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MARIEYAT Collection IIPhotography Maxime Imbert

The lingerie lookbook inspired by Korean girls eating on cam

Believing that imperfection is beautiful and comfort is the most important thing of all, MARIEYAT is back with its second collection

Sick of lacy lingerie, intolerable underwired bras and barely-there briefs, Central Saint Martins graduate Marie Yat set out on a mission to design lingerie that resists the male gaze. Bored of boyish boxers and entirely masculine attempts at an alternative, and looking to strike a balance between comfort and sensuality that required no compromises, Yat devised a lingerie line – MARIEYAT – that provides exactly the kind of unconventional undergarments that girls the world over have been craving.

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Yat is both inspired by the women around her and those who appear in Chinese erotic art, in particular their imperfections, their flaws, and their cracks. While Yat’s first collection of suspender briefs and deconstructed bras was served in saccharine shades of mint green, Parma Violet purple and rose pink, Collection II is somewhat more grown-up. Inspired by the Japanese ceramic technique of Kintsugi, that sees cracked and broken pottery repaired by golden joinery, Yat introduced gold embroidery this time around. “It was a continuation of the idea of broken, deconstructed pieces, using embroidery to mimic a cracked golden line inspired by Kintsugi,” explains Yat. “It echoes our belief in the beauty of imperfection. Accepting flaws in people, in relationships and in objects can be soothing for the mind or a way of seeing life.”

“(We believe) in the beauty of imperfection. Accepting flaws in people, in relationships and in objects can be soothing for the mind or a way of seeing life” – Marie Yat

Alongside Yat’s signature pieces sit additional undergarments (think seamless bodysuits and low-waist underwear) but if one thing remains the same, it’s comfort. “The pieces that are embroidered with the gold stitching are lined with the same cotton used on the outside, to make sure it does not scratch on the skin. Comfort remains uncompromised.” Comfort is a word central to Yat’s approach. From the traits she was seeking when casting for the lookbook (“We were looking for models that have their own personality, who are comfortable in their own skin”), to the words "imperfection is comforting", that read most prominent on the press release for Collection II.

Whilst Kintsugi provided a reference point for the main piece of underwear in this collection, the evolution of modern dining habits and Muk-bang videos – the Korean internet craze, that sees webcasts of individuals consuming excessive amounts of food, alone – inspired the lookbook that features black, nude and “Bean Red” pieces named “Kirin Top” and “Soy Suspenders” worn by two Asian models. Seen indulging in Japanese food, embracing and simply lounging around, despite the casual surroundings, what the images lensed by Maxime Imber do best illustrate the beauty and sensuality of the female form. 

With the influence of Asian heritage and culture prominent for the brand, it’s interesting to see whether Yat feels her designs and visuals pose the danger of becoming another vehicle to explore the fetishisation of Asian women in a different light or whether they open a door to challenge this. “Of course coming from an Asian background, I feel it is important for me to challenge the perception of Asian stereotypes,” she says. “Asian heritage is an important part of the brand, however the stories that we tell through designs are for everyone. Whether it’s the presentation we did a few months ago or the new lookbook imagery, the moment we want to capture should be somehow an experience that is easy to relate to. For example the bedroom, or the pleasure in enjoying food.”