When two women in Paris couldn't find underwear to fit their different moods, they made their own
Funded via KissKissBankBank (France's version of Kickstarter) last year, Paris-and-London-based Dessù offers a new perspective on lingerie. (The name comes from the phonetically similar dessous, one of the many French words for underwear.) The debut collection launched with six very different pieces, each with a stylish aesthetic that represents different times throughout the day and also named after specific hours. The underwear—made in Tunisia, with all fabrics sourced within Europe—keeps up with the diversified lifestyle you lead, rather than having that day's intimates dictate your mood.
The line was founded by Lisa Douët and Alexa Waxmann, who met at Paris-based trend-forecasting agency NellyRodi. And interestingly, though the city may be known for its lavish-to-the-point-of-esoteric luxury lingerie, it's actually kind of hard to shop for alternatives to the established brands, be it Eres or Princesse Tam-Tam. Douët says, "It's indeed crazy to think that Paris is lacking options in the lingerie sector, and funny you mention Princesse Tam-Tam since it's exactly what we noticed living in Paris. All young women go there since there is nothing else!"
Despite not having traditional backgrounds or degrees in fashion (Douët studied political science, for example) the two have a great eye for what works and a drive to build something together. "We both have a passion for lingerie and what is related to women's desires and aspirations," Douët tells CH. "We realized that we were so frustrated by [the middle-market offerings] that didn't correspond at all with our desires in terms of products, but also above all, in terms of brand experience. We decided to launch our own lingerie brand that would break the conventional lingerie rules and be in harmony with the desires and aspirations of women of our generation—we're both under 30."
Between the clean and comfy "9AM" brief to the lacy "3AM" number (with removable garters), there's something for everyone and every mood despite the small collection. The attention to detail, be it cut-outs or lines, especially allows for some personality to shine through. Two of the styles use prints made in collaboration with independent French designers. The "12PM" boxer-type shorts feature jungle illustrations by Hélène Georget, and sheer tulle-covered cut-outs sweeten up the casual look. The "2PM" (trimmed with a terra cotta-colored band) was made with Corentine Baras of Cocktail Editions, where the former Dior Couture stylist approaches French-made silk scarves as a blank gallery wall. There's also a matching, shiny Pastel Magma Scarf.
Shop Dessù online from their webshop. Our favorite is the high-waisted "10PM" style, which combines two different fabrics into one piece for an optical illusion look.
Cocktail Editions images courtesy of Natalie Weiss, all other images courtesy of Emma Ledoyen