Here at Babyface we're known to unashamedly favour the larger pant. We're more practicality over style girls, and to be honest, between Victoria's Secret and M&S pants-to-parachute with, there's not that much going on, is there? A sigh of relief then, for our favourite underwear brand MARIEYAT. A brand that's unique in it's thinking- beautiful lingerie that's also hella comfortable. Red raw-bra strap marks and permanent wedgies, be gone.
Maria Yeung, the Hong Kong raised, London based designer first caught our eye with her muted, deconstructed cotton underwear that stirred our curiosity. It looks delicate and feminine, and also gender-neutral and hardy. It came in grape hues and gym-sock whites, it's youthful and refined- mostly, it's pretty. It's somewhat Sofia Coppola and a touch Breakfast Club too. We were hooked.
Then, for her Collection I, Maria created a "girls dorm"; a space with Girl Interrupted meets Parent Trap vibes: utilitarian metal-frame bunkbeds with grinning models lounging around in all-white MARIEYAT looks. Giggling models with braces swung their white-socked limbs over the edges of the beds. For her most recent presentation, Collection III, Maria out did herself. Inspired by the 2000-year-old practice of free-diving that Japanese, all-female “Ama” divers do when in search of pearls (they don't use oxygen tanks), Maria created a subterranean mermaid world and invited us in. Models wore the odd flipper, or perched on the white tiled-constructions, looking ethereal, alien and sleepy. Burnt orange two-pieces and Bond-girl white belts gave the otherwise classic collection a cheeky twist. We knew then that we wanted to be a MARIEYAT girl.
So, apparently, did Solange. Remember the iconic aesthetic of Solange's "Cranes in the Sky" music video? The unified bodies moving as one to Solange's vocals are unforgettable. Solange and her dancers were kitted out in MARIEYAT for the video. If there's one person you'd want in your designs in 2017, it's going to be Solange. Since then, MARIEYAT has been shot by high flying photographer Ronan Mckenzie, and worn by models such as our girl crush, Poppy Okotcha.
One flick through MARIEYAT's instagram or website, provides us with an insight into an underwear brand unlike any we've seen before. Women take centre stage, at every turn. The campaign photographs speak of movement, strength and authority. Doing ballet, flexing their muscles and eating noodles: these are women who have been caught in the act of living. This is underwear that can keep up with women. Bodies of a huge variety of colours, shapes and creeds prove that beauty really does stem from difference. Stretch marks are worn proudly, and the models are often make-up free, in a move which takes the industry of women's underwear directly out of the male gaze. Unifying all this is Maria's simple but fearlessly unique designs. Take her cult G-Tang brief with drop bindings, an uncomplicated black bottom, which for Collection II, was given its own twist by a sharp line of gold embroidery streaking through it. Self-described as gentle and un-compromised, MARIEYAT provides the support that powerful women need.