Michaela Stark’s been having a time of it recently. A longtime crusader in the fight against social media censorship, the Australia-born, London-based designer finally got kicked off Instagram after a succession of near-misses recently, and spent the next few days rebuilding her fanbase on a hastily-established back-up account.
Though this kind of move from the now Meta-owned platform is causing a rising generation boundary-pushing talent untold damage, as creativity is hampered in a bid to placate its prudish overlords (looking at you, Zuckerberg), Stark and others like her still refuse to conform.
Not only is the designer poking at the parameters of Western beauty, and picking apart the notion that a beautiful body must be slender, toned, and hair-free, she’s also intent on fighting back against Instagram’s discriminatory censorship. Always vocal about the way she and others are treated by the app, Stark’s endless stream of stories and posts on her new page caught IG’s attention, with her original account reinstated towards the tail end of last week.
Amidst all that content chaos, there is cause for celebration, however. After spending the last few years creating custom-only couture for clients including Beyoncé, this week, Stark ushers in a new era for her namesake label, as her first shoppable website gets its big debut.
Now, fans of her offbeat, body-morphing lingerie will be able to get their hands on ready-to-wear items direct from the designer. On the line-up are a succession of her asymmetrical, constricting corsets and bodices, as well as plenty of her big, blouson bloomers and knickers, all in saccharine, sugared almond shades of powder pink and faded mauve. Rounding things off are a series of sweet accessories – perhaps for those who just want to dip a toe into Stark’s subversive world – including coquettish hair bows and matrimonial garters.
Beyond opening up her work to buyers around the world – particularly those of us lacking the funds for bona fide couture pieces, which she also offers on the site – Stark's little corner of the internet will also serve as an uncensored space in which her stunning garments can be seen up close without the need for blurring. Head here to check it out, and here to follow her on Instagram.