Coco De Mer A hypnotic spell into the opulence and the power To Own Your Desire
Coco De Mer is a British lingerie brand founded in 2001 and since then, managed by women whose work is imbued with their feminist ideals. Coco De Mer is not just a place to buy underwear it is an opportunity to indulge in feminine sexual prowess and to be proud of it. In an interview with Kaisha Langton for Drapers in August 2018, current owner Lucy Litwack said; ‘I believe in the empowerment of women. The lingerie industry has evolved from a functional service to a fun, fashionable expression of sensuality for women. Owning and growing Coco De Mer allows me to influence and support dreams, sensuality and satisfaction.’ This is evident in the label as their pieces are stylish and beautiful as well as obviously arousing, promoting the concept that lingerie is not just for pleasure but can also be wonderful fashion items.
Coco De Mer’s SS19 collection entitled ‘The Art Deco collection’ is an opulent and intelligent lingerie line that draws inspiration from the Art Deco movement of the 1920’s and the V&A’s vast archive of luxurious pieces of art. Both Coco De Mer and the V&A share a similar passion in luxury and lavish-ness, so the pair combining forces makes complete sense. Both industries also share a desire to provoke conversations about the power of femininity and this is exemplified in their combined work. The work is heavily adorned on materials of soft satins and velvet, with patterns resembling those of the ‘art deco’ era.
The concept of the Art Deco movement was a focus on symmetry to create a pleasing sense to its viewers. Another prominent concept of art deco is to infuse functional objects with artistic flares; similarly, the collection whilst clothing is also strikingly beautiful. This is not just underwear, this is art and is meant to be enjoyed by women with or without sexual undertones.
The aesthetical satisfaction that is drawn from the geometric structures of arches and curves is emulated in the collection. The gilded arch shape aims to please with its symmetry but also reflects movement to generate a hypnotic feel. This is coupled with the black and gold colouring to extenuate the lavish nature of the pieces. The style of the lingerie is in keeping with the 1920’s and so the underwear is high-waisted with suspender belts and bandeau bras. The pieces of the gilded arch are elegant and subtle with soft black shades and the small rings of the arch are decorated in a rich gold. The material is sleek and soft, which altogether highlights the luxurious nature of the pieces.
Coco De Mer is not only a designer of instinctively provocative luxury lingerie encouraging feminine power, along with being the creators of conceptual movements geared to bring the power back to femininity, the brand is also one of the primary advocates supporting the fight against FGM. This week Waris Dirie the activist and ambassador of the ‘Desert Flower Foundation’ (an anti FGM organisation) alongside panelists Lucy Litwack, Rowan Pelling, Dr Charlotte Proudman, Father Peter Konteh discussed the long term effects FGM causes in young women as well and the social disposition, health risks and devastation this form of mutilation has had on young women within African communities, still practiced within these families globally. Stressed how important it is to consider FGM as a crime that should be prosecuted and viewed globally as a crime.
Speaking at length on the social and health implications FGM has on women throughout their lives and what she thought would be a significant driver within men’s understanding and perceptions of FGM moving forward, Waris Dirie expressed the importance of change starting first within in the home in order for this to have a universal impact for future generations, relying on politics or any political agenda would not be enough to make significant changes. Stating ‘first we must start with our boys at home everything begins within the home, society can not teach our boys this is wrong or how to respect people, this starts with us as mother this is not the job for politicians, everything begins at home’.
Using the influences it has as a successful lingerie brand that promotes female satisfaction and the power of sexuality Coco De Mer stands as the voice for some many young girls that do not have one. Supporting dreams, the desire to have the right to your desire and to own your own sexuality.