Claire Merry and Dee Murren of Dirty Pretty Things tell Ruth Faulkner why 2012 is going to be a big year for the lingerie brand.
Where did the idea for Dirty Pretty Things come from?
Dee Murren (pictured back left): We both come from a fashion background – Claire is a model and I’m a stylist who was born into a family of pattern cutters and seamstresses. We got talking about design and the lack of fashion-forward lingerie and we knew we could offer something new to the market in partnership.
What appealed to you about lingerie?
Claire Merry (back right): I’ve always been crazy about lingerie and have built up a collection of some beautiful pieces since my mother took me for my first fitting at 15. I’ve modelled for lingerie brands over the years, which I loved, so it seemed like a natural step and we were both in agreement that the lingerie market could do with a boost.
DM: Lingerie can empower women and we wanted to push the boundaries of the underwear sector by introducing new fabrics, designs and shapes.
How would you sum up the ethos of Dirty Pretty Things?
We incorporate all of our beliefs and understanding of female empowerment. The brand was born and bred, designed and manufactured in Britain, so we would like to be considered as a true metropolitan brand. Our commitment is to continuously deliver fresh designs to accentuate and enhance a woman’s body with style, creativity and integrity.
What influences your design?
DM: We pull together mood boards in our studio and these work as a blank canvas for anything that pops out at us in our day-to-day lives. Our autumn 12 collection reflects the darker months with a deeper sensual mix of colours and themes. Anything goes – it could be a simple colour scheme or a tiny design detail that can influence our collection.
What can we expect from the autumn 12 range?
DM: We love exploring new materials and fabrics. Autumn 12 will see new flattering fabrics introduced to the mix plus new shapes and prints that are beautifully sculpted. Our best-selling Vivian set has been reworked with sensual red and black fabrics and heart-shaped detailing.
CM: We’ve introduced new sizing going up to a size 16 on the bottom and the Vivian will be available in an E-cup. We want to start catering for fuller sizes as the demand has started to grow.
What are the key themes in your autumn 12 collection?
CM: Our main theme is inspired by a ‘twisted love’ and ‘heroines’ theme; think beautiful silk roses against oversized thorns that contrast against soft curves. The idea is a metaphor for sensual love against spikes of pain, which is a reflection of love.
What plans do you have for the UK this year?
CM: This year is set to be a big year for Dirty Pretty Things. This month we launched a pop-up shop in Selfridges which is open for six weeks and showcases our spring 12 range, plus we have a special treat for our customers [at the pop-up].
- Claire Merry & Dee Murren are the founders of lingerie brand Dirty Pretty Things
Which other lingerie brands or designers do you admire?
DM: I remember when Joe (Corré) and Serena (Rees) opened their first Agent Provocateur store in Soho back in the mid-1990s, and now it’s a globally recognised lingerie brand.
Who would you most like to see wearing your lingerie?
DM: Women who are true to the DPT ethos – Lady Gaga would look fabulous or maybe Rihanna.
How did you come up with the name for the brand?
DM: Dirty Pretty Things was already the name of a critically acclaimed film and a successful indie rock band, and we were attracted to both the juxtaposition and the strength of the name.