Book Review: La Perla Lingerie & Desires

La Perla is the international authority of lingerie luxe, and now this purveyor of elegant finery has released Lingerie & Desire, a gorgeous coffee table book that documents the evolution of La Perla advertising campaigns throughout its 60-year history.

The book is curated by Sergio Pappalattera and La Perla’s own Isabela Cardinali, and it is basically a beautiful collection of commissioned photography from the likes of Marco Emili, Alastair Taylor Young, and Dominique Isserman. But it’s more than just a compendium of advertising: there are also exquisite behind-the-scenes shots that let the reader in on what goes backstage at one of their fashion shows. The book promises (and truly did turn out to be) “a passionate exploration of the feminine universe through different fashions, trends and moods.”

La Perla’s Indonesia store is located on the first floor of Plaza Senayan, and Marketing Executive for Asia Pacific, Christine Yulita, kindly showed me around the store to brief me on La Perla’s history and heritage. Established in 1954 by Ada Masotti of Bologna, Italy, the La Perla of today still upholds Ada’s dream of beautiful handmade lingerie. Overt sexiness is not the goal here: La Perla is the master of marrying different elaborate sewing techniques to produce lingerie that is immediately characteristic of their dedication to detail. Each item is fussed over patiently and lovingly by dedicated craftsmen who take quality inspections seriously. Holding an item feels as if you’re interacting personally with a piece of art; wearing one makes you feel like a work of art.

Their Spring/Summer 2013 collection was inspired by the Mediterranean island of Sicily, and you can see the inspiration manifest itself through its collection of nudes, yellows, and seafoam (my favourite!).

Collaborations have always been a point of pride with La Perla, and one of their most prominent collaborations include a long-lasting love affair with Jean-Paul Gaultier. I asked to see the Gaultier items they had in store, and they pulled out a laser-cut bodice and a black one-piece from their swimsuit collection that features soutache braiding.

The concept of fine lingerie is a trend that is still in its infancy here in Indonesia, but I know there exists a small but enthusiastic group of you who are all about feeling good in your underwear. Sound off in the comments section, and let us know how excited you are for La Perla’s S/S 2013 collection!