For her second season as creative director of La Perla, Julia Haart envisaged the artistic interpretation of British gardens across six chambers of a British manor. So, expressionistic flora, by function of room.
“It’s really this concept of nature redefined by people,” said Haart. “And I chose English gardens because they are more of a riot compared to, say, manicured French gardens. That’s what I am thinking about: I don’t like people telling me what to do or where to go. I want to wear what I want, when I want, how I want. It’s all about the freedom.”
That she used the word “riot” was telling: Haart’s La Perla is confident, often over-the-top, consciously indecorous and all the more noteworthy for it. She is presumably catering to those women that might tune into the Victoria’s Secret show (as it happens, a number of her Fall cast are also Angels), but would never actually buy Victoria’s Secret—all La Perla, all the way. Also notable, Haart says, “I am creating this specialized world where ready-to-wear and lingerie meld together—our clothes come in dress sizes, but also cup sizes.”
Naomi Campbell, bathed under ultraviolet ambient light, opened the show in a navy stretch silk slip dress patched with black lace parts, and a floral macramé-embroidered tweed overcoat. She was in the “Study”—the tweed, followed by tailored wool pieces, vaguely connoted academic practice. That set the tone for a sprawling lineup, which, as one behaves in one’s own abode, appeared in varying states of dress and undress. Haart’s “Terrace” section was her best, in which hothouse florals and leaves were worked onto little negligees and rompers. Model Lineisy Montero’s outfit—a fitted micro slip dress with a built-in bra and a panoply of Crayola-bright blooms—was the collection’s top look. (Her spider jewel-embellished mules were also cute, in a costume-y way). Haart’s exploration would conclude in the “Foyer,” with Kendall Jenner shutting down the installation in a metallic gold lace gown, replete with elaborate embroidery.
If Haart’s focus veered away from her core inspiration, it was forgivable in that she offered a lot to take in. And even though differing tastes will prefer different parts of this collection, the unifier among them—cleverly realized by the designer—is a penchant for that bold-willed freedom mentioned above.