Victoria Bartlett, Kikka Hanazawa
VPL (Visible Panty Line) launched its first line of undergarment-inspired styles in Fall of 2003, when well-known stylist Victoria Bartlett had a vision to design a capsule collection to fill the niche between lingerie and sportswear.
Since inception, VPL has gradually evolved to include ready-to-wear, accessories, bags, and shoes, partnering with shoe designer Jean-Michel Cazabat and jewelry designers Alyssa Norton, Brian Crumley, and Josh Hickey.
VPL collections usually hinge around a cheeky theme, such as the “Modern Suffragettes” homage in 2007, which presented a military slant on staples like effortless jersey separates. Diffusion line VPL2 was spun off in 2008, sticking to basics like tanks, knits, and underwear.
From the design studio in New York City, Victoria Bartlett continues to be inspired by the unceasing city pulse, yet remains dedicated to the concept of visibility rather than invisibility (underwear, outerwear, anywhere).
As a stylist, Victoria acknowledged the growing demand for utilitarian yet stylish undergarments that can be mixed, matched, and layered, hence, the building block factor she encourages in her designs. Furthermore, Victoria began to question the assumption of sexiness in undergarments. With the bold assertion that “I don’t do T and A,” she challenged the fashion world with an innovative conception of sexy.
While each season embodies the utilitarian-chic style in new ways, VPL has continued to incorporate elements of functional uniforms with daring shots of color, unexpected accessories, and creative styling pieces. The VPL aesthetic remains rooted in the foundational principles of comfort, functionality, and style. By injecting the everyday uniform with the unexpected panty line, the peeping-out bra strap, or the bold shock of color, each season unveils a new dimension of the standard-issue. The design details and trims such as sliders, elastics, and zigzag stitching, extracted from architectural quality of vintage underwear, have become a recognizable characteristic of the brand. From the militaristic maverick to the institutional ingénue, VPL style attracts the woman who eschews traditional sexy, yet exudes a sensuality all her own.
Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Aniston, Tilda Swinton, Juliette Lewis, Victoria Beckham