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A week ago today (on Valentine’s Day, ironically enough) I was in the Venetian Las Vegas viewing, touching, and otherwise enjoying a very special sneak preview of the lingerie that’s set to hit stores in Fall and Winter of this year. A few of my readers may remember last summer’s recap of Curve New York where I highlighted the lacy, ruffly, ladylike trends you’re seeing in lingerie boutiques now.
But if Spring/Summer 2011 was the “Return of the Lady,” then Fall/Winter 2011 is a “Tribute to Simplicity.” Unlike the lace, ruffles, and pleating of the current season, next season is all about simple shapes combined with rich colors. I saw lots of peacock, coral, teal, orchid, amethyst, and sapphire shades…in addition to the basic blacks, whites, and nudes. Think sophistication merged with subtle details.
Retro is also still here in a very big way. I saw lots of high waisted knickers, garter belts, and vintage-inspired longline bras. I believe the retro trend is flattering to a variety of body types, so I’m really happy to see the lingerie industry hasn’t abandoned it yet.
On a slightly less positive note, I have to say I was disappointed with the showing from big brands for next season. I know that these large fashion houses have trademarked styles and that it’s simply good business sense to keep making more of what your customers want, but there was a shocking lack of innovation from the major players this season. In some cases, I saw the exact same designs in the exact same fabrics on the exact same models. I hope that next season these big brands (with their huge marketing and design departments) can really step up and show some creativity.
But enough negativity, let’s talk about a few of my faves from the show. Out of 250 exhibiting brands, these are the 10 I think you should pay attention to next season.
1) Commando–The leader in seamless knickers and tights, Commando is diversifying their range next season with bold prints and colors. I anticipate their navy and white polka dot will be a standout for next season as will their brand new floral print.
2) The Body Wrap–Bucking the trend for rich, jewel tones, The Body Wrap convinced me to like pastels with their new Easter egg themed “Iridescent” range. The soft shades of green, pink, and purple came across as soft and romantic convincing me that maybe pastels and shapewear really do go together.
3) Parfait by Affinitas–You’ve demanded pretty, affordable bras for bigger busts and Affinitas has delivered with a range that makes this 34B woman jealous. Parfait by Affinitas’ bras go up to a size 40G, and you can find several of their most popular styles at HerRoom.
4) Demimonde Intimates–This brand new silver-screen inspired line debuted a range of simple, silk sleepwear at Curve this year. But with a starting price point of $250, will they be able to convince customers to open their wallets?
5) Boa Noite–I wrote about Chelsea Logan’s luxurious handmade lingerie bags last year, and I’m happy to see she’s continuing to innovate. The red faux croc bag (50% of the proceeds go the American Heart Association) and the Tiffany-blue inspired “Tiffany” were standout pieces from her upcoming collection.
6) Dirty Dolls–If you haven’t seen the Dirty Dolls YouTube video I made yet, you have to take a look. This is another brand targeting the underserved full-bust market, and they’ve obviously listened to their customers as they’re preparing to offer bras with a size 28 band. Yay!
7) Huit 8–This French line is leading the return to elegant simplicity with an upcoming range that literally made me stop in my tracks. I don’t have any official preview photos to share, but you can take a look at my Facebook page for a sneak peek or dash over to Faire Frou Frou to see one of my favorites from their current line.
8) Christine Chantilly–Christine of Vancouver’s new, lower-priced range features vintage-inspired kimonos, chemises, camis, and bedshorts that feel like silk but are priced at only a fraction of the real thing. I’m hoping this line gets picked up by a Nordstrom or HerRoom sized store for next season.
9) Samantha Chang–One of my faves from Curve New York (she’s the designer behind the handpainted silk robes I featured last year), I was happy to see Ms. Chang debut a new, lower-priced, day-to-night line made of supersoft, supersheer, black silk-feel polyester. Look for them to be featured in an upcoming YouTube video.
10) Alegro Intimates–The 3rd and final brand on this list that specializes in bras for bigger busts, Alegro is launching a gorgeous new range of colors and prints for F/W 2011. For more info, keep an eye out for a YouTube video that will spotlight their amazing collection.
Image Credits: CurvExpo, Michelle Du Xuan for French Rendez-Vous.