We Love Colors Microfiber Tights (available in 51 different colors)
We Love Colors Microfiber Tights (available in 51 different colors)
It’s the end of September, and that means it’s time for another designer interview! Designer interviews are my way of highlighting small, independent brands that I believe deserve more buzz. This month’s feature is of the UK lingerie label, Sugarlesque, created by the very, very talented Ruka Johnson.
1) What was your background before becoming a lingerie designer? What made you want to get into the lingerie industry?
Before designing lingerie I was training to be a make-up artist at the London College Of Fashion. I’ve always been a creative and crafty person and enjoyed making things for others. When I went on a short lingerie construction course in Leytonstone, East London, I started to branch out into lingerie and accessories.
2) Is there a certain kind of Sugarlesque woman?
Yes I think there is a Sugarlesque woman – she’s a woman who knows the meaning of the word “sexy” and understands that the right set of underwear is a powerful thing – it can change your mood, your strut, your swagger, the way you stand, the way you react to other people throughout the day. I also think a Sugarlesque woman likes a little hint of performance and “showgirl” in her underwear and there’s nothing wrong with being a bit of an attention-seeker, just a little bit though.
3) How would you describe your current collection in 10 words or less?
Risky frisky stretchy sexy tight right figure-hugging body-loving
4) Last month, you responded to this post about women of color in the lingerie industry. Does your perspective as a woman of color influence your design, aesthetic, or model choices in any way?
Well, this is an issue that’s very close to my heart and to answer your first question, yes, I do think my perspective a a woman of colour does influence my designs. In the same way that who a person is will influence anything they do or produce, my colour, culture and experiences have a big influence on the types of under garments I produce for other women.
I like to think my designs are bold and full of life and colour, which is most likely a direct influence of coming from a very loud and lively west African family. And I like to take design risks such as working almost exclusively in sheer fabric, which is probably influenced by being an opinionated London girl – I like to think we’re very brave and not afraid to take chances.
In terms of business decisions, such as choosing models for shoots and campaigns, I make a concerted effort to be as inclusive as I can in terms of colour, shape and size. If you take a look at my website you’ll see models of different races, sizes, with tattoos, without tattoos – and I plan to continue in this practice – there’s always space for me to diversify even more than I already have and I fully intend to.
In my opinion for a company to say they “cant find” suitable models of colour is lazy and elitist. It takes a click of a mouse these days to put out a model casting and find a model to fit practically any description. I’ve looked at ad campaigns for other lingerie companies in which I didn’t see a single model who looked even remotely like me, and I felt alienated. I don’t care what my demographics are – I want any woman anywhere in the world who looks at my underwear to not only feel included, but to feel like she could wear one of my pieces and feel as good about herself as my models do, and as I do.
5) Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring lingerie designers?
My advice is don’t expect to much too soon ! It take forever to get even one measly foot on the ladder and start getting recognition for your designs, let alone regular orders. Im still very small scale, and so its only been in the past few months that I feel like Im starting to build up a solid fan base, and more importantly a customer base. But it’s so worth it doing something I love – I would advise anyone thinking of taking the plunge into lingerie design to just go for it – do it !
6) What’s your favorite animal?
Bunny rabbits !!! I had a pet rabbit called Cleo, I got her when she was 2 months old and she was jet black with blonde tips on her paws. She sadly passed away in June of this year, but she was always chewing and tugging on my fabrics while I was constructing my latest collection and she liked to curl up inside the rolls of black mesh, so I named my AW2010 collection Cleo, as a tribute to her.
7) Where can we buy your stuff?
From my website: www.sugarlesque.com and I’ve got a few exciting new stockists in the works, so keep an eye on the website for updates.
For around $60, you can get the exact same lingerie look and still have enough money left over for a room in a five star hotel.
What do you think of this look for less? Purchase? Or pass?
Today’s guest post comes from Krista, a regular author over at The Lingerie Post. The Lingerie Post is one of the best sources anywhere for finding out the latest lingerie, underwear, and swimwear news. They also have a great lingerie sales page that I check at least once a week.
If you enjoy this feature by Krista, why not read her other Lingerie Post articles here? And don’t forget to tell us what you do with the lingerie an ex gave you in the comments!
My friends have really taken to having a friend in the intimates industry. So naturally when I’m around, conversations about lingerie often come up. I was in a cab en route to a party with some girlfriends when one of them shared the story of wearing one of her most fabulous bra and panty sets for an important date and how it just happened to be a gift from her ex. “Should I feel bad about that?” she asked. This prompted the other friend to talk about a few pieces in her collection that she’s had for a while that were purchased during the era of an ex. “It’s mine. I don’t want to throw it away. But how do you repurpose lingerie?”
Hmmm…that’s a good question. Is lingerie like a song? Can you just create new memories with it and let the old ones fade or will you still attach it to that one particular person? If it is attached to one particular person, do you just get rid of it? If you are addicts like us, you probably spent a pretty penny on some of those pieces and “getting rid of it” is just not an option. Unlike a song that you can flip a switch and get rid of, lingerie is a bit more…well, intimate.
I don’t have an answer to the question. To each her own. But I’ll tell you my opinion based on my own lingerie philosophy. Lingerie is YOURS! Especially if it is something you bought for yourself. At the end of the day, it is about you feeling good, confident, sexy, empowered. If he pays enough attention to enjoy it (without being in too much a rush to rip it off), then that is the bonus. The icing on your already very fabulous cake. So go ahead and repurpose your pieces. Wear for yourself. Wear them for someone else. Just wear them with confidence and you’ll hear no judgment from me.
Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links.
Dita von Teese…what can I say about her that hasn’t been said already? From being a muse to couture fashion houses like Jean Paul Gaultier to designing luxury lingerie collections for the likes of Wonderbra and Frederick’s of Hollywood to selling out burlesque and striptease shows worldwide, Dita is more than a woman…she’s an icon.
On the personal side, I love what Ms. von Teese has to say about lingerie. Like her, I believe that “Lingerie is not about seducing men, it’s about embracing womanhood.” And I also “…love it when you can go about your daily business with the knowledge that you have a little secret of your own underneath.” With those two quotes in mind, why don’t we take a look at a few key pieces that can give anyone a Dita-worthy wardrobe.
Dita von Teese is almost never seen without her vintage-style stockings, and thanks to an exclusive deal with Secrets in Lace, you can wear the exact same nylons that she does in her burlesque shows and stage performances. My favorite pair is the Dita Glamour French Heel, which you can purchase here.
Along with her many talents, Dita is famous for being able to lace her corsets down from a natural waist size of 22″ to 16.5″ (though she’s said repeatedly that she’s not a waist trainer). While I don’t suggest that everyone make that sort of reduction a goal (Dita already has an extraordinarily curvy figure), I do recommend the off the rack corsets from What Katie Did. You can buy a basic black underbust for less than $200.
A ginormous “Thank you!” to Independent Fashion Bloggers for featuring me again in this weeks Links a la Mode. Scroll to the bottom to see the article they picked, and don’t forget to check out the other great reads from these fabulous fashionistats too!
I know it’s late notice, peeps, but if you’re one of my daily readers then you’re in for a special treat. Both Frederick’s of Hollywood and Figleaves.com are taking 20% off everything in their store for a limited time only. The Frederick’s promotion ends tonight, while the Figleaves promotion ends Wednesday.
To take advantage of the Frederick’s offer, simply add $95 or more to your shopping cart (plus you’ll get free shipping!). For Figleaves, you need to enter the coupon save20, but there’s no minimum purchase. Take a look at a few of my favorite pieces–
From Frederick’s of Hollywood’s new vintage-inspired ICON collection (also shown above):
From the new Figleaves Boudoir collection:
Why don’t you take a look at their stores and tell me what you’re lusting after? Happy Shopping!
It’s almost Autumn again, and you know what that means…great deals on tights and stockings from everyone’s favorite hosiery brand, Wolford. Last year, Rue La La offered a lot of Wolford sales and I managed to snap up something great at every one so I’m glad they’re repeating the tradition this year. Here’s a peek at what you can expect to see this morning–
Why don’t tell you me what you bought in the comments? One of my purchases from the Rue La La sale was the leggings in the center of the top row. I can’t wait to wear them this winter!
A couple of days ago, I announced via Twitter that Figleaves (one of the best online lingerie stores) had just launched a new iPhone shopping app for those who like to buy their lingerie on the go. Of course, I downloaded it right away, but almost immediately I noticed a major flaw…which I hinted at in a later Twitter update. But first, let’s talk about the good things this new Figleaves app offers.
The Figleaves iPhone app carries over many of the features and benefits from the actual Figleaves store. You can shop by the kind item you’re looking for (bra, brief, robe, etc.), by the color, and by the brand name. You can also narrow your selection by price (though I don’t think this feature is very well developed yet as your only options are “everything” and “less expensive things.”)
The iPhone app retains the classy, colorful vibe of the webstore, is intuitively designed, and easy to navigate…not to mention free. Still, even with all those positives, I can’t endorse it 100% and here’s why:
The Figleaves iPhone app doesn’t let you navigate by size!
I don’t know about you, but when I’m shopping for lingerie, one of the very first selection criteria I enter is my size. After all, what’s the point of looking at (or maybe even becoming attached to) something if you can’t buy it? And well all know sizing info is especially for my curvy or petite ladies. Because of that, no matter what other features the Figleaves iPhone app contains, it’s going to fall short.
So, Figleaves, how about making a good thing great in version 2.0 by adding a size feature? Do that, and I promise I’ll be a little more tempted to pick up my “pretties” on the go!
Photo credit: All images from iTunes.
Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links.
Lingerie is a part of life. But it isn’t true that shopping for it has to be a chore. Here are 10 lingerie essentials every woman needs in her knickers drawer. These are the basics that will give you a good foundation for every piece in your closet, whether it’s the heat of summer, the dead of winter, a fancy evening out, or a relaxed afternoon in. They’re trendproof, flexible, and absolute timesavers. So if you’ve ever felt like you just didn’t have the right thing to wear under your clothes, then this is the article for you!
T-shirt Bra–As the name suggests, t-shirt bras are perfect for wearing under anything tight, close-fitting, or thin. Because the bra is constructed of one, seamless piece, you won’t end up with those annoying boob-shaped lines under your clothes. In addition, the molded cups make them great for evening and shaping the breasts without adding padding or bulk. The bra shown is made by Le Mystere, who makes some of the best fitting bras I have ever worn.
Nude Bra--When you want to wear light or white-colored clothing, a nude bra is a wardrobe essential. Many people equate nude with one beige or tan shade, but, in reality, nude is whatever matches your skintone. That’s why I love MySkins so much. MySkins is the only company manufacturing nude bras in 20 different shades, and while it’s not perfect, it is the best thing out there at the moment and a great option for most women. The bra shown to the left is the MySkins t-shirt bra.
Convertible Bra–Because not all your clothing has sleeves or straps, you need a convertible bra. The best convertible bras are able to accommodate strapless, halter, and low-back styles with some brands even having crisscross or one shoulder options. To maximize flexibility, also look for a bra with a deep, plunging front, perfect for v-necks and scoopnecks. The bra shown is made by La Perla and available from Bare Necessities.
Seamless Knickers–When it comes to panties, the default style is seamless. No matter if you like briefs or boyshorts, thongs or bikinis…seamless is the way to go. For the most options, I recommend the Commando brand. Available in 9 different styles and up to 10 different colors, there’s something here for every woman. Photo is of my personal favorite, the low rise bikini.
Sheer Pantyhose–An office staple, sheer pantyhose are as important now as they were 30 years ago. For pantyhose that are durable, available in a range of shades, and inexpensive too, you can’t go wrong with Pretty Polly, a brand out of the UK.
Fishnet Tights–Ah, fishnets…how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Always chic, always trendy, and always fashionable, fishnets are the best way to add a bit of spice to your regular, everyday wardrobe. The most important thing to remember with fishnets is the smaller the mesh, the better. That’s why I’m a big fan of the Wolford Twenties; they’re perfect for work or play.
Opaque Black Tights–Who hasn’t gone a winter without wearing black tights? Not only do they keep your legs warm, they’re great for transitioning summer dresses into fall…not to mention making your pins look long and slender. For black tights, I always recommend the Wolford Matte Opaques. While they’re a bit pricier than most, they feel wonderful and literally last forever.
Garter Belt & Stockings–I put these two items together because you really can’t have one without the other. A garter belt and stockings is the classic splurge…one that’ll make you feel and look as sexy as you already are. Invest in something from Agent Provocateur (like the Nikita Suspender Set shown) and go knock ‘em dead.
Shaping Slip–It smooths. It firms. And it shapes with no trouble at all. The best shapewear is both pretty and practical which is why the Made by Niki gartered mini-dress is such a favorite of mine. Buy it (and other Made by Niki products) at Figleaves.
Robe–We’re rounding out the list with a posh, plush robe from Figleaves brand. A robe is the sort of thing that every woman needs…be it to lounge around the house, carry on vacation, or run to the mailbox for the paper. A good robe is soft, simple, and makes you feel wonderful, and the robe pictured here looks like it could be all three.
While we’re finished talking about the 10 pieces of lingerie every woman needs in her underwear drawer, there are two more lingerie-related products I highly recommend to my readers to keep their purchases in like-new condition…a good, specialty lingerie detergent and a sturdy, spacious lingerie wash bag. Both are available at Nordstrom and they are more than worth the cost.
I hope this article helps you with your lingerie purchases, both now and in the future. If you’d like more personalized advice, you can always sign up for lingerie personal shopping with yours truly where we can discuss your lingerie needs in greater detail. Lingerie is my life, and I’d be absolutely delighted to talk with you.