Interview by Ty Long
Nikki Dekker of Lake and Stars talks about Victorian sexuality, underwear technology and Dakota unification.
Q: Hello Nikki, You named your label “Lake and Stars” after a “Victorian euphemism for her skill in the bedroom.” Can you use the phrase in a sentence?
Sure- “She gave me the “lake and stars”. Or, “He was “the lake and stars.” It can go either way.
Q: I can definitely see Victorian bros whooping that phrase. What is your role in the company?
Co-Founder and Designer for TLS
Creative Director and Designer for True&Co
Q: When you started, did you know you wanted to design intimates?
Not at all. I thought I’d design RTW [ready-to-wear], but when I got out of school, the only available job in town (I was in Minneapolis, and the only place to really work was at Target headquarters at the time) was in the intimates department, so I applied assuming I’d move first change I got. I got the job and ended up really loving it. I like having very strict parameters when I start to design something. It’s challenging and I know I’m fulfilling a purpose. You can’t get much more purposeful than lingerie.
That being said, one of the first things I remember “designing” was a bra for myself when I was in the 6th grade. All of my friends were already in training bras and this late bloomer still didn’t have one. I cobbled together the ugliest bra ever using a strapless padded bra I found in a play clothes box and some scraps of waistband elastic.
Q: How has lingerie changed throughout the decades?
Goodness. The biggest change is how technology has been incorporated into it- both in components and construction- to make it seem like a woman either feel like she isn’t wearing underwear or else to completely obscure her natural form. Underwear is weird.
Q: How many collections do you make a year?
Anywhere from 2-6. There are different brands and different categories within each, so there’s a lot of grey area.
Q: Do they have a theme?
Always a theme. Some more elaborate than others, but there’s gotta be some sort of story line in mind which varies between collections and categories.
Q: You grew up in North Dakota. Do you know why they split from the South?
Were they ever one? Do I sound like an idiot now?
[Editor’s note: North and South Dakota were both part of Dakota territory. There were admitted into the union simultaneously, but as two states because of the distance between the two population centers and from alleged political pressure to add two more Republican Senators (Wikipedia). Half credit.]
Q: Has your rural upbringing influenced your designs?
I’m definitely more of a tomboy and like to incorporate a sportiness into design. Whether that has anything to do with the rural, I’m not sure.
Q: Worried about the #freethenipple campaign? Do you see a no-bra future?
No! I love the free the nipple campaign. I certainly do not see a no-bra future, but if it happened I wouldn’t be mad. I always have the farm to fall back on…