Art of Lingerie: Shahrad Malekfazeli
“My whole body sizzles every time I start a new lingerie design or create an artwork.” – Shahrad Malekfazeli.
For Shahrad Malekfazeli creation is not a choice.
“I’m an artist. I do what I feel inside of me,” he says. “I need to express. I need to create. My whole body sizzles every time I start a new lingerie design or create an artwork.”
You can see this act of creation in motion on a recent Instagram post. Clouds of graphite on paper give shape to a familiar form – a human figure. A rub from a blending stub defines the body while sharp lines contour hips, arms and add detail to eyes, lips and hair.
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Can’t forget that day, when I presented my sketchbook at Interfiliere Lingerie festival. I worked very hard back then to design elegant, luxurious and sensual lingerie styles, all inspired by Persian textiles and monuments. Paris has always been very welcoming and many great things happened to me there. Only one day left to submit my swimwear collection to this luxurious Italian company. This design got me into this wonderful journey. Must drink a cup of coffee or two, and start to work. Time is against me, but I must do it. The first day of Autumn marks the last day of designing my latest swimwear collection. Let’s go! 😎🔥🦂 @interfiliere @the.lingerie.place @sonia.r.severino @lingeriejournal @kathrynkempgriffin @parisundressed
Watch a few seconds longer and you’ll see an arc under the figure’s bust turn into the start of a bra. Fine tip markers add architectural-like detail and hues of gold and deep blue.
As the camera pulls back, you can see the pattern on the bra and panty mirrors the details of a Persian monument Shahrad is using as a photographic reference beneath his sketch pad.
The finished drawing is one of Shahrad’s original lingerie designs, the kind he creates for lingerie and swimwear companies around the world. His latest project were styles for an Italian lingerie company he met at this summer’s Interfiliere show in Paris.
“The [brand’s] manager showed interest in my work.” said Shahrad. “He sent me 10 cuts and asked me to design 10 styles for him. Hence, I designed two collections for them all inspired by Persian textiles and architecture.”
He describes his encounter with the brand and trip to the show as a mix of fate and serendipity. He had already been delving into lingerie design for his own pleasure when during a previous trip to the City of Lights, he came across a special book, Paris Undressed: The Secrets of French Lingerie by Kathryn Kemp-Griffin.
He wrote a review and reached out to Kathryn. The two became friends and it was Kate who suggested Shahrad attend the show to experience and network.
“I took my drawings, went to Paris again, got my badge and attended this great exhibition, presented my works, and well, it changed my life.” he said.
While his work in the lingerie world is new, his passion for the industry has deep roots. As a child he was obsessed with fashion, especially lingerie.
“I’m an artist. I do what I feel inside of me. I need to create.”
“I used to sneak reads of my mother’s Burda magazines to observe the latest styles and the kind of art they utilized in their apparel.” he explains.
Above: Shahrad’s latest nude was showcased at the “20th anniversary of Artelibre Gallery” exhibition, held in Meam museum in Barcelona and Zaragoza, Spain.
This fascination turned into a successful art career as a painter and teacher. Shahrad’s classes regularly attracts 100 students. He is known for his classical style and exhibits around the world, most recently in Spain where he showcased one of his new nudes.
Now he is eager to expand his lingerie client base and has even started sewing and creating the pieces he designs in his imagination.
“I made a bra recently by watching instructional videos and reading some lingerie making books,” he said. “I also negotiated with a major company to produce some of my designs. I believe, this is the first time someone designs lingerie based on Persian textiles and I’m looking avidly to bring them out from paper.”