Ahh, September in New York. There are such bitter sweet feelings this time of the year as the lazy days of summer are behind us and we gear up for a changing of the seasons including cooler temperatures, fall foliage and for the fashion obsessed – New York Fashion Week. With the fanfare of spectators and general hoopla surrounding the weeklong event, we lingerie professionals can often go overlooked as the spotlight shines on notable designers primarily in the ready to wear and couture markets. But that doesn’t mean that we miss out on all the fun when the fashion brigade comes into town. There are plenty of lingerie inspired events and exhibitions around town that serve to remind me each season how impactful and important the roll of intimate apparel plays in the fashion world. And the best part is that you don’t always have to be a professional in the industry in order to enjoy them.
These past few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of attending some of these events and found myself inspired, wanting to share my findings with fellow lingeristas alike. Aside from the exclusive runway shows and private events, there were also performances, exhibitions, pop-up shops and trunk shows that the general public was welcome to take part in. It helps to be an avid follower of your favorite brands and labels if you want to get the inside scoop on what’s happening and where. And if you’re a sucker for a spectacle as I (embarrassingly) am, then there’s no reason you can’t take part and join in on the fun.
If you’re wondering what some of these events are like then read below to catch a glimpse at my fashion week roundup, including the more noteworthy events which served to remind me of the significance of lingerie in our lives and how it has influenced the whole of the fashion community decade after decade.
Triumph Magic Wire Bra Launch
Triumph has been one of the most notable lingerie brands across the globe for 125 years, first launching in Europe and slowly expanding across Asia before setting it’s sights on the US. While they don’t yet have retail stores in metropolitan New York, that hasn’t stopped them from garnering the buzz that this brand so well deserves.
The Magic Wire bra event was recently held at their temporary pop-up store in the East Village and was chock full of entertainment and excitement. Guests got a first hand view of the new revolutionary bra which does away with rigid and uncomfortable metal underwires in favor of a new silicone support piece encased within the bra fabric to support the smooth molded cups. This stabilizing piece serves to offer comparable hold and shape as traditional underwires but without the poking and prodding of a metal wire. An additional mesh stabilizer serves to compliment the pliable silicone feature and helps to add additional support while providing flexible comfort to rival a completely wireless bra.
Lucky patrons were treated to a personalized bra fitting from Triumph’s knowledgeable staff and they had the opportunity to try on the new bra and take it home for a more in depth review. Available up to a G cup, these bras are also offered with fashionable details such as lace and jacquard and in an array of top selling colors. I personally went with the basic black. Boring, yes, but once I had it on in that dressing room I knew I’d get good use out of it indeed. The stretchy fabric and cups were able to move with me and I felt unrestricted yet still secure. All in all I have become a big fan.
In addition to the complimentary bra fittings, guests also were treated to an array of dazzling spectacles including a live contortionist, an impressive magician and a host of themed cocktails complete with smoke and mirrors (seriously, the cocktails had smoke radiating off of them). We also got a great review of the history of the Triumph brand along with live music and a glimpse of a few celebrities to further kindle my fan-girl tendencies – a mark of a great event that’s sure to have a successful following.
Exposed: A History of Lingerie – Exhibit at the Museum at FIT
Next up I just had to stop by and take a peek at the Exposed: A History of Lingerie exhibit at my alma mater the Fashion Institute of Technology. FIT is known for having an extensive collection of historical costumes and dress, most of which is archived at any given time and has never been seen by the public before. I can remember as a fledgling lingerie designer we had the great privilege of viewing a few pieces of their vintage lingerie collection up close and personal. It was a memorable experience as we marveled at the delicate fabrics and watched as they were carefully handled under the protection of white cotton gloves for preservation. So when I heard that some of these lingerie pieces were on display for the first time ever, I of course, had to go and check it out first hand.
The great thing about the museum at FIT is that it is free of charge and open to the general public. If you happen to be in NYC between now and November 15th and you have some free time to spare, it’s a great place to gain some inspiration and get your creative juices flowing.
Upon entering the exhibit you will quickly find that it is curated for the viewer to progress chronologically down the line taking in the 50+ garments one by one beginning from the late 1700’s and concluding with today’s modern wares. The opening 18th century looks are full of detail and in great condition, paired next to similar outerwear garments that have been influenced by the lingerie look during the same time period. It’s this connection that shows the viewer how lingerie has always helped to shape modern day dress and that the concept of innerwear worn as outerwear was a viewpoint utilized for centuries and not necessarily an innovative practice during the Madonna styling’s of the 80’s.
Gradually the exhibit leads us on a chronological journey throughout the decades and centuries highlighting some of the most popular silhouettes and fabrics from those times. I found myself marveling at the whalebone corsets and metal bustles of the late 1700’s, giggling at the modest dressing gowns of the mid 1800’s and lusting after the girdles, petticoats & brassieres of the mid 1900’s. It was fascinating to see first hand how lingerie has evolved throughout time and how our attitudes and perspective have come so far with the finale of the exhibit showcasing modern day innovators we all know and love such as Agent Provocateur and Hanky Panky. If you are a lover of lingerie or just interested in history in general, then I highly recommend taking a spin around the exhibit and possibly gaining a new perspective and appreciation of the wonderful world of lingerie.
Josie Natori Spring 2015 Runway Show
When I think of luxury designer Josie Natori I think bold prints, billowing fabrics and saturated colors. Though the Natori brand has become much more than that, it continues to stay true to its roots and delivers to us optimism and elegance collection after collection.
Each season the Natori runway show captivates us with a fresh and innovative spin on the prints and silhouettes that she is most known for. The ready to wear Spring 2015 collection debuted last week and sure enough, it stayed true to this concept once again. With a strong loungewear presence and many pieces worthy of a good night’s sleep, the pieces floating down the runway evoked a vision of a tropical paradise, complete with island-inspired colors and textures.
Some more notable themes of the show included three-dimensional embroidery effects adorning soft linen robes, while obi belts cinched in fluid, shiny pantsuits. Tropical leaf prints and tie dyes complimented bold hibiscus accessories while citrus colors comingled with indigos and beiges making us long for an Island getaway before winter has even begun.
All together the show was uplifting and lively while remaining classic and true to it’s signature Asian influences. The finale featured all the models in basic white tops paired with an array of colorful sarong-like pants in bold organic patterns as they converged on the runway to Pharell’s hit “Happy”, ending the show in a cheerful and airy climax of color.
Chromat Spring/Summer 2015 Runway Show
Following up the Natori show with the Chromat garments show is a lesson in the study of contrasts. Part lingerie, part swimwear and part ready to wear, Chromat’s pieces are considered “structural experiments for the human body”. Since 2010 they have been creating cage-like pieces out of elastic, plastics and metal to achieve unique designs coveted by avant-garde, fashion-forward personalities.
Along with Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea, Beyoncé and Madonna, I have been a fan of Chromat’s work for a while now and jumped at the opportunity to see them in action. One may think that there is not much more you can improve or expand upon when dealing with a specific technique like body caging (especially when the look has been copied by so many other brands) but the reaches of the mind of a designer are limitless and Chromat has once again come up with edgy newness worthy of excitement in addition to fresh updates on some of the old favorites.
In addition to architectural neoprene, flashes of neon trim and asymmetrically slashed bodices, they have now expanded to include plus sized looks up to a size 20 and presented on curvy beauty Denise Bidot for the runway. These new size offerings have garnered a lot of praise on social media with hopes of seeing other labels and fashion models follow their lead catering to all sizes of fashionistas.
I’d love to hear about any other fashion events you’ve attended lately! Are there any other events you would like to see us cover?