Let me introduce Georgia Larsen of Dora Larsen Lingerie. The experimental lingerie brand devoted to colour. Stocked in The Pantry Underwear at Liberty London and a long list of other boutiques across the world. I’ve asked Georgia some questions about her unique colour combinations.
The chief function of colour should be to serve expression. Henri Matisse
Where do you take inspiration from, when designing the colour palette for each new lingerie collection?
I try not to pay too much attention to what other people in lingerie are doing, as my biggest priority with the brand’s identity is that we’re pushing the boundaries with colour and doing something new. But I am inspired by interiors, artists and most importantly – nature! There are so many incredible colour combinations that occur naturally in flowers and sunsets.
Do you have a special process to decide on your colour pairings?
I’m always taking little swatches and cuttings of colours I love, and I store them in a box on my desk. We moodboard ideas first to get an idea of trends, then all the swatches and pantone colours are emptied on the floor and we play around with colours that look beautiful together. It’s a very fun and meditative process.
I’ve read that your father was a surrealist painter, how do you think surrealism has influenced your aesthetics?
I’ve never considered this before actually, but now that you mention it, probably quite a lot! I think my father’s work has always been unafraid of defying norms, which is something I try to achieve. I was definitely brought up to believe that ideas are limitless, and to always be careful to be original – if you copy someone else you’ll never have your work noticed and appreciated in the same way. Also, to never focus too strongly on trends. I want people to still think their Dora Larsen purchase is beautiful in several years time, focusing on trends too heavily takes away from the interesting nature of the idea in the first place.
You describe colours so eloquently: “shell pink, lime green, lilac grey, snorkel blue, saffron, old rose, moss: colour can be soothing, amusing, rebellious or uplifting. The art lies in how these shades are combined.”
I definitely feel that colour affects me in an intense way. It’s mood defining. But what I love the most is how colours can be placed together, to create something new. That’s where the art and skill lies with colour, I suppose.
Do you think that colours take on new meanings when they’re placed on the body, in such intimate apparel as lingerie?
Yes definitely. I like the idea of using ‘ugly’ colours on lingerie fabrics, as the delicate nature of the fabric ends up making the colours appear prettier, which is an interesting contrast. Khaki and chartreuse shades can look amazing on lace or tulle.
MORE ABOUT COLOUR
An interview with Margrethe Odgaard, the artist with an appetite for colour.
Margrethe explains how the standard Pantone Colour System is not good enough because it doesn’t communicate the richness of colour; she compares the Pantone squares to the notes produced from an electronic keyboard- lacking the authenticity of a real piano. Thinking back to herself as a young pianist, Margrethe notes that “in a way, I still do what I did then, only instead of playing the piano I play colours as keys and notes.” She uses her personal collection of hand-painted wooden popsicle sticks to test an instinctive attraction to harmonious colour combinations.
Musings on the philosophy of colour perception, colour in a ‘techno-scientific world’.
Between March and October, 2015, Christina Mackie’s nine-metre-high silk nets hung in Tate Britain’s Duveen Gallery. The pastel, soft fabric trickled down into pools of dense, crystallised dye, whilst a life-size, yellow laboratory sculpture loomed in the next room.