The intrigue and fascination with the term ‘Geisha’ and its origin lay the foundations for the research behind the AW16/17 collection. In its literal terms, the word ‘Geisha’ refers to a performing artist and it is this notion of the literal translation that inspired Bordelle’s vision of the modern Geisha. Our muse is envisaged as strong and elegant. As tradition suggests, she is an artisan well versed in the arts of social navigation but contrary to traditional beliefs, the modern Bordelle Geisha has an attitude that conveys power and independence and acts on the desire to always put herself first.
The collection draws parallels between her world and the ancient art of Kinbaku – a Japanese form of ‘tight binding’ whose artistic expression has been incorporated in hero pieces that shape and restrain the silhouette, such as the multi-strap Kinbaku Bodice Bra and Body. There is an air of futurism in the structured elastic panelled cups with a focus around the opposition of horizontal and vertical lines and exaggerated angles.
The palette is brightened up with injections of custom developed burnt red satin elastic and matching Swiss fan embroidered tulle with a striking ‘burnt’ finish. Appropriately named the Sensu Range which translates as ‘Folding Fan’, the range reveals the softer side of Bordelle, a fusion between classically beautiful shapes and bondage undertones. Also available in black and vintage cream, the Sensu Range exudes a sophisticated maturity intended for everyday luxury.
Elements of Origami – a deeply ingrained practice in Japanese culture can be found throughout the collection in the form of skilfully hand woven elastic details. These intricate elastic designs are most prominent in the ‘Asobi’ or ‘Playful’ range. As its name indicates, this capsule offers the most daring of styles with strategically placed cut-outs inspired by Araki’s collection of erotic photography depicting the creation of body sculptures through rope shaping of the human body. Key pieces include the revival of the all-in-one Body Harness, the Elastic Stockings, now adjustable and available only on Made to Order and a new creation in the form of ‘Anklets’ – elastic adjustable cuffs to adorn the ankles.
To complete the styling of the collection, this season sees the introduction of traditional silk kimono shapes in cream and duck egg hues to be worn with statement hand woven elastic adjustable cinchers, or more simply with a matching silk satin sash. Originally intended purely as styling separates to complement the collection, due to popular demand the kimonos will be available only from the atelier on a Made to Order basis.