My 6 Favorite Luxury Lingerie Designers

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Whilst I’m sure a lot of us identify as lingerie addicts, my problem goes a little deeper and hits the bank balance even harder: I’m a luxury lingerie addict. I’ve found that the further I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of the lingerie world, the more discriminating and picky I’ve become about the pieces I choose to add to my wardrobe.



Luxury lingerie isn’t just about the individual garments; it’s an experience, that offers superior craftsmanship, exquisite materials and incomparable craftsmanship. From the obvious elements (silk satin instead of polyester, gold components instead of plastic) to the details only an aficionado will notice (Leavers lace instead of Raschel lace, French seams instead of overlocked seams), there’s a whole world of difference between what makes lingerie just ‘luxurious’ and what makes it truly ‘luxury.’ This list represents my current crème de la crème of the lingerie world; designers that have been tried and tested by yours truly, whose beautiful lingerie I would gladly add more of to my collection….

Carine Gilson

Photography by Karolina Laskowska

Photography by Karolina Laskowska

Exquisite lace appliqué

Exquisite lace appliqué

Carine Gilson french knicker detail 1

Lace appliqué and tiny hems

Impeccable internal construction details

Impeccable internal construction details

As far as I am concerned, Carine Gilson is the reigning queen of luxury lingerie. Her designs may not be the most innovative or fashion forward, but they carry a timeless elegance and beauty that will never feel out of place. The craftsmanship on her lingerie is the most exquisite that I’ve ever seen in lingerie: think improbably tiny hems, invisibly stitched intricate lace appliqué, French seams, silk wire casing and bagged out elastics…. As a designer myself, these pieces represent absolute lingerie perfection. Add to this the experience of actually shopping in one of her boutiques (I included the London store in my guide to lingerie shopping in London): it’s about as close as you’ll get to reaching lingerie heaven.

Jenny Packham

Photography by Karolina Laskowska

Photography by Karolina Laskowska

Photography by Karolina Laskowska

Photography by Karolina Laskowska

Satin stitch embroidery detail

Satin stitch embroidery detail

Lace appliqué and tiny rolled hem

Lace appliqué and tiny rolled hem

Jenny Packham is a designer who moved to intimates from evening wear, and she’s brought all of that glamour with her. I adore just how extravagant many of Packham’s nightwear pieces are: frou frou ostritch feather trims, delicate French laces and extravagantly voluminous bias cut silk…. The construction is impeccable, with ditch-stitched binding, French seams and carefully stitched appliqué and embroidery. The pieces I’ve been lucky enough to acquire are nightwear staples in the summer…. There really is nothing to compare to the experience of sleeping in bias cut and French seamed silk!

Agent Provocateur Soiree

Photography by Karolina Laskowska

Photography by Karolina Laskowska

Silk bra lining

Silk bra lining

Intricate lace and beading details

Intricate lace and beading details

I can’t deny that I’ve been disappointed with the quality of Agent Provocateur’s mainline over recent years (something that I addressed in my recent review of their ‘Demelza’ set), but the Soirée line is still something that I adore. I purchased my first set last year, and it’s been true love since. From the beautiful French laces and their exquisite placement, the carefully considered construction to the intricately hand sewn beading, these lingerie pieces are truly pieces to covet. I just wish that the collections were better represented on the brand’s website; they consistently show low-resolution and inaccurate product photos without full views or detail photos. The Soirée line is really something that you have to see in person to fully appreciate. If there’s an Agent Provocateur boutique near you that stocks it, I cannot recommend a visit enough.

Steph Aman

Photography by Karolina Laskowska

Photography by Karolina Laskowska

Steph aman butterfly embroidery

Butterfly cutwork embroidery

Steph Aman embroidery detail 1

Layered embroidery detail

Steph Aman hem detail

Embroidered hem detail

I first spotted Steph Aman’s designs in luxury erotic emporium Coco De Mer. Her silk loungewear contains what I can only describe as the most exquisite embroidery that I’ve ever seen. Everything is stitched by Steph herself on an antique embroidery machine in London, on gorgeously lightweight chiffons, georgettes and tulles. I adore how she uses both traditionally feminine motifs like butterflies and florals alongside more subversive designs such as horse skeletons; there are so many layers of beautifully considered design that you constantly feel like you’re discovering something new. Photos just cannot do Steph’s work justice: they truly need to be seen and felt to be fully appreciated…. The craftsmanship is that incredible.

Sparklewren

Photography by Karolina Laskowska

Photography by Karolina Laskowska

'Moth' neckline detail

‘Moth’ neckline detail

sparklewren detail 2

‘Moth’ lace appliqué detail

I think that it would be fair to say that Jenni Hampshire of Sparklewren is my favourite corset designer of all time. Each of the pieces that she creates is utterly beautiful in a way that words cannot describe. As the only designer on this list that specialises in bespoke, it’s a given that the fit of her garments is utterly impeccable. The embellishment, complexity of construction and hand finishing result in these couture corsets being true heirloom pieces. Every time I look at the corsets in my collection, I find something new to love – further levels of complexity and intricacy in the divine lace appliqué and beading. I don’t think I’ll ever find the sufficient words to describe my adoration for Sparklewren – suffice to say I have many more corset purchases planned….

Harlow & Fox

Photography by Karolina Laskowska

Photography by Karolina Laskowska

French lace insert detail

French lace insert detail

Silk covered buttons and loop fastenings

Silk covered buttons and loop fastenings

The full bust market is one that’s woefully under-served by the high-end sector… and thankfully, Harlow & Fox have stepped in to serve that niche beautifully. Designer Leanna has hit every nail on the head to cement this brand as one of pure luxury. The fabrics are utterly exquisite: delicate French Chantilly laces, Italian embroideries, gossamer fine silk georgette and sumptuous silk satin. The finishing is impeccable, and makes for an utterly wonderful wearing experience; from the silk lined bras to the double-sided satin Augusta robe. Silk is undoubtedly a luxury fabric, but so few lingerie brands use it anywhere but the outside of the garment. It’s a mark of true luxury to see the actual wearing experience so highly considered.

Readers: Have you tried any of these brands? What are your favourite luxury brands?


Karolina
Karolina

Lingerie designer. Spends most of her time sewing bras and getting excited by chantilly lace.

6 Comments on this post

  1. […] been after a pair of their French Knickers ever since Karolina Laskowska raved about them in a post for The Lingerie Addict, so that was an easy decision to make as it’s rare to find French […]

  2. Quinne Quinne says:

    Carine Gilson’s applique work shocks me every time I see it.

  3. Emily says:

    I actually bought the Ester set from agent provocateur’s soiree range based on your review. Your pictures did the set more justice that the ones on their site. I caught it in their sale and it was well worth it.

  4. Sweets says:

    yessss such good choices. I hadn’t heard of Steph Aman before I saw her pieces in a boutique in London, and I think my jaw literally dropped. They are so, so beautiful and intricate. I want to come visit your lingerie stash one day!

  5. 100% agreed on all of these. If only I actually owned pieces from any of them! Clearly I need to work on this.

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