- 10% off all lingerie at MEME w/ code April13 (ends 4/28)
- 10% off bridal collection at Vienne Milano w/ code WEDDING2013
- 20% off Ayten Gassen at Kiss Me Deadly w/ code 20SPRING
- 25% off at top 32 brands at HerRoom (ends 4/21)
- 25% off at Bare Necessities (ends 4/22)
- 30% off lingerie at Vevetrois w/ code SXYLINGERIE
- 50% off Wolford hosiery at Journelle
- Up to 50% off at Dirty Pretty Things
- 70% off lingerie at ASOS
- Sample sale at Starkers Corsetry
- Sale at Between the Sheets
- Sale at What Katie Did
About a year ago, the most famous lingerie brand in the world – Victoria’s Secret – launched a brand new, high-end Designer Collection. With prices of up to $300US for a sheer lace merrywidow, The Victoria’s Secret Designer Collection was meant to be an answer to the market’s renewed demand for luxury lingerie. And in fact Victoria’s Secret booted out all the luxury lingerie designers they’d been carrying up to that point to make room…designers like Ell & Cee, Lola Haze, Mimi Holliday, Lascivious, Bordelle, and Yes Master.
Unsurprisingly, there was a lot of hype surrounding the new range; WWD even reported a mass sell-out of the first collection. But since then there’s been almost no news on the VS Designer Collections. The F/W 2012 range received comparatively little press, and I haven’t heard anything about a S/S 2013 or F/W 2013 collection for this year.
I did have the opportunity to view a large portion of the Designer Collection during a November trip to Manhattan, and it all looked pretty enough. If I hadn’t been focused on a mission, I may have even tried on a few pieces. But nothing was exceptional. None of the lingerie really ‘spoke’ to me. And, even for the items I liked, I couldn’t help thinking that I could find similar pieces at similar prices (and probably better quality) from independent designers. Now that everything’s on sale, I may try an item or two. But then again, there is so much gorgeous lingerie out there this season…why use my budget on Victoria’s Secret?
Even a search for “Designer Collection” on the Victoria’s Secret website yields no results. Any pieces left over from last year’s ranges are hidden away in the clearance section…unlinked and unloved (VS isn’t even linking their clearance Designer Collection bras to the matching panties). All signs seem to indicate that Victoria’s Secret has abandoned it’s Designer Collection. That makes me wonder if, after the initial hype from the PR blitz, customers just weren’t interested in purchasing their high-end underthings from Victoria’s Secret. Or perhaps, after years of quality control issues, Victoria’s Secret simply couldn’t meet the more stringent demands of customers who regularly purchase luxury lingerie. Of course, there’s always the possibility the company could simply be regrouping to issue another luxury collection later on this year…but wouldn’t there be at least a little buzz going on if that was the case? I just don’t know.
So…what do you think? Was Victoria’s Secret’s Designer Collection all hype and no substance? Did you purchase any Designer Collection pieces for yourself? Would you be willing to try them now that they’re on clearance? Or should Victoria’s Secret just stick to what it does best?
If you are interested in buying something from the Designer Collection (perhaps before it disappears for good), I’ve linked to a few pieces I like below. Matching knickers and other items can be found separately within the Clearance section of the website.
Who can resist the January sales? I most certainly can’t. Here’s just a few of the bargains I snapped up from last season and my thoughts on them!
All images by Karolina Laskowska unless otherwise credited
FYI by Dani Read ‘Despote’ bra and briefs
The ‘Despote’ set, image by FYI by Dani Read
FYI by Dani Read is one of the brands that I’ve been admiring from afar for a while now – after all, leather and spikes are right up my street when it comes to design aesthetics! Unfortunately, I faced the usual issue of student budgeting and could only dream of owning a set.
Imagine my glee then when I spied the ‘Despote’ set at the Coco de Mer sale for a fraction of its original price… Filk chiffon paired with patent leather caging and black spikes? Yes please! I snapped it up and waited impatiently for my order to arrive. I ordered a 32C bra and Medium brief, the closest sizes to what I usually wear. The bra retailed at $156 and the brief at $108. Whilst the bra is sold out, the brief is available here.
Unfortunately, I was left feeling a little deflated by the garments that arrived. Whilst the set still looks a damn sight cooler than most of the lingerie out on the market, I just didn’t feel the quality or fit were quite up to scratch. The leather cage structure doesn’t offer much adjustment and seems to follow a very straight shape, leave an unattractive bulge in the back of the garment. Considering the set as boudoir pieces, I’m able to forgive the less than perfect fit on the bust – after all, with those spiked shoulder straps I don’t think I’ll be fitting any t-shirts over this bra any time soon!
The leather strapping on the briefs has a an elasticated panel and adjustable gold sliders, whilst the strap placement is particularly flattering for those of us with larger hips, sitting on top of them instead of cutting into them. The cut of the briefs at the back is a little off though – I couldn’t get the material to sit flat and so had to make do with it bunching together!
Overall I was a little disappointed by the set, though I suppose my issues are always a danger when ordering over the internet without actually seeing the product in person. Nevertheless, it’s still a very striking lingerie set, and most certainly incredibly different to most of other luxury brands on the market – for all its faults I’m sure it will still be making many an appearance in the bedroom!
Lascivious Lila bra and Isla briefs
The ‘Isla’ set, image by Lascivious
Lascivious‘ classic Lila bra has been a part of my collection for quite some time now – and I’ve been looking out for matching briefs ever since! The Isla briefs were another lucky steal at the Coco De Mer sale and go almost perfectly with the Lila bra. I purchased a 32C Lila bra and M Isla briefs.
The Lila bra is an open cup with sheer gathered mesh detail above the bust. The Isla briefs are made of powernet, with similar gathered mesh details on the hip panels, with patent eyelet tape and elastic details. There’s silver hooks and eyes going down the centre back of the briefs and removable suspender straps. The bra retails for £86 here and the briefs for £112 here.
For a cupless bra, the fit is very good – the wire encases the breast well whilst the underband is comfortably tight and the mesh detailing is flattering. Obviously for a bra of this style support isn’t an issue!
Overall the briefs are a good fit, with the mesh detail on the hip sitting flatteringly high. The high-waist also means that the suspenders actually keep your stockings up, making this the very first pair of suspender knickers that do what they’re supposed to!
My only issue with these briefs is the hook and eye fastening at the back. There’s no delicate way to put this, but itreally hurts. The hooks are surprisingly sharp and there isn’t any layer between them and your skin, so wearing these for more than a few minutes because incredibly uncomfortable. I’m a little heartbroken about this – these are truly gorgeous knickers and I’d been hoping to wear them on an everyday basis but it’s just not feasible! Luckily the set’s gorgeous enough to qualify as boudoir-only – where, let’s be honest, comfort isn’t completely necessary.
Edit (06/03/13) – I’ve since been informed that the Isla knickers that I purchased had a manufacturing fault – the hooks that had been causing the discomfort had been sewn in the wrong way round – they should have been facing away from the body.
Jenny Packham silk & lace robe
Lace trim robe by Jenny Packham, image by Harrods
Jenny Packham is one of those designers whose lingerie I’ve often admired from a distance – whilst many of her designs are beautiful, the price tags can make the eyes water somewhat. I was very lucky in acquiring this robe – as a current season piece it still hasn’t reached the sale, so it was a chance ebay find that led it into my posession. It’s a simple enough piece, made of silk satin with a lace trim along the neckline and sleeves.
The robe that I managed to get is a size Large (I would ordinarily opt for a Medium), however as a piece of loose-fitting loungewear I don’t feel it causes any major issues. The bra retails for £739 and can be purchased here.
Funnily enough, I don’t feel that there’s much I can really say about this robe. Overall, it’s very pretty – there’s a lovely lace trim along the sleeves and neckline. The kimono style sleeves and full skirt are fun to swoosh around in and the tie waist is flattering But that’s about all I can say about the garment. It’s pretty, but it’s not special. It’s not made by artisans and finished imbeccably – the lace appliqué is machined on and it is made in China (this isn’t a knock at China – I’d just expect a garment at this price point to have more expensive labour costs).
As with most premium and luxury lingerie, you are paying for the name rather than the lingerie itself. There’s nothing wrong with the robe, but I just can’t see how it justfies the £739 price tag. For that sort of money I would personally want something unusual and impeccably crafted – though that’s just not the way that the industry works.
Readers – did you manage to catch any bargains in the sales? Have you tried any of the designers above?
- 10% off at Pampered Passions w/ code SAVE10
- 15% off when you buy 2 Nylonica stockings at StockingsHQ
- 20% off at Made by Niki (ends 11/9/12)
- 20% off when you buy 2 leggings from Yummie w/ code buy2andsave20
- 20% off select Felina and Parfait by Affinitas items at HerRoom
- 20% off at Babygirl Boutique with code VOTE12 (ends 11/6/12)
- 25% off at Frederick’s of Hollywood
- 30% off winter tights at Pretty Polly w/ code WARMERS30 (ends 11/6/12)
- Up to 40% off lingerie and hosiery at Nordstrom’s Half Yearly Sale
- Buy one, get one half off on Pretty Polly Nylons at MyTights (ends 11/7/12)
- Free shipping at Journelle Lingerie (11/4/12)
- Free shipping on all orders at Bare Necessities (ends 11/12/12)
- Cosabella lingerie on sale at Gilt. (Ends 11/4/12)
- Hanky Panky, Between the Sheets, Mimi Holiday and Cosabella Lingerie on sale at MyHabit. (End times vary)
- Sale on Cosabella lingerie at MyHabit starting on Monday, 11/5/12
- New sale items at Secrets in Lace
- 15% Off Claudette’s New Leopard Print Bra at Butterfly Collection
- 20% off Simone Perele at HerRoom (regular priced items only)
- 25% off sleepwear for women and men at Bare Necessities
- 30% off treats at Fleur of England. See link for details on how to receive discount (Ends 11/1/12)
- 50% off entire purchase (excluding Fall 2012 items) at Lola Haze w/ the code LolaSpookySexy50 (ends 10/30/12)
- Up to 75% off new sale additions at MyTights (while supplies last)
- Free shipping all weekend at PEEK Brooklyn w/ code TrickTreat
- New ‘Buy One, Get One’ offers at Dollhouse Bettie (while supplies last)
- New sale lingerie additions at Nordstrom
- New sale lingerie additions at The Outnet
- $10 off with purchase of $50 or more at In Bloom By Jonquil w/ code Willow
- 15% off discount code if you like True & Co. on Facebook
- 15% off sale items at ASOS with code MIDSEASON15 (ends 10/21/12)
- 25% off Jezebel at HerRoom
- 30% all Petit Secrets items at Esty Lingerie while supplies last
- 50% off entire purchase (excluding Fall 2012 items) at Lola Haze w/ the code LolaSpookySexy50 (ends 10/30/12)
- Free shipping and free returns on Wacoal at Bare Necessities w/ code FRTC12W (ends 11/9/12)
- Register by 10/24/12 to gain exclusive access to La Perla’s private sale on 10/25/12
- Sample Sale on Starkers! Corsetry corsets (sign into Facebook to access). While supplies last
- Receive a True Bra Care Kit with purchase at True&Co w/ code TRUEKIT
$220 bras for $30, $650 basques for $130, $1390 gowns for $250…Agent Provocateur’s having a flash sale, and it’s a good one!
Sale ends Sunday, September 23rd. Previous season’s merchandise only. While supplies last.
(Shown above: The Sidonie Basque, which I’ve had my eye on for quite a long time)