Pretty Things: A weeklong break from reality, dedicated to beautiful objects.
In fashion, lace and silk are often the prettiest, most delicate combination of fabrics. But why exactly? And why should anyone care? We turned to ultraluxe lingerie brand La Perla, where lace and silk are integral to every design. In Bologna, Italy, where couturière and corset-maker Ada Masotti founded the label in 1954, the silk factories date back to the 1600s. Creative director Julia Haart explained what the lace-silk combination says about who we are, and why that’s especially important right now.
To me, pretty — as opposed to sexy or beautiful — is natural. It’s fluid, effortless, like going back to your younger, purer self. Pretty is very feminine. It’s not, I’m trying too hard. I want someone to look at me. It’s, This is who I am.
So when I think of lace and silk, the combination, it’s because silk is very fluid. It moves on your body like a second skin, especially the double-faced silks that we’ve developed. Silk is super soft on the outside, but on the inside it’s kind of scratchy because it’s a natural fiber. We did it in a way that the inside is as soft as the outside, so it’s like skin against your skin. It’s so soft. When you add lace to it — to me, lace is so utterly feminine because it’s very delicate, but on the other hand it’s very strong. Its strands of fiber twisted together in a specific way — we use leaver’s lace, which is threads twisted together as if made by a person. It has this delicate, pretty nature. You look at it and somehow you feel soothed.
When you see something pretty, it calms you. It makes you feel connected, and that’s why I think lace and silk go so well together, because it’s the fluidity and this delicate beauty. Lace is almost like a tattoo on your skin if it’s done really well, it literally moves with you. When you have that combined with silk, it’s pretty. It just makes you feel girly and feminine and happy.
Pretty is one of the most fundamental things in our nature because it’s how we express ourselves. We feel this connection to something that reminds us of something greater than ourselves. That’s why it soothes us. Most of us can’t afford to buy a Renoir. We can’t say, Ooooh, I’m feeling down today, let me go buy a Degas. That’s just not in our budget. We can buy something lacy and silky and put it on and feel pretty, and it elevates our souls.
Five or six years ago I wanted to feel that I’m doing something important and that it’s not just clothing — that I’m bringing happiness, that someone is going to put something on and look at themselves in the mirror and feel better about themselves and their life. I do think that clothing has that power, and I think it’s not because we’re materialistic, petty, or we want things. It’s our way of connecting to beauty, and beauty is something greater than ourselves. It’s something grand and universal and elemental, and it brings us back to something really deep. It’s something I think a lot about. It’s not a very pretty world sometimes. We can inject pretty. It will improve the world. I do believe that.