A Collaboration Between La Fille d’O and Sébastien Meunier Succeeds in De-Gendering Lingerie
The concept of the layering adds so many options to create personal support. When making the patterns we started from a single module, making sure all hemlines layered perfectly with each other, [enabling the ability to create] full looks. We also offer a choice between sheer and opaque fabrics on most designs, allowing a person to either show or hide certain body parts, as they see fit. All garments either flatten, enhance, or exaggerate body parts, [and as] some of them are reversible, it is possible to either fully block out the chest with a top, or show bare breasts. I’m always in for a challenge when it comes to pattern making.
How do you see the lingerie industry changing? Or is it?
There is always change even if there is none. The context changes, even when the object remains the same. Being in this industry since 2003, it is quite shocking to me how little change it allows. Even in fast fashion the lingerie department remains the same as it was 200 years ago; the quality just gets worse. I don’t understand how we have evolved so much, and how our lives expand in every possible direction, and yet our underwear is the exact same object as it was 200 years ago. That makes no sense.
Ok, some brands now use recycled yarn to make their ancient lingerie designs, but that is some poor progress if you compare it with fashion’s timeline. If you were to draw an outline of the fashionable silhouettes of those past hundreds of years, you’d see a lively animation of waistlines and hemlines and accessories and heel heights, [but] in underwear everything is always the exact same thing as it was before and it drives me mad!
This era has new needs and new clothes, and our lingerie is ever so out of fashion. On top of all that rigidness, I see little to no initiative when it comes to sustainability. Bio Cotton is as fancy as it gets most of the time; or to use a size 40 model and call her size inclusive. We need to urgently step up our lingerie game. It’s 2021 and only now are big brands looking into changing their casting philosophy or considering a more moderate use of Photoshop. That’s not good enough.
How would you like to see the industry change?
Lingerie is the foundation of our look. We need choices. Our bodies are malleable and our lingerie should be too. I want lingerie out of the unmentionables department; I want it liberated from gender. Our clothes should be liberated from department [store] floors where one has to choose between men’s or women’s wear, or lingerie or swimwear. Get yourself briefs that can do, and be, both.
I want intimate apparel to be modeled by people that look like me and all the other people I love. I want to see them as they are, because they are beautiful this way. To hell with Photoshop altering the beauty of humans. And I need all these beautiful garments made by people that are paid like me, and are able to live like me. As in nature, if we can change the fashion industry from the bottom up, we are going to go a very long way.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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