Fortunately, we live in times in which more and more men consider it embarrassing when girls or women are reduced chauvinistically to clichés. Of course, this development is still far from acceptable standards in many countries. And, of course, even there where higher standards exist, it’s not enough just to speak of equality as long as too many differences prevail. There is still a lot of development work to be done everywhere. And this work can be very versatile. So, you can now ask yourself whether and how feminism and the struggle for equality, fairness, dignity, and respect go together with sexy lingerie. The answer can be given by a special Dutch designer who has been designing excellent lingerie for strong, self-confident women for 27 years, photographed here by Mark Uyl: Marlies Dekkers.
THE DESIGNER – MARLIES DEKKERS
Elisabeth Maria Johanna Dekkers was born in Oosterhout, The Netherlands. Already her first lingerie line “Undressed” was internationally acclaimed in 1993. Since then, she is referred to as the pioneer of the trend:
‘innerwear as outerwear’.
For the designer, it’s not just about body-flattering and sensational lingerie, but also about underlining the personality of the wearer and strengthening her self-confidence and self-confidence.
In Marlies Dekker’s underwear, the wearer does not become an object of desire. Instead, she becomes a strong, self-confident, and erotic Amazon who determines her own life. A girl or a woman who feels good for who she is. Without any compromise.
Regarding the designs, Marlies Dekkers has proven her versatility without a doubt. Her collections are considered nationally and internationally as trendsetting, innovative, and pioneering.
Marlies Dekkers has changed the world of lingerie for good with her inspiring designs and personal philosophy, and the aim to give women more self-confidence.
All Marlies Dekkers designs are inspired by the designer’s vision of life, and now, by the Queen of Crime: Agatha Christie.
Let’s listen to the outstanding designer and activist, what she has to tell us about her inspiration, and about the great woman, who was so much more than a successful novelist.
DARE TO USE YOUR IMAGINATION
All my work as a feminist designer is inspired by muses. Powerful female icons from the past and present. Although women have been marginalized for centuries, archetypes of female power have always been there. Through my designs, I bring them to you. To help us shape the world of modern-day feminism.
This season, I unravel the magical mystery of Agatha Christie. Forget the image of the elderly, grey-haired lady, married to her typewriter. “Very few of us are what we seem,” Agatha warned. The Queen of Crime was a feisty, freedom-loving feminist who used her imagination to become the most popular author of all time – outselling even the bible and William Shakespeare! – while living the most adventurous life.
“IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO (RE)WRITE YOUR OWN STORY”
I had the firm conviction that, if I went about looking for adventure, the adventure would meet me halfway. A great lover of plot twists in her novels, Agatha also orchestrated several in her own life, from her mysterious 11-day disappearance to her spontaneous solo trip to Baghdad on the Orient Express. The message: it’s never too late to (re)write your own story.
For Agatha, the writing was a feminist act. How she delighted in turning one-dimensional female stereotypes such as the femme fatale or the sexy secretary into multi-layered manifestations of feminine empowerment. Long before Madonna would launch a new feminist wave by playing with iconic feminine identities, Agatha planted the seed of self-reinvention in several generations of women.
“Intuition is like reading a word without having to spell it out.”
From ‘Death on the Nile’ to ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, Agatha’s fictional worlds will always have the power to unlock the doors to our imagination. With her high-glam style and exotic locations, she dares us to dream; with her bad-ass female characters, she dares us to grow. Murder, she wrote, but in the end, Agatha’s story was all about embracing life and daring to be.
My new Couture Collection is an ode to Agatha’s sharp-dressed sleuths. Channel your inner Queen of Crime in a spectacular combination of form-fitting finesse and timeless tartan. The clues are in the trench coat-inspired details; the leather-look buttons, wide ‘lapels’, and a snazzy belt. Wear my ‘The Detective’ and use your powers of deductions to discover your deepest desires.
MARLIES DEKKERS & HER MUSE AGATHA
Marlies Dekker’s choice of muse for this season, Agatha Christie, surprised some people. Sure, Christie was and is the world’s bestselling author – a feminist feat in itself! – but wasn’t this gray-haired lady a bit, well, boring?
Far from it! A sensual woman who loved fast cars, slow food, and gorgeous men, camera-shy Agatha may not have flaunted her femininity with her public persona, but she sure did so privately. And if you read carefully, it’s all there in her feisty female characters, from the sultry Temptress and the sassy Adventuress to the ruthless Assassin.
Identifying with all these different feminine icons shaped Marlies Dekkers as a young woman.
Like Chaka Kahn famously sang: “I’m every woman, it’s all in me.” Making my mark in a man’s world, I drew much power from celebrating my femininity in all its shapes and guises. I still do.
Imagine Agatha Christie, and you probably see her most famous female detective, Miss Marple: a neat old lady, snowy white hair, tweeds, and pearls. Don’t be fooled!
The woman who sold 2 billion copies of her books in 104 languages – outselling even the bible and William Shakespeare- lead a life filled with passion, fast-paced adventures, and the wildest plot twists.
Let’s listen to Marlies Dekkers personally, when she tells us more about feminism and the muse who inspired her to the new collection. Therefore, read the next story.
Photos: © Mark Uyl, Marlies Dekkers