In other words, to give either a super-opaque, clean-lined look contrasting with ultra-sheer lace, or the opposite, to refine the style of the piece.