Elleke van Duin, Friday, October 10, 2014, 690 Views
Lingerie designer Marlies Dekkers has awakened the Dutch woman. Everyday functional underwear is gone; feeling sexy boosts your self-esteem.
You wouldn’t perhaps expect it but the Dutch have a thing with underwear. For centuries, vests, long johns and pyjama’s kept us warm during the long, cold winters. As a result, the solid fabrics from Jansen&Tilanus (est. 1869) sold like hot cakes, however, after the end of WW2, the company lost the battle against low wage countries. Ten Cate took over the reins and has been supplying the Dutch with functional and comfortable underwear to this day. And practical as we are, good fit is important.
Over the years, we’ve become more daring. Madonna shocked the world during her Blond Ambition tour when she performed in a Jean Paul Gaultier corset. By being provocatively erotic, she demonstrated that lingerie doesn’t have to be cheap but can actually empower women and give them self-confidence. Marlies Dekkers conveniently made use of this fact. This wilful designer had long distanced herself from fluffy, lacy lingerie (‘lace is for women who want to look like a piece of chocolate’) and in 1993 she launched her own lingerie label called Undressed; it was time to spice things up a little. Her designs are characterised by contours and cut-outs in places where you wouldn’t normally expect them and have straps that don’t really serve a purpose but create a sexy overall look. Her motto: women should feel sexy for themselves, not to please someone else.
Holland fell for Marlies Dekkers en masse with sexy straps popping out of cleavages everywhere. Twenty years on, her designs can be purchased in over 1,000 stores in 20 countries and she owns 12 shops, 9 of which are in the Netherlands. Celebs like Kylie Minogue, Christina Aguilera and Kate Perry are regularly spotted wearing her designs.
Following Dekkers’ success, more and more Dutch lingerie labels surfaced. The Lingadore designs (est. 2007) are feminine, refined and extremely sexy, even though they are based in the countryside (province of Drenthe). Their spring collection boasts beautiful leopard print bodies and suspenders. Three years ago, Jackie Jansman launched her Sjjans label with simple, stylish yet powerful designs. Designer Firouze Akhbari is known for her chic and somewhat piquant lingerie and she recently launched her first collection under the name Pretty Wild. Using the most beautiful and delicate Italian and French lace, everything is hand-made and decorated with embroidered flowers, bows or sexy tufts and studs. Who said the Dutch can’t be passionate?
Wild Lingerie is sold at Azzurro, P.C. Hooftstraat 142a, Amsterdam
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