New York based lingerie and loungewear brand Lola Haze introduced its Fall/Winter 2009 Collection at the Curve Designer Lingerie and Swim Show at the Javits Galleria in New York back in February. This collection, Wabi Sabi City, is the brand’s third.
“Times of uncertainty call for a return to the body and an acceptance of imperfection and transience.” For Fall/Winter 2009, New York designer Laura Mehlinger examined the Japanese ideal of wabi sabi, in which beauty is found in imperfection, impermanence and quirks. While referring to this concept, she continued the distinct aesthetics that are the hallmarks of Lola Haze: boldness, play, and the energy of New York City.
One of the visual themes of the collection is body ornamentation. In the Tattoo group, designs inspired by tribal and eastern body ornamentation are hand-painted onto sheer black mesh, a fabric that both veils and reveals the body underneath. The marks, imperfect themselves, caress and frame the body’s natural contours. But these Tattoos are transient ornamentation, and the revelation comes when the tattoos are skimmed off the body, leaving only the natural form.
Ornamentation and surface art appear in the collection also in the Peacock and Imperfect groups, in which luxurious silk charmeuse and metallic lace are appliquéd on top of sheer mesh and silk chiffon.
For Fall/Winter 2009, Lola Haze embraced the simplicity and appeal of one piece dressing: rompers, teddies, jumpsuits, body stockings, and plenty of chemises and slips. Alongside these modern silhouettes are updates to some Lola Haze favorites.
Mehlinger’s collaboration with New York artist Charlotte Pinson, announced in December 2008, continues with a series of quirky, elegant painted silk tops that will be shown alongside the Lola Haze Wabi Sabi City collection.
Mehlinger has been studying, designing and making clothing since the time she could hold a needle. Before launching Lola Haze, she held design positions at Gap, Inc. She received her BA from Harvard in English and was called “Harvard’s Ace Student of Fashion” by the Boston Globe for creating and showing her own line of women’s wear in the only one-person fashion show there in memory. She named her line after the title character in the novel Lolita, which she wrote her thesis about and which continues to intrigue and inspire her.
She finds difference and quirkiness -visual and otherwise- inspiring, and is driven in her designing by the idea of surprise.
“Design is molding juxtapositions: elegance and kitsch, innocence and seduction, playfulness and sophistication, and for Lola Haze, public and private. I love lingerie because it dances between public and private domains. It can be a woman’s own secret that makes her feel special or something beautiful for display. Lola Haze is for a playful, confident woman who loves the transformative power of clothing and dresses for herself. She can wear Lola Haze as innerwear, loungewear, or outerwear.”