Marie Yat is the clothing designer questioning everything we’ve ever known about clothes. Since time began we have seperated garments by gender, imposed boundaries on what we can wear because of the genitals we have. Although nowadays in the modern world of gender fluidity we aren’t confined by these stereotypes, there’s one article of clothing that tends to remain gender conforming, and that’s underwear.
Enter Marie Yat who’s making lingerie for everyone. Ok, technically it’s womenswear but her design focus lends more towards the unisex. You won’t find any floss-thin thongs and padded bras here. Using natural materials like cotton and silk instead of your usual polyester, Yat is reworking Bridget Jones-sized pants with geometric cutouts, oversized dresses and P.E. lesson socks. Unstructured for emphasis, seamless for comfort, the aesthetic is a secondary thought. Luckily they look amazing.
We sat down with the woman who is single handedly bending the shape of what it means to dress for your gender identity, and picked her brains about what inspired her to start asking these questions in the first place.
What sparked your interest in the concept of gender?
I believe gender boundaries can be overlapped. That leads on to questioning about femininity in particular as part of self exploration.
How has this idea evolved throughout your process of designing the garments?
It just comes naturally in the process of design. I would like to create multiple layers of characteristics through the design and materials instead of having a certain type of character in mind during the design process. i.e. Women’s Lingerie can be as comfortable as unisex underwear but still look good in a different way.
What has the reception been to the underwear?
It’s been good. Very happy to hear that people are looking forward to trying it. I made my mom and all my friends to wear it and give feedback. They are all very helpful with the comments and they all send selfies.
What was your initial and core idea behind the brand?
Offering a modern take on the seamless technique, Embrace ones body form rather than changing or restricting. We are designing underwear that a woman will buy and wear for herself. She feels good wearing it and knows it is special. Everything we do comes from a deep respect for women.
What is your aim when designing the clothes?
To create pieces that are comfortable and alluring. The most important consideration will be the designs have to go around the nature of the circular knitting machine. In most of the styles, the fabric is knitted without any side seams, so every design you have to consider how to put the creativity in subtly without changing the original function of the product.
What’s the best and most rewarding aspect of your job?
The best and most rewarding aspect is definitely when my girlfriends say to me: “I am wearing “gtang” (one of our underwear styles) today and I feel so good.”
Where do you see the brand in 10 years time?
An underwear brand that will grow with my generation. The underwear brand that people will think of when they want to get a pair of modern seamless underwear.