If you’ve been to Berlin, you may have passed by a Mitte storefront shrouded in black chiffon curtains. If you ring the bell and step into the mysterious boutique, as I did on a recent visit, you’ll discover the work of Jen Gilpin – a Canadian designer with an inventive take on lingerie. DSTM (which stands for Don’t Shoot the Messenger) uses high-tech sportswear materials to create immensely sexy and modern pieces inspired by anything from Carl Jung to Japanese rope-tying techniques.
The shop has been in its current location for four years, but DSTM started life as a clothing label in 2010 before being distilled into the coveted lingerie brand it is today. Everything is handmade – from the shapewear (1613 Sever briefs, €120) and bodysuits (1520 Santen body, €240) to the pure-silk kimonos (€475-€755) and a wrap-around culotte jumpsuit (€430) – either on-site or by a small atelier in Sofia, Bulgaria. Most pieces are black, with an occasional royal-blue, cream or gold highlight. If you have issues with underwires or metal clasps, Gilpin’s softly sculptural designs are heaven. I went for the reversible sheer black 1612 Sever bra (€135), the sexiest take on a sports bra you could ever envisage. It feels almost nonexistent on yet is entirely supportive – even for a bigger cup size.
Another bonus is that all the brand’s designs meets certified EU ecological guidelines, often via the use of experimental new eco materials. I am so in love with my bra that I may buy the 1615 Sever body (€220) to match. This is slow fashion at its best – and it’s all available online, too.