Under the Influence:
The Masterfully Constructed Lingerie of Kiki de Montparnasse
by Thomas Sweeney
Photographed by Hanna Tveite
Named after the bewitching Man Ray muse who became emblematic of Années folles Paris, the luxury lingerie brand Kiki de Montparnasse prides itself on elevating intimates and, in turn, fueling the wearer's imagination. Every corset, bra, and camisole (among other surprises) is sewn in New York City, and most of the line is composed of actual silk. Graphic paneling, couture-like boning, chiffon details, and artfully sliced cutouts stir a certain excitement, while Kiki's preference for the color black keeps the affair in sophisticated check.
In the editorial seen here, model Othilia Simon wears a range of pieces that typify Kiki's knack for fragile-looking decoration (the kind that can't be realized successfully with inexpensive fabrics). They include a sheeny silk balconette bra with cutouts that evoke bedroom eyes, as well as a V-neck silk nightie with an inset of flower-petal lace that reappears between a pair of scalloped side slits. (The latter wouldn't have looked out of place on a 60s-era Gina Lollobrigida or Sophia Loren.)
Graphic paneling, couture-like boning, chiffon details, and artfully sliced cutouts stir a certain excitement, while Kiki's preference for the color black keeps the affair in sophisticated check.
But for all the subtle sexiness, Kiki de Montparnasse doesn't hesitate to adopt a few masculine codes. Note the stretchy modal boyshorts with a henley-style button fly; a matching bralette, which vaguely hints at athletic wear, was designed to complete the look.
Of growing importance at Kiki de Montparnasse is its rather minimalist ready-to-wear range. Here, Othilia sports a kimono-inspired wrap shirt that is, in fact, a bodysuit, with a swimwear-looking brief attached below. The generous proportions, like those of Kiki's casual-focused striped boyfriend shirt, make for a clever way of hiding any overtly feminine undergarments beneath. In true Parisian style, it seems, a studied yet relaxed balance is the ultimate takeaway.
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Styling Gabrielle Marcecca
Hair Shane Thomas
Makeup Yacine Diallo at Bridge Artists
Model Othilia Simon at DNA Models