In early 2011, Jean Paul Gaultier’s debut 23-piece collection for La Perla made its way into stores; come February 2012 the designer’s sophomore collection for the high-end lingerie label will follow suit along with Gaultier’s first ever swimwear collection for La Perla. The swimwear was first shown during the couture shows in July and is fittingly theatrical. I stopped by La Perla's showroom to see the collection first hand and it’s immediately recognizable as JPG’s work. Designed in white, blue, orange, black, and turquoise, the swimwear's elastics resemble grosgrain which, when alternated with horizontal strips (a JPG signature) of nude color tulle on Lycra, have a trompe l’oeil effect that’s notably remarkable on a draped neckline and draped back one-piece. There’s also a bikini that can be transformed into a three-piece outfit if worn with a matching waist cincher belt and some black, bondage-inspired suits with strings, crisscrosses, and little studs.
As for the lingerie, who else aside from JPG could make leather lingerie work? The collection's stand-outs are the bustier with lace-up back closure, the balconnet bra, the shorts, and the leather body-hugging dress, all of which were made using laser-perforated leather. Alongside the more risque pieces are exceedingly more frilly ones made from a variety of fabrics including fine netting, similar to lace, which is hand-cut into thin strips; the strips are then gathered together for mini ruffle detailing on bra cups and panties.