La Perla Swaps Lace and Thongs for Oysters and Mermen-------
When I heard that La Perla, the sixty-year-old Italian brand that specializes in upmarket underpinnings, was holding its first menswear show during Pitti Uomo, I thought, Great! Yes. Finally. Saucy lingerie for men. Here’s to gender equality! To my disappointment, the models at today’s Spring ’15 presentation were not wearing masculine interpretations of G-strings and playsuits. In fact, they were fully clothed. But that’s not to say the show wasn’t entertaining. Designer Emiliano Rinaldi was inspired by “the bottom of the ocean,” hence the season’s signature print—an oyster with wings and an eyeball in the place of a pearl. This was stamped or embroidered on silk shorts, kimonos, and bedtime-appropriate tuxedo trousers. Hugh Hefner-esque robes were on offer (toodle-oo, gender equality), as were sporty mesh tops, vests, hoodies, and pajama pants (shown in gingham or stripes). “I think men have to be more sensual every day,” mused Rinaldi backstage. “This collection is about making something very intimate that can also be worn out.”
The clear highlight here—which I personally would love to see someone wear out—was a series of black and metallic scaled bodysuits. All were shown with matching scaled high-top trainers, and one even had a coordinating scuba-ready cap. These thoroughly amusing ensembles looked like some kind of merman-eel-Steve Zissou hybrid. “Because I was inspired by the sea, I wanted everything to be mysterious, mystical, and fantastic,” said Rinaldi of the unusual garments. “Also, I wanted to use these surfer suits to emphasize the fish and the skin of the fish. I always like to be a little bit erotic because I don’t like formal or logical fashion.” I’m still a bit upset that La Perla didn’t serve up the ultimate answer to sexy, manly intimates. (Wouldn’t they be just perfect for the recently coined spornosexual?) But I suppose mermen on the runway are just as good.