All this week I’m in New York City attending two of the most important conventions in my niche, CurvExpo and BlogHer. While many people are familiar with BlogHer, far fewer know about Curve. Curve is an international lingerie and swimwear trade show where many of the brands you know and love (along with lots you don’t!) exhibit their latest collections.
Though primarily geared towards lingerie buyers, Curve is also a great place for lingerie bloggers. I ran into both Krista from The Lingerie Post and Luis from The Lingerie Journal several times today, and we had some great conversation about trends we’re noticing and new brands we like. Here are some of the highlights from my very first day at Curve. Photo: Aubade
2011 marks the “Return of the Lady.” Every collection I saw had an overtly feminine tone, with an emphasis on intricate details like knife pleating and decorative seams. A vintage look is definitely still in style, but designers are updating the look for a modern silhouette. Photo: Les Jupons de Tess
Color is also a big deal for the next few seasons. Think jewel toned fuschia, teal, and sapphire (Fleur of England and La Fee Verte were excellent examples of this) along with soft pastel blush, coral, and mint green (look for these colors from Brulee and Between the Sheets). Photos: Brulee, Between the Sheets
There were also some gorgeous handpainted robes from Samantha Chang (L) and Christine Designs (R).
Speaking of fabrics, lingerie for the next couple of seasons is all about silk, silk, and more silk. Silk satin, silk charmeuse, silk chiffon…the soft fabric absolutely complements the elegance of the designs. I’m very excited about all three of these trends.
Designers to Watch:
One of the other benefits of Curve is that I’m introduced to a bunch of new designers I’ve not heard of before and then I get to bring the names of those designers here to you. I’ve gotten lots of e-mail requests lately for more brands targeting both curvy women and petite women, and I also ran across a few brands doing some really unique and innovative things with lingerie. Of course, I’m crazy excited to share all those new discoveries with you here.
Curvy: Alegro (pictured right) and Two Figs are two brands I think my voluptuous readers will adore. Alegro is a great line for pretty, sexy, lacey basics at a reasonable price. Two Figs is brand new in the world of lingerie, but I’m already in love with their silky nightgowns, chemises, and lounge pants. I’m also really pleased with Hanky Panky’s expanded selection of lingerie sizes. I had the chance to look over some of their boyshorts and thongs (available up to size 24) and thought they were very flattering . It was obvious Hanky Panky took the time to think about a woman’s curves, rather than just taking their misses size knickers and making them “big.”
Petite: Lula Lu Petites really stood out to me in the underserved small bra market. Not only does her sizing start at AAA, I thought her products were very well made. After all, women with slender busts deserve gorgeous lingerie too.
Hosiery: It goes without saying that I can’t attend a lingerie convention without paying special attention to the hosiery department (after all, I did used to be the Stockings Addict). I was able to stop by booths for Cervin, Gerbe, & Pretty Polly and they all had items I felt were worth paying attention to.
For Cervin, it was this Rivoli garter belt…a soft, basic, everyday suspender belt perfect for holding up your stockings in the bedroom or outside of it.
For Gerbe, it was these marvelous backseam tights with an art-deco style fancy heel (you know this would look amazing with a pencil skirt and sky high pumps!). Another pair of tights from them I’ve nicknamed “mermaid scales” come in a close second.
Finally, for Pretty Polly, it was their new diffusion line which combines the best of their fashion-forward Henry Holland tights with classic, timeless nylon looks. Pretty Polly is pushing hard to get a foothold in the U.S. market and I expect them to turn up in a store near you very soon.
Random Hotness: Last but not least, there’s one new designer I met today who I’m quite keen on. Her name is Lola Haze and she’s bringing a much-needed punk/rockstar/counter culture vibe to the world of lingerie. I’m talking neon-colored chemises, hand-painted teddies, and slips with (I kid you not) deliberately burned out holes in them.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the classic looks as much as the next person, but I am so happy that someone’s coming and shaking things up…even if only a little bit. Lola Haze also has the distinct honor of being one of two shops that has a piece I’d like to buy for my personal collection when the show is over (you can see the other piece on my Facebook).