La Perla In The Party Dresses and Cocktail Dresses

La Perla In The Party Dresses and Cocktail Dresses

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Scarcely a month has passed since La Perla’s glitzy show on the casino-packed island of Macao, China, but Julia Haart was already showing her next collection at the Lobster Club last night. Flip through both shows and you’ll notice a few through lines: the bright jewel tones, the bustiers (naturally), the cinched suits, the graphic lace details, the ultra-mini hemlines. Models weaved through the tables in Haart’s favorite shoe—a six-inch heel with a thick platform—and sported glossy blowouts and red lips. It’s a bombshell look rarely seen on the runways of 2017, but if La Perla’s back-to-back “destination” shows are any indication, there’s a customer for it.

For Pre-Fall, which arrives in stores next summer, Haart was thinking about mosaics—and not in the figurative sense. “I went to Ravenna, where there are these 6th-century mosaic hearts, and I thought to myself, We all need a little warmth in our lives,” she explained. “There’s so much around us that’s so difficult, so I wanted to instill this feeling of pure, unadulterated, innocent happiness.” A snug ivory suit had mosaic-like panels of black lace at the ribcage, while other pieces took a more literal tack: A bra top with heart-shaped cups and a matching skirt came in a vibrant mosaic print, and, later in the show, there was a coat made of pieced-together shards of leather.

Haart’s main—and most interesting—preoccupation at La Perla isn’t to push the high-fashion envelope but to make those sexed-up clothes feel comfortable and free. “My goal in life is to eradicate the concept of suffering for beauty,” she said. “I want women to put on my clothes and not have to think about them, and [to make] clothes that enhance her life, not restrict it. It’s this symbiotic balance of old-world luxury and modern innovation.” The looks that best merged those ideals were the suits with built-in cups, so you don’t have to wear a bra or a shirt.

Haart also introduced menswear for the first time, from classic tuxedos to Hugh Hefner–style robes. A savvy La Perla shopper will buy one for herself and wear it over a lace bodysuit and jeans during the day—then swap in a micro-mini after dark.

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