I’m Patrizia Grilli, founder and designer at Guerrilla Geisha Lingerie from London. Guerrilla Geisha creates fun, provocative, alluring lingerie and reaches out to those with unconventional, extravagant taste. This is lingerie for strong passionate women who get noticed and think out of the box. The brand signature style is represented by unique prints, vivid colours and cutting-edge designs, made for a snug fit using high quality silks and satins.
What inspired you to become a lingerie designer?
Up until the birth of my first son I was ( and still am), a tattoo artist. His birth made me feel like a new person. It made me realise that life itself is such a creative and intense process. I wanted my creativity to branch out into different directions, and having loved lingerie all my life it seemed like a natural progression to me. It has been a slow learning curve but I am now really proud of what I have achieved and ventured into.
What makes your designs different from others?
Much of the inspiration behind my designs come from oriental design, burlesque and Pin-Up costumes, combined with tattoos and edgy punk rock affiliations. I love to incorporate all these styles to create an irreverent, eclectic, unique style with a superb comfortable fit. I like to call it “Lingerie with a Bite”. The focus of my designs lie in creating funky yet timeless lingerie that can be worn everyday, letting women feel in tune with their femininity. I want to create lingerie that is out there to be seen and worn with a cheeky and liberating attitude, and not to be kept in drawers and worn once in a while.
Are there any celebrities wearing your designs and who are they?
I have just launched my début collection so it’s a little early for fame, but yes I would love to see celebrities wearing my lingerie. We shall see what the future brings!
Do you wear your own products?
Of course, every day! This is another reason why I became a lingerie designer; so I could wear beautiful lingerie that was in my imagination but could not be found anywhere. Of course it’s also a need so I can understand how the lingerie feels and fits.
What’s your favourite lingerie brand (not your own!) and why?
This is a difficult one to answer. There are so many brands and each one has something to be loved about. To name a few in no particular order Made by Niki, Bordelle, Strumpeth & Pink, Buttress & Snatch, Fred & Ginger, Sonata, Damaris, Atsuko Kudo…Oh I could go on and on…
Do you think there’s enough choice for D+ sizes?
This is quite important to me. Unfortunately I am a bit limited at the moment to create my own D+ size range. I would definitely love to see more stylish options in terms of contours, shapes and fabric. Having said that we now have a much better choice than we had few years ago.
Are you happy with the way lingerie is sized? If not what changes would you like to see?
I think there’s still quite a bit that could be done to cater for different sizes and shapes. Yes, I would like to see an international sizing chart that everyone could refer to but, if that was to happen, would that mean that we categorise women between distinct values? As we all know we are all different in so many ways. I certainly would love to see a better choice of adjustments on bras.
What advice would to give to an aspiring lingerie/swimwear designer?
Believe in yourself, never give up, nurture your imagination and creativity as this will be what makes you unique. But also have a good understanding of the industry, especially from a business point of view.
How do you get your inspirations for new collections?
Inspiration is everywhere around me. I’m a visionary so I might see a nice cat for example and my brain will automatically start to translate the information into a nice design. I love getting inspiration from colours/shapes and everything around us. It’s quite an organic process for me. I often find myself saving images from remote places on earth; animals, flowers, paintings, animation and anything that is art really, being natural or man made. My craving for visual information is infinite, and explains why inspiration is such natural element in my life.
Do you use paper and pencil to design your first draft or is it all done on computer?
Having been a graphic designer and a tattoo artist, paper and pencil is my preferred method but I want to incorporate a certain amount of computer aided design as well. I think in certain cases it can make the job easier, quicker and give you a better perspective of the design.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a designer?
A designer! I cannot imagine my life without the aspect of designing. Maybe it would be shoes or jewellery or even pots but I would still be designing. And travelling, yes I would do lots more travelling.
What are you working on right now?
At the moment I’m focusing on PR, designing and planning my exciting new collection which hopefully I will be showing next year.
What makes a great lingerie model?
They can come in all shapes, sizes and looks, but crucially it’s a combination of personality, the ability to convey the brand essence and lots of femininity.
Check out some of Patrizia’s designs below and see more on the Guerrilla Geisha website.