Yasmine Eslami

When I worked for Vivienne Westwood in the late 80's we occupied the attic floor in a grungy building in Camden Town. It had a long hallway with small rooms branching off, housing the different departments. One day when I walked into 'production' I interrupted a huddle around a beautiful young woman. It was a cold day and she was wearing a very short mini skirt from which emerged the longest, slenderest legs. A wall of dark hair obscuring eye contact was how she dealt with her shyness - and when I knew her better I got used to her way of barely speaking, unless she had to. Her name was Yasmine Eslami, and she was French. I left Westwood soon after, then years later I heard she had started her own lingerie brand in Paris. Being quite boyish in physique I had always found lingerie rather overwhelming. I favoured the school knicker look over lace and frills. Nevertheless I was intrigued to see what Yasmine was up to and I took time to visit her shop in Rue de Richelieu. Far from being a froufrou assault, these ravishing slips of underwear were dainty and simple. Tiny garments made from tulle and discreet lace in saturated pop art colors such as pale blue, blackberry, neon pink, as well as the traditional black, nude, and red, hung from silver clips. So much glamour condensed into so little.  All her photographic imagery was classy and sexy, peopled by lithe limbed bolshy looking French girls who looked like they would be equally at home in a May '68 protest as a boudoir. They reminded me of the older girls I had looked up to in the school changing room before games, in their cool 70's bras and panties. When Yasmine and I did our own collaboration, they were my reference for the pale pink and green sets we created together. Although I don't get to see a lot of Yasmine herself, I get so much pleasure from her work.

The Yasmine Eslami Lingerie and Swim collections will be available to shop in store from 15th - 18th May, 49 Chiltern Street, London, W1U 6LX

Photo by François Rotger, courtesy of Yasmine Eslami 

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