Posts from October, 2010

The 5 Most Expensive Lingerie Brands in the World

With the release of the 2010 Diamond Fantasy Bra from Victoria’s Secret (worth a whopping $2.5 million), everyone’s mind is on expensive lingerie.  And when I say “expensive,” I mean the sort of lingerie where, if you have to check the price tag, you almost certainly cannot afford it.

While I maintain my position that ultra-expensive lingerie really isn’t any better than the lingerie us mere mortals buy, I also know I some have readers who, for curiousity’s sake or otherwise, want to know about these extravagant brands that represent the pinnacle of the underwear industry.  The names I’m about to share with you today are truly the creme de la creme, the game changers, and the rainmakers.

Oh, and guess what?  La Perla wasn’t expensive enough to make the list.

There were a few criteria when making these selections, and I want to share them with you before starting:

1) The label had to be focused almost exclusively on lingerie.  They couldn’t be a design house that also happened to make lingerie or a designer who produced one or two limited collections for a lingerie brand..  That’s why Dolce & Gabbana isn’t listed, and neither is Jean Paul Gaultier’s collection for La Perla.
2) The label had to make, at minimum, both bras and knickers.  Why?  Because these two pieces are the fundamentals of lingerie. To illustrate, both Wolford and Strumpet & Pink make gloriously expensive lingerie, but as the former focuses on hosiery and the latter on panties, neither is eligible for inclusion here.
3) The label had to be available for purchase by the general public.  For example, Mr. Pearl (the man behind Dita von Teese’s corsets) is quite possibly the best and most expensive corsetiere in the world, but his corsets are not accessible to everyone, and therefore his name is not on this list.

And so, without further delay, here are the 5 Most Expensive Luxury Lingerie Brands in the World

Bordelle–founded in 2007 by Alexandra Popa and Javier Suarez, Bordelle updates the vintage classics with a decidedly modern (some might even say “kinky” sensibility).  Slinky, sexy, and utterly sensual, Bordelle isn’t for the faint of heart or faint of wallet.  Their trademark bandage dresses start at $500 and go as high as $1400.

Carine Gilson–The most established designer on this list, Carine Gilson has been designing couture lingerie since 1994.  She uses only the softest silk, the most delicate lace, and the sheerest chiffon.  Every item is a handcrafted work of a art, worth more ounce for ounce, than even some of the finest jewelry.  A Carine Gilson thong (her most basic piece) starts at $240 with her full length kimonos selling for just over $1360.

Agent Provocateur–Agent Provocateur did for luxury lingerie what Victoria’s Secret did for mainstream lingerie, making its name synonymous with elegant, expensive, and erotic underthings.  You may not have heard of the other 4 names on the list, but you’ve almost certainly heard of Agent Provocateur.With $800 bodysuits, $900 kimonos, and $1100 robes, AP has most certainly earned their spot.

Jean Yu–Gorgeous, feminine, and ethereal, Jean Yu’s designs are striking in their simplicity.  Every lightweight, airy piece is also limited edition, so once it’s gone, it’s gone.  A basic silk triangle bra starts at $320, and a full lingerie set (bra, knickers, & garter belt) can easily cost over $1,000.  Jean Yu also runs an atelier in New York if you’d like to have your lingerie made to measure.

Guia La Bruna–Guia is one of the youngest designers on this list, but her vibrant outlook on life is evident in her designs.  Unlike many designers who outsource key aspects of their manufacturing to other companies, Guia La Bruna produces everything in house, from the samples to the end design.  This lets her maintain the impeccable standards of quality and craftsmanship she is famous for.  Guia’s bra and knicker sets start at $665 and her cami and knicker sets retail for $830.

What do you think of these 5 designers? I’d love to hear your opinions, so share them in the comments!  Know of anyone I should have included?  Tell me that too!

Independent Fashion Bloggers Links a La Mode–10/30/10

Thank you to Independent Fashion Bloggers for featuring Solanah’s guest post on vintage lingerie in this week’s Links à la Mode.  It definitely deserves a few more views.  

Also, kudos to OK,  Bowtie whose article about why women should wear pretty lingerie everyday is also featured (both in this week’s IFB links and in my own lingerie round-up from yesterday).  Enjoy!  :)

links a la mode

Costume Drama: A Break From All Things Outfit

Edited by: Holier than Now

It’s  the Halloween season, when some of us choose to experience the thrill  (or horror) of looking nothing like ourselves for a night. For those of  you who blog or socially post your outfits, perhaps it’s a chance to  take a break from the judgmental eye of the spotlight (consider Love Brown Sugar and One More‘s  pieces on the subject) – one night where you turn in “looking good” for  looking scary, time period-accurate, or just … a little sexier than  usual. Inspired? Find last minute costume inspiration from Tickle Me Chic and more.

And  for those of us who don’t celebrate the witching hour, there’s still a  chance to step away from the closet and remind ourselves that great lingerie, shoes, bags, and jewels can make even a white tee and jeans look scary good.

Links à la Mode: October 28th

What I’m Reading–10/29/10

Take a look at these amazing lingerie articles from around the web.

Have one of your own to share?  Please tell us about it in the comments!

Sizes, and why we don’t make all of them in the world: The ever-interesting Catherine of Kiss Me Deadly explains why small lingerie houses are unable to make the range of sizes the larger companies do.  Super-informative and brutally honest, Catherine answers the questions, “Why don’t they make that in my size?”

Underneath (Why everyone needs pretty underwear): I love it when fashion bloggers talk about lingerie because to me, that’s what lingerie is all about–fashion.  Miss Sofie gives her opinion on why all women need beautiful lingerie, and also links back to an article from yours truly!

Crystal Renn on Her Weight Loss, New Exercise Routine, and Walking for Karl Lagerfeld: Come for the photo of Crystal Renn in a latex Atsuko Kudo outfit, stay for the interview where she talks about her unique place in fashion and gives lingerie advice.  (Thanks to Kati for the link to this article!)

Strumpet & Pink: Over-the-Top Fabulous Knickers: When does a pair of panties cost $1,500?  When they’re made by Strumpet & Pink!  The lovely ladies behind Faire Frou Frou give us a sneak peek of their new collection, and simultaneously inspire fits of lust around the world.

The Cameo Intimates Story: A few months ago, Cameo Intimates surprised everyone by literally shutting down operations overnight.  No warning, no leadup, no explanation…they were simply there one day and gone the next.  Slip brings us the inside scoop of what happened to the label that brought handmade lingerie to the masses.

Photo Credit: Cervin Blog

Look for Less: Agent Provocateur Lace Corset

Today’s “Look for Less” feature is a luxury lingerie battle royale!

In the left corner, we’ve got the Agent Provocateur Gretchen Corset. Constructed from red and black lace, this corset features spiral steel bones, a gold busk, and tulle “hip gores.”  This AP beauty sells for $790.

In the right corner, we’ve got the Victoria’s Secret Lace Back Corset.  Also fashioned from red and black lace, this corset features a mesh lining, front boning, and a metallic gold busk. The VS version retails for $128.

So what do you think?  Purchase…or pass?

The Victoria’s Secret iPad App Review: A Lingerie Addict’s Perspective

One week ago, Victoria’s Secret reminded everyone why they’re the most popular lingerie store in the world and released a brand new iPad app.  In only a few days, it reached the #1 spot on the free iPad apps chart, and the buzz shows no signs of slowing down.  There have already been several reviews for the app, so it may seem strange for me to do one too, but I’ve got something Gizmodo doesn’t have–a lingerie addict’s perspective (as an aside, I haven’t seen any other reviews written by women either).

Before we begin, I think it’s important to remind you that Victoria’s Secret doesn’t really sell lingerie.  What they sell is a concept, and that concept is sexy.  Not only is the Victoria’s Secret app listed in entertainment (not lifestyle, like the rest of the fashion apps), you actually have to do quite a bit of wading through press releases, behind the scenes footage, and model stats before you stumble upon your first product description.  But I’m jumping ahead now.  Let’s break down the app piece by piece.

As you can see, the VS All Access tab is composed of three rows: Features, Supermodels, and News & Events.  The “Features” row lets you view the fashion show announcement, watch those infamous TV commercials, and browse other extras like exclusive behind the scenes photos.  The middle tier is all about the supermodels (a.k.a. the Victoria’s Secret Angels); clicking on their name brings up all their relevant stories along with their stats and “secrets” (a sort-of mini-interview).  The last row is News & Events, i.e. Victoria’s Secret PR.

The next tab is for the catalogue, and I’m surprised to say it looks even better on the iPad than it does in person (you can really appreciate those full page lingerie spreads).  While some reviewers commented on the slightly slower loading times for the catalogue, my major issue is that the catalogue doesn’t allow zoom.  You can go from the catalogue to the website by tapping on the product you’re interested in, but even the online store doesn’t offer zoom.  Though it’s a minor issue, I would like to see zoom as an available feature in v2.0.

The last couple of tabs, Stores and Connect let you look up the nearest Victoria’s Secret store in your area and stay in touch with Victoria’s Secret through Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, text messaging, and E-mail…in other words, every way that matters.  Finally, just to make sure they say on the right side of the law, the “More” tab contains all the privacy notices, site terms, legal agreements, and so on.

So what’s the final verdict?  Well, on the pro side, the Victoria’s Secret iPad app is app is slick, shiny, and very, very sexy. It’s obviously well thought out and gorgeously designed.  On the con side, it’s not really a lingerie app.  There’s a lot of eye candy, but not a lot of practicality.  Women who need lingerie advice (such as the perfect bra to wear with your holiday dresses) will still need to go elsewhere.  But for a free app, I really can’t complain.  Download it and give it a go.

Photo Credits: iTunes app store, Kr-apps, AppScout

Review: What Katie Did Morticia Underbust Corset

Today’s guest post is reprinted with permission from Lady Asenath of the LiveJournal Corsetry Community.  I’ve been a member of this community since long before I started blogging, and I still believe it’s one of the best resources online for anything and everything related to corsets.  I actually met all of my corsetieres (the designers who custom made my corsets) through this community.  In this article, Lady Asenath gives us her review of the What Katie Did Morticia underbust corset, complete with several excellent illustrations.
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I stumbled across the What Katie Did sale page this summer completely by accident and since I had been eyeing their Morticia for a while I snatched up a Black Orient one. I generally don’t like satin but I wasn’t quite ready yet to fork out for the silk number without seeing the real thing somewhere first.

The reason why I was intrigued by the Morticia is that I own an original Iris Norris number (a famous corsetiere out of the U.K. ~Treacle) and have since been hooked on hip gussets.

I am a naturally slender but stick-straight girl with about a 31″ bust, 27″ underbust (translating into a 28D-DD), and a 27″ waist.  I ordered the Morticia in an 18″ size. This may seem rather brave given my current natural waist, but I used to wear corsets in that size on a regular base so I figured it would just take longer to break in now.

Anyway, the communication was nice and the corset arrived super quick. The shape on the corset is really amazing, it’s VERY curvy for an off-the-rack corset. It is also quite long and fits me just right.

First of all here’s a pic of the corset on my blow-up doll… err inflatable dress dummy:

There are only two issues I have with it:

- As it has been mentioned elsewhere, it could do with a stronger busk, as especially if you take a good amount of inches off you, the corset bends inwards at the waist and as a result outwards at the bottom.
What I did to “fix” this was CAREFULLY bend the busk into a SLIGHT outward curve from the waist down to the second busk stud from the bottom and back into an inward curve from there to the bottom. Voilá – no gaping! I stole this idea from antique corsets from the 1880s.

- The modesty flap. I find the wide, unboned flap of fabric quite hard to smoothen out as I lace up the corset. It’s too bad it can’t be removed easily.

I am very happy with the corset despite these things, but would only recommend it to naturally curvy folks or experienced corset wearers who aren’t on the short-waisted side.

Finally, some pictures on a real body, though not yet laced shut:

I hope someone here finds this helpful!

Regards,

Asenath

How to Buy Vintage Lingerie

Today, I am very happy to feature a guest post from one of my personal blogging idols, Solanah of Vixen Vintage.  If you haven’t heard of Vixen Vintage, you must check her out.  Solanah’s outfit posts are one of my few daily addictions.  In her article for The Lingerie Addict, she talks about the 5 essential pieces of lingerie to get that perfect vintage figure.  Thanks for sharing your expertise here, Solanah!
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Hello! My name is Solanah, I run the blog Vixen Vintage, and am delighted to be here!

I dress in vintage clothing every day, from head to toe, and love to be authentic with my style. Like any outfit, a proper foundation is of the utmost importance to correctly filling out vintage, because even if you have some good support, it just won’t look the same unless you have the real thing underneath.

Most of my lingerie and shapewear comes from vintage stores or thrift stores, so that generally means they are used, and quite often, I come across well worn items that won’t last much longer. Here’s some tips to find some great vintage lingerie that will serve you well.

Bras-Bullet bras are THE most important foundation garment you can have in your vintage lingerie drawer. Many mid century garments need the bullet shape to fit properly. Plus, they make it look like you have fabulous posture  As with any bra, try them on, sizing hasn’t changed so you should be able to find your size in the inner tag, though some prefer a cup size down. Most women will need bullet bra fillers, so don’t be discouraged if the tips look a bit deflated. Next, check the elastic. Is it still elastic? Or a sad gathering of disinagrating fibers? If there is no stretch, don’t buy.

Girdle-Oh the girdle. Modern shapewear’s tough, no nonsense grandma. If you’ve never experienced a true vintage girdle, go try one right now, and from then on your spanxs will feel like baggy pjs. Many vintage garments need to be smooth around the mid section, and this requires a good girdle. They can zip up, lace up, or even just slide on, but you want to be sure the elasticity won’t give up on you. If there are ripples on the girdle, this means those fibers have lost their elastic, and the rest aren’t far behind. Even if it looks great, before you buy you must LISTEN to the girdle. Hold if up to your ear and stretch a portion of it. If you hear a crackling sound, pass on it, the elastic strands have had enough and are breaking apart permanently.

Knickers-Ok, so while buying old underwear may sound a bit …questionable…you might be surprised at the amount of deadstock knickers out there (this means they are unused and still have the tags attached). Having high waist underwear with a high waist skirt, dress, or pair of pants is very important. If you wear low rise knickers with something tight and high waitsted, you might get an unwanted line on your hips showing through the garment.

Garter belt-A useful, everyday garter belt should sit at your waist, not your hips, like many “bedroom garter belts” do. Check the elastic, and see if all the garter tabs are present. Also, a garter belt should be worn UNDER your knickers. Unless it is a girdle and garter belt in one. It should be comfortable, but not too big, otherwise your stockings will pull it down throughout the day.

Petticoat-A petticoat can make a huge difference in the silhouette and movement of your dress or skirt. But first you have to find the right one. Square dance petticoats just won’t cut it, you’ll need something longer, and less full. 1950s and early 1960s skirts hit right below, or at the knee, and your petticoat should not exceed the length of the skirt. Make sure the netting is intact, and the elastic at the waist is still strong, and can sit at your waist comfortably.

Credits: All photos taken and owned by Vixen Vintage.