Posts from November, 2008

More from Hopeless

A few weeks ago, I posted about the lingerie designer, Hopeless, who debuted a really amazing black and white collection on Etsy a few months ago.

Well, while surfing my favorite lingerie blogs, I found out via KnickersBlog.com that she’s come out with another collection, this one composed of pastel pinks and graphic blacks with deep pink accents. It has a very Art Deco feel to me.

Still no picture posting capability on my end, but please, please, please go to her Etsy store or to KnickersBlog and check out the new pieces. They make me swoon. If you can, support independent artisans, and buy something from her. Goodness knows I’d prefer that garter belt over anything from Agent Provocateur anyday.

Italian hosiery: Calzedonia

I saw Calzedonia stores on practically every street corner while I was in Italy. They’re basically a stockings superstore, and come out with new hosiery collections every season which mirror the trends on the runway (for example, this winter they have tartan tights). Just go to their website and drool.

Just in time for Christmas.

Rago has released new pink/black and red/black colorways of their classic lace open bottom girdle and lace corselette. See Girdlebound for more details.

Charnos just made some limited edition additions to their vintage inspired Hourglass collection. Instead of all black satin like before, these are black satin with lace front panels.

Available from Sheer Nylons (a UK-based company) the collection contains a padded bra, waist nipper, and corselette. Sheer Nylons also still has items available from Kiss Me Deadly’s discontinued Sirena, Mae, Lili, and Alouette lines. International shipping to countries outside Europe is £ 10.00 for orders up to £ 100.00 and free for orders higher than that.

Happy Shopping.

European Lingerie

Milan. Paris. London. No doubt about it; Europe is synonymous with fashion.

Everywhere I look, I see chic, stylish women, impeccably groomed in clothes that are faultlessly tailored and I feel a bit bashful for heralding from a country whose national wardrobe is a baseball cap and a track suit…preferably worn together.

What’s more, this attention to luxury and detail extends beyond outerwear to the very foundations of any good ensemble–the underwear. Or, to use the French, lingerie.

I can’t tell you how many lingerie boutiques I’ve passed since my travels have taken me to Italy and France. Suffice to say, the strategies of mass market retailers like Victoria’s Secret would be utterly out of place here. Rather than simply being something to cover your bottom, European lingerie is meant to provoke a reaction, create a mood, encourage a sensation.

That kind of intent, the outright deliberateness behind the design becomes apparent when you compare those powerhouses of seduction and sensuality: France and Italy. In this post, I’ll discuss the Italian labels Intimissimi and La Perla and the French labels Aubade and Chantal Thomass. Unfortunately, the computer won’t allow me to illustrate this post, but I’ll try to include a few links here and there so all of you get an idea of what I’m talking about.

Of the two Italian brands I mentioned, La Perla is the elder by over 40 years. Founded in Bologna, Italy by Ada Massotti in 1954, La Perla is all about innovation, tradition and, of course, luxury. If you want an idea of how they fuse all three of those, just think at this couture dragon bra from a few seasons back. Even when they’re not casting metal bikinis, La Perla’s attention to quality is evident in their choices of satin, lace, and silk. The very first word that came to mind when I walked into any of their shops was “Sexy!” and not sexy in that mass-produced, airbrushed, falsely glamorous way but sexy in a very secretive, luxe kind of manner. La Perla lingerie is as much for the person buying it as it is for the person who might see it, if not more so.

If I had describe Intimissimi, our second Italitan lingerie label, in three words or less, it would be “La Perla lite.” Founded in 1996 by the Italian hosiery chain, Calzedonia (certainly worth a post in it’s own right), Intimissimi has always strived to offer attractive products at attractive prices. Two years after their founding, they had 80 stores around the world. Now they have 100 times that, and every one I passed (and I passed quite a few) was full. You won’t find the same kind of innovative, couture design that you do at La Perla, but you will find both trendy and classic pieces which are well-constructed and well within even a meager budget.

To me, Italian lingerie (and I saw other stores besides the ones I’m talking about here) is all about smoldering, smoky eyed glamour…like Raquel Welch or Sophia Loren in their heyday. It’s good enough for show, but it’s also good for making the buyer feel confident about themselves, and that’s what any good lingerie should do.

This entry is a little long, so I’ll share my impressions about French lingerie in another post later on. For now, bon soir.

Updates

My internet access is once again spotty, so updates will likely be irregular and pictureless.

However, I do have a few exciting things in store for the upcoming months. Let’s go in order of least to most exciting.

First of all, for any that are interested, Agent Provocateur just released a new collection titled “Pirates.” My favorite piece is the the Deepika leather suspender hotpants here.

Second, I’m working on a long overdue piece about European lingerie with a focus on Italian and French brands.

Finally, and this is the part I’m most excited about, Stockings Addict is going to get a new blogger!

She deserves a proper introduction, so I won’t go into too much detail now, but rest assured she loves stockings and lingerie just as much (if not more so) than I do.

Having a second writer does a couple of things. One, it allows the blog to updated more frequently, which is certainly my preference. Two, it gives the blog a diversity of perspective.

While our new writer and I have lots of things in common, there are also some important places where we differ, and I hope those differences will make Stockings Addict a richer, more enjoyable, and more useful read for all of you.

As the French say, “Au Revoir” for now, and I look forward to writing again as soon as possible.