Fleur du Mal is the latest seductive collection by accomplished lingerie designer Jennifer Zuccarini. Already known for her sultry intimate apparel brand Kiki De Montparnasse, which included a capsule collection created by former Paris Vogue Editor-in-Chief’s daughter Julia Restoin-Roitfeld — a famed Parisian tastemaker — Zuccarini quickly followed her success with a hop into the big league by way of a position as Design Director with industry giant, Victoria’s Secret.
Zuccarini dates her love of fashion back to early childhood when she did her first sketches at the young age of eight, creating actual pieces not long after. Later in life, her creative chops were honed through the illustrious BFA program at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and a stint at Nanette Lepore, before she moved on to the world of intimate apparel and vested her talents in the technical precision of creating fine lingerie.
Today, Zuccarini stylishly dresses the undressed as the creative force behind New York label, Fleur du Mal, which translates to The Flowers of Evil, a name taken from the famed poem by French poet/essayist Charles Baudelaire.
A more gentile take on intimate apparel than her former label, Fleur du Mal offers lingerie that ranges from the pretty (Rose Lace Collection) to the cheeky (Graphic Panty Project) to, of course, the seductive (Fleur Du Soie collection). As a label, Fleur du Mal is a standout in the category of lingerie for the streets — one look at the gorgeous leather corset produced from the brand’s partnership with legendary French lingerie house, Cadolle (inventor of the modern bra), and you’ll be rethinking your fashion modesty.
Other must-haves from the line include a hipster-approved knit jersey cupped bodysuit and leather silk-lined triangle bra that begs to play peekaboo. With a knack for inspiring women to want to reveal their so-called unmentionables in stylish day or evening ensembles, it only made sense for Zuccarini to break into the daylight with her first ready-to-wear collection.
While her latest endevor might be a more sophisticated take on lingerie, it’s not all naughty-turned-nice for Zuccarini; wicked undertones found in leather straps and lace up panties offer a fashionable hint of seduction to the Toronto native’s new fashion empire. Below, the designer chats about everything you need to know about her latest creations and the finer secrets behind her fine lingerie.
We love the modern feel of your Fleur du Mal line. What inspired the direction of the label?
Fleur du Mal is about dressing up and undressing. This is completely the point of view for the brand when I was creating it. I was inspired by desire. I was inspired by the duality of being beautiful and being a bit darker. Balance in the collection is something I wanted, like a leather tie around the neck, but it always has those feminine points of view. Everything has a little of reveal.
Who do you see wearing these pieces?
Someone feminine, but slightly provocative. Someone with a rebellious side.
Can you tell me about your Ready-to-Wear collection? It’s an interesting expansion.
I designed them together, the lingerie and the RTW collection. So you’ll see things like the same fabrics carry through to both sides of collection. Things like silks and French leavers lace. I would like to eventually add knitwear, accessories and outerwear.
That’s quite the spectrum! What’s something you haven’t tried? Maybe something you’d like to do with the previously mentioned future expansions?
I’d like to do collaborations. I’d love to do shoes or fine jewelry. I don’t know exactly, but I like gem stones…something Dior inspired maybe. They have gorgeous pieces. Something with our provocative twist.
What’s been the greatest reaction/experience you’ve had with your lingerie?
Well with Kiki de Montparnasse, we had to close down the store…the first week we opened, the Olsens cleaned out the store, it was amazing!
That’s a lot of lingerie to buy! Any particular person, place or thing that inspires you as a designer?
Charlotte Rampling is my number one muse. Someone chic and sexy. I’m very drawn to Paris in the 1970s. Coco Chanel is a big one, also Madame Grès dresses…but it changes.
I can definitely see Rampling in your designs. Which celebrity would you like to see wearing your Fleur du Mal collection?
There isn’t just one…maybe Charlotte Gainsbourg.
Can you tell us something we might not know about lingerie?
Lingerie is very technical. A bra can sometimes use 20 different components as opposed to most garments that might use two or three. Also, when fitting lingerie the smallest measurements count; 1/8″ makes a big difference! I don’t think people realize how challenging that is.Published June 28, 2013