Maude Nibelungen: Boudoir Knitwear That Blurs the Lines

Maude Nibelungen Leotard Front

In order for the lingerie industry to be seen as a legitimate branch of the fashion industry, we need more experimental, directional labels that go beyond the traditional silks and laces. What better way to bridge the gap than to take the “lingerie as outerwear” concept and turn it on its head, with pieces that start as outerwear before fluidly transforming into underwear? Avant-garde knitwear designer Maude Nibelungen has pulled off this feat, with a debut “boudoir” collection of thinly knit pieces that refuse to be categorized.

The knitter and textile designer in me literally swooned when I saw this collection. Soft cotton yarn has been hand knit into second skins that dance across the body in a play of transparency and opacity. Delicate rib knits stretch and mold to curves, creating a lattice of texture that is equal parts refined and unrefined. This duality is probably what is most exciting about this innovative textile use. It is polished and rough, sleek and urban, minimalist and organic. But above all it is fresh and experimental, which is rarely seen in the conservative intimates industry.



Maude has been knitting since she was five. In 2010 she started experimenting with a wide range of texture possibilities and complex math pattern drafting. In a departure from her earlier work which relied on oversized, dramatic silhouettes and innovative materials, her “Bleu Nuit” collection is designed to be worn as a skin, adding texture to the body or to knickers and leggings when layered as outerwear. Delicate rib knits have a thin elastic thread knit into the edges of the garments so pieces don’t roll, creating a smooth look that allows the eye to search out and relish the natural imperfections of the material. Dropped stitches create running ladders (especially evident on the scarf), a delightfully deconstructed open stitch here or there along necklines or seams, and linear bands where seams zip along the body at the side or up the back. Even the straps have been thoughtfully created with knitted I-cords.

The collection is hand knit by Maude herself. An impressive feat as hand knitting not only requires exhaustive math computations, especially with formfitting garments like these, but also hours and hours of labor. I’m imagining even the simplest of the garments take multiple hours to produce. And due to the inherently organic quality of hand knitting, each piece is truly one of a kind.

Pieces from this capsule collection include a fantastic bodysuit with a low dipped back, a shift dress, hot pants/high waist knickers, a few cropped tops, and some outrageously fabulous stockings. When paired with suspenders and garters from indie designer Kayleigh Peddie, the whole look is both modern and very Mad Max postmodern. Pieces are sized XS-XL (fitting 30-44″ busts and 31-45″ hips). Knit pieces start at $50 (for the fingerless gloves) to $225 (for the stockings). The coordinating accessories are $45.

Maude Nibelungen Mock Top

Maude Nibelungen Short Fingerless Gloves

Maude Nibelungen Short Dress

Maude Nibelungen Short Dress Back

Maude Nibelungen Suspenders Front

Maude Nibelungen Suspenders Back

Maude Nibelungen Scarf-2

Maude Nibelungen Shawl

Maude Nibelungen Long Vest

Maude Nibelungen Scarf-1

Maude Nibelungen Leotard Back

Maude Nibelungen Hood-2

Maude Nibelungen Hood-1

Maude Nibelungen Double End Garters

Maude Nibelungen Fingerless Gloves

Maude Nibelungen Crop Top Back

Maude Nibelungen Crop Top Front

What do you think of Maude Nibelungen’s aesthetic? Would you wear any of these pieces? Are you excited to see the line between fashion and lingerie continue to blur?

Mad Mimi Form

Laurie
Laurie Shapiro

Laurie Shapiro is the former owner and designer of the luxury lingerie label, Toad Lillie. Based in Seattle, WA, she now helps lingerie businesses engage their customers through brand communications and social media.

10 Comments on this post

  1. Erin Rae says:

    That is FANTASTIC. I would wear the SHIT out of that!

  2. Tamara says:

    Drooling over the pieces. Also, an awesome read.

  3. Krista says:

    Amazing! So intriguing!

  4. akeripper says:

    joins in the chant oh yes

  5. Steve M-G says:

    I agree with the comments before me. Plus the texture of it and the sheerness feels so much more new and exciting than just laces or other typical lingerie materials. I look forward to seeing how far Maude Nibelungen’s designs go.

  6. Avigayil says:

    Those double-end garters are brill! I could turn any pair of shorts into a garter belt… *wehehehe!*

  7. Kiri says:

    Oh wow, that is so much my style it’s unbelievable; like someone knitted up the things I wish I had the skill to design a pattern for a knit myself.

    The tank and the elbow length gloves will be mine before the cold weather sets in, I hope!

    Thank you so much for introducing me to Maude Nibelungen.

  8. cassie says:

    If I felt more confident, and my bust was smaller, I’d wear it all. I love that it is rough and textural as well as minimal and sleek. it’s sexy in a rough but controlled way. I think you are spot on with the Mad Max reference and I seriously dig it. I wish i could dress like this everyday.

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