The view from Bergdorf Goodman
Every six months, I go to New York and Las Vegas (and sometimes Paris) to get a sneak peek at next season’s lingerie trends. That time of year is called “Lingerie Market” and though it only lasts for a few short weeks, these are the most important days of the entire year for your favorite lingerie brands. Lingerie Market is when orders are made, press previews are conducted, and a brand either gets the buzz it needs or fades away into obscurity.
Next month (September), I’ll be attending the Las Vegas Lingerie Show, but this month I went to CurveNY and the Designer Lingerie Showcase. I also attended a few private showings from smaller brands in local hotels. I love Lingerie Market because it’s a lot like fashion week for the lingerie industry. There’s something happening every night and every day, and when you discover a new brand that goes on to make it big six months later…well, there’s no better feeling than that. For this season’s report, I’ll start with a few of my general observations about the shows, then focus in on the brands that really caught my eye.
One of the positives of this year’s market was that the lingerie industry in general feels the strongest it’s been since the recession. Luxury brands have gone back to doing luxurious things (Myla, for example, is using real gold foil lace and freshwater pearls in their next collection), and I saw infinite varieties of lace, some of which cost hundreds of dollars per yard. I also saw more independent designers during market, and heard that there are more boutiques willing to take a risk on them, which is a great sign for the industry.
In terms of overall trends, I’m seeing a very casual, unfussy kind of luxury. Think simpler silhouettes, and a focus on really fine materials as opposed to frills, bows, and ruffles. Many of the collections felt very fresh and very wearable. There was also some inspiration from the 20′s and 80′s with chevron prints, flowing fabrics, and rich brocades. Patterns, when present, were unique and whimsical: think feathers, flamingos, and matroskas. Oranges, corals, pinks, and blues are the colors for next season with bright, vibrant versions appearing in lingerie and more muted, softer tones in loungewear. And, of course, as I mentioned before, there is a lot of lace. There are also same brand new, more luxe lingerie scents coming up for next season. Eucalan, for example, is debuting a new jasmine-scented lingerie wash named Wrapture.
On the less positive side, I was really disappointed with many of the big brands, especially the ones displaying at Curve. Curve was just uninspiring this year. So much of what I saw just felt like a retread of last season (which, for the worst offenders, was just a retread of the season before that). It wasn’t horrible, but it was safe. Safe to the point of boring. I also noticed that a ton of brands are doing a swimwear lines now, and I also saw more nightwear/loungewear/shapewear lines. Interestingly, there were a few more adult brands at Curve this year (like Leg Avenue). But to end this paragraph on a high note, the European brands, specifically the UK ones were very directional and innovative.
Oh! One more thing…the multi-seasons long trend of retro lingerie appears to be fading away. There are still some holdovers, like high-wast knickers, but even those have a more modern look and feel now. It’ll be interesting to see if vintage-inspired lingerie makes a reappearance next market, or if my suspicions are correct that the mainstream lingerie industry has moved on.
Every market, I see literally dozens of brands. So many, in fact, that they all start to blend together after awhile. But the list below represents my standout favorites for next season. One of the funny things I’ve noticed is that my personal tastes have changed in the last few years. For the first time ever, I’m really interested in loungewear.
Suzanne and Fleur from Fleur of England
A final note before we get started, there are three brands I loved that aren’t below: Myla, Fleur of England, and Ari Dein. All three are super high-end, luxe brands, and they prefer not to release official images until the collections are in stores. I respect that, and hope to share their gorgeous collections later on this winter. Now on to the show!
A newer brand, Nevaeh Intimates is already making waves. I really liked the attention to detail in her pieces, and everything looked beautiful but also felt soft and comfy enough for everyday. The real showstopper though, is the lace collection. No doubt about it, I want everything in this line. P.S. They’re also made in the U.S.A.
Gilda & Pearl:
Gilda & Pearl is a lingerie line I’ve been a fan of ever since I discovered them on Etsy years ago, and, like many of the independent designers in this report, I’m so glad boutiques are stocking this brand now. Incorporating next season’s trend for coral in this classic silhouette of a kimono robe, I could lounge around in this piece all day. Maybe it should go on the honeymoon list?
Love and Dream:
One of several made in the USA brands listed here, I adore Love and Dream’s casual, easy to wear sleepwear. Like all the best lingerie, these basic pieces feel even better than they look. And with Autumn approaching, I have a feeling that nightshirt will be mine very soon.
Between the Sheets:
Random fact: Layla L’obatti (the designer/founder for Between the Sheets) was the very first designer to invite me to view her collection when I made my first trip to NYC market, so visiting her is like visiting an old friend. I personally own several Between the Sheets items, and I’m enamored with their new, lower-priced loungewear line, pictured below. This is another US made brand that’s designed and manufactured in NYC.
Two Figs makes elegant sleepwear for D-G cup women, and they’ve recently moved all their production to the USA. I often get requests from fuller-busted readers who want gorgeous nightwear that accommodates their bust, and this is it. The smallest size fits women with dress sizes 0-2 and the largest size fits women 14-16.
Another brand I’ve known about since their first days on Etsy, I adore Fortnight’s simple, comfortable shapes. This is a line I buy from whenever I can, and I’m so glad they’re getting picked up in more stores (both large and small) now.
A designer with a signature style and a unique point of view, Kriss Soonik is perhaps best known for her lace bodysuit. I think if you’re going to buy luxury lingerie, it’s ideal to buy things that can double as innerwear and outerwear. And I don’t know about you, but I’m really digging the fishnet mesh.
Yet another designer I remember from Etsy (and creator of what are perhaps the most famous silk ruffled panties on the internet), I’m happy to see Angela Friedman is “officially” joining the lingerie industry. Her debut collection showed a lot of promise, and I especially liked the gorgeous fabrics (which the picture below doesn’t really do justice for) she chose. This is a return to handmade fine luxury, and there’s always a customer for that.
Though Eberjey is a brand that’s been around for awhile, I’ve only recently discovered them. Their pieces are simple, but incredibly comfortable. They’ve even got me thinking about trying out a romper.
A UK brand, Beautiful Bottoms is known for their modern take on silk lingerie. Their lingerie also shows a sense of humor and whimsy (blue flamingos, anyone?) and seems perfect for the Lingerie Addict on a holiday.
With a focus on stylish, glamorous, perfectly fitting lingerie, German-born, London-based Frauke of Fraulein Annie has created an amazing brand with an even more amazing size range (A-G). It’s a crime this label isn’t carried in more stores.
You’ve already heard me talk about how much I love Love Claudette. Like their tagline says, they’ve become my “new favorite bra,” and apparently I’m the only one since all my favorite lingerie boutiques are now stocking this line. I said they were the lingerie brand to watch last year, and it looks like I was right.
Splendid is a brand I’d not heard of before this market (though, now that I think about it, I may seen one of their clothing stores in Bellevue). Simple, bright, and inexpensive, this basics brand is perfect for college students.
Les Affaires is another new loungewear line I hadn’t heard of before this year. Based out of Asia, their only retail locations are in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan. Again, I like the simple, fluid lines and soft colors with an accent of lace.
A relatively new brand, this was only Naked Princess’ second appearance at market, and they’ve gotten even better. I definitely saw potential in their very first collection and I love how this new range takes full advantage of all their gorgeous lace (there’s a wonderful bedjacket and bodysuit also in the line not shown below). And, like several of the other names on this list, they’re now made in the USA.
***All 5 Brands Below Are Part of The Eveden Group. Of all the big “corporate” brands I saw at Curve (which are also, unfortunately, the ones most likely to be available in your neighborhood), I was most excited about their new pieces. I also like that the Eveden Group makes something for A thru N cups, a range I don’t think any other groups have.
With their bright colors, amazing patterns, and just plain pretty lingerie, Huit was our top everyday lingerie pick for 2011, and next year’s collection shows they’re sticking with what works: fresh prints, innovative patterns, gorgeous lace, and perfect fit.
Freya is a popular brand because they full bust bras in flirty, fun styles that don’t look “heavy” or ultra-supportive (but still are very supportive, of course). Their regular underwire bras are available up to a 36K, with the longline bras sized up to a 38G. Cute, chic bras for fuller busts? What’s not to love?
With bras available up to a 40K, I love how Elomi incorporates rich, on-trend (bright pink, remember?) color into their bras. While the seams give support, the sheer accents also helps lighten the look.
Fauve is known for their luxe, European-style look. Fine fabrics, lace overlays, and rich embroideries define this brand. I thought they were only for D+ cups, it turns out Fauve is available in B and C cups as well.
For my plus size readers who are also full busted and having trouble finding bras that aren’t just shades of beige and white, Goddess may be the solution for you. The bra shown below will be available in sizes up to 42N, one of the largest letter cup sizes I know of.
What do you think of next season’s sneak preview? Any brands you’re looking forward to seeing?