The Fabulous Impracticality of Karolina Laskowska

by on Sep.06, 2019, under Syndicated from the Web

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Lingerie has long been an obsession of mine. As a child, it seemed a quintessentially adult thing that would welcome me into a strange world of autonomy and responsibility. I pictured myself in my first apartment, surrounded by books and hosting lavish dinner parties, draped in layers of silk robes or wearing nothing but a simple pastel slip. While lingerie certainly has a cultural link to sex, specifically performative sexiness and femininity, those links never resonated with me — instead, lingerie was all about independence.

I purchased my first garter belt from the sale section of Nordstrom at age 14, with one of my first paychecks from my after school job. Since then, I’ve amassed a collection of lace bras and leather waspies, ruffled knickers and strappy playsuits. I’ve splurged and budgeted and watched for sales like a hawk. I’ve evangelized to people who think lingerie “isn’t feminist” and nurtured my love for it through weight changes and gender exploration. And at our fearless leader Sam’s urging, I’m going to share some of my favorite designers with you.

Karolina Laskowska is an obvious one to start with.

How I initially stumbled across her work I don’t know, but it was love at first sight. This was back in 2012 or 2013, when Karolina was primarily making strappy bras and harnesses — the era of her famous pentagram thong, which I finally managed to purchase a year ago and which remains one of the most deceptively challenging pieces of lingerie to put on. Since then, she has launched, and then closed, and then sort of reopened her online shop; founded the Underpinnings Museum, a “radical innovation in showcasing and documenting exquisite objects, dedicated to the evolution of underwear through the ages”; collaborated on lingerie lines with Harlow & Fox and Evgenia; and launched a Patreon full of gorgeous eyeball fodder. She’s a marvelous, marvelous talent and a passionate advocate for the artwork and history of lingerie.

What makes Karolina stand out isn’t just her designs, which are beautiful, but her commitment to the couture and bespoke. To quote her Patreon, “I make underthings that are so ridiculously decadent and deeply impractical that they’re basically art. I nerd out on historical garments, then spend thousands of hours making crazily detailed gorgeous things that will probably never sell, because what lifestyle really involves wearing a bobbinet tulle corset outfit covered in carefully mirrored handmade lace outlined in jewels and spikes?”

I make underthings that are so ridiculously decadent and deeply impractical that they’re basically art. — Karolina Laskowska

From her breathtaking bridal trousseau to her latest collection, Hecate, Karolina continues to wow me with her attention to detail, equal love for moody black pieces and bright colorful ones, and usage of luxe and lush fabrics. “Lingerie is intrinsically linked to its materials like no other area of fashion,” she writes on her website, and exquisite materials materials and couture construction remain her main focus — in any given Karolina piece, you’re likely to find intricate lace, beaded embroidery, vintage kimono silk, her signature strap-work, and unique  accents like the golden bee charms of her Mjød range.

Below are some of my very favorite Karolina pieces, with photography and model credits at the very bottom. And if that doesn’t sate you, you can find Karolina on Facebook and Instagram, visit her at the Underpinnings Museum, browse her website, and support her on Patreon.

Image credits:

  1. Design and creative direction by Karolina Laskowska. Photography by A. Lindseth. Retouching by Catherine Alexandra
  2. Klimt Gold Leaf Corset Dress by Karolina Laskowska. Photography by Jenni Hampshire, modelled by Yazzmin Newell.
  3. Celestial Bodies by Karolina Laskowska Lingerie. Photography by J. Tuliniemi. Modelled by Ceci Zhang. MUA by Anitka Kwiat.
  4. Taakeferd quarter cup bobbinet tulle corset. Photo by A. Lindseth
  5. Karolina Laskowska Couture Ink corsetry Summer 2016. Photography by A. Lindseth 
  6. Auriga corset dress by Karolina Laskowska. Photography by Jenni Hampshire, modelled by Yazzmin Newell
  7. Celestial Bodies by Karolina Laskowska Lingerie. Photography by J. Tuliniemi. Modelled by Ceci Zhang. MUA by Anitka Kwiat.
  8. Photography by Jenni Hampshire. Modelled by Yazzmin Newell, Twig & Maz Spencer. MUA by Sammm Agnew.
  9. Photography by Karolina Laskowska.
  10. Photography by Jenni Hampshire.
  11. Photography by Karolina Laskowska.
  12. Photography by Karolina Laskowska.


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