Vive La Revolution
There was more than love in the air during the Parisian spring of 1935. Hemingway was on his way to weathering many a two-toned brogue as he marched along the tree-lined boulevards, flexing his devilishly talented pen and equally devilish short temper.
Salvador Dali had recently married his life-long muse, Gala. He spent his evenings skulking in taverns hidden amongst the city’s cobblestoned streets, promoting his interpretation of surrealism with infamous anti-conformist antics.
Coco Chanel clothed the slender frames of elegant French women, art deco lined the walls of high-ceiling Parisian apartments and one of the sexiest silver screen stars, Alain Delon, was born.
It was a year dedicated to promoting creativity, pushing the boundaries, exploring the unknown and rewriting the rigid rules of society. Hemingway said it best: “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man then, wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you – for Paris is a movable feast.”
That very year, Simone Pérèle obtained her diploma in corsetry. Soon Pérèle would front a lingerie house worth 75 million Euros, sell three million articles a year, and hold the number one rank in lingerie sales. Yet the designer’s main objective was to liberate women from the confines of made-to-wear under garments and create lingerie that not only looked beautiful but made the woman feel beautiful. Vive la revolution.
Inès de Montgon, Simone Pérèle’s Directrice of Image and Communication, reveals the brand’s upcoming silhouette for the Spring/Summer 2012 Collection, set to be released in David Jones and select boutiques in August. The look of next season is a sculpted body and an embellished shape. There’s cellulite control shapewear, made from creamy Lycra® beauty microfibre and lace.
There’s also a neo-vintage-inspired collection. “This is for the women who tend to be addicted to beautiful things,” says de Montgon. “It will liberate their passion for lingerie, beautiful lace, oversized ribbons and embroidered stilettos.”
Colours of the season are brown, midnight blue, smoky grey, raspberry and deep black. “The colours give a rhythm, it’s chic and subtle,” de Montgon says. The collection caters for many women, of all shapes, sizes, ages and nationalities, but the Pérèle creed remains intact and caters to one woman.
The muse that once enticed Simone Pérèle to join ranks with her husband and establish the business in 1948 is the same muse found present in all shapes, contours and designs of today’s brand offering. “She is an elegant, fulfilled, woman who is open to the world and to others,” says de Montgon. “A woman with good taste. She puts aesthetics and the art of living in her daily life. She is a real woman with natural distinction.”
The message, although purveying a French elegance and radiance, is translatable to other shores dominated by the Pérèle chantilly revolution.
“She is confidant, healthy and happy,” says the brand’s Australian management team. “She appreciates quality fabrics and craftsmanship. She has a refined taste for style and fashion. She is most certainly elegant and above all, feminine.”
Created during the devastating years of the Second World War, Pérèle’s first collection needed to lift the dishevelled and battlestricken spirits of the women who surrounded her on the streets of Paris. This lingerie needed to enamour the wearer with life, love and fashion but, above all, it needed to offer both movement and comfort.
A woman who could win the war cocooned in a shield of lace. “She uses elegance as a way to boost her confidence,” de Montgon says. “She will feel stronger because nobody but her knows this subtle detail.”
A few years later the Soleil, Pérèle’s iconic bra, was created. The darts, situated in the lower cup, gave the bust a more becoming contour. While women were burning bras in the sixties, Pérèle’s muses used the femininity they gained from alluring lingerie to make themselves unique and, in turn, display their uniqueness to gain equality.
“When you feel supported, when you know your silhouette has been refined by the right undergarment, you exude confidence and femininity,” says the Australian management team.
Simone Pérèle ended her nod to feminism with the creation of the first invisible bra called Pétale. Manufactured up to cup size C – such sizing and material was, until then, unheard of in corsetry. In Pérèle’s books, feminism was on a par with femininity.
The sexual revolution came and went and created an evolution in the demands of the marketplace. Simone Pérèle was being sold all over the world to women who had evolved into troopers and glamazons in power suits. They kept their wardrobe androgynous with a hint of sex. Their lingerie, however, exuded a strong sensuality. They may have picked up the briefcase and entered the boardroom, but their lingerie remained ethereal, decadent and feminine.
The power revolution of the eighties signified the beginning of a second generation of Pérèle women taking over managerial responsibilities. They added an air of hedonism to the articles they produced but never lost sight of their mother’s wishes to place the comfort of a woman at the forefront of design.
The woman is still the main focus of attention but the design assured that power women would not lose their alluring feminine side – albeit hidden under shoulder pads and pleated trousers.
Today, inspiration for the design team incorporates everything a woman may come across in her life. “We use trend books provided by styling agencies, especially to be in line with the colour palettes used in the apparel industry,” says de Montgon. “But our inspiration for the collection mainly comes from the arts.”
Each collection nowadays is the result of teamwork, as opposed to the lone vision of an iconic designer. “We need six months from the collection brief to the final choice of the looks, shapes, colours and sizes,” says de Montgon. “One year after these final choices, the consumer discovers the collection.”
Today’s look, is reflective of the fundamental function of the female – curvaceous, feminine and fruitful. “But it is also a body that will create emotion,” de Montgon adds.
So next time you have the opportunity to walk down the aisles of a Simone Pérèle boutique store take a moment to appreciate you are not simply picking up an instant confidence boost, but an intricate weave of history. A revolution in chantilly lace.
For more, visit www.simone-perele.com