Posts with tag "lace"

5 Lingerie Brands I Want to Try in 2015

It’s not going to shock anyone when I say this, but I have a pretty extensive lingerie collection. While some of my purchases do wind up on TLA as lingerie reviews (speaking of which, I plan to get back to doing those soon), the vast majority of what I buy never makes it onto the blog. Rather, I just add it to my general lingerie body of knowledge. That way, when a reader asks me about the fit or quality or customer service of a particular brand or store, I have a well-informed answer to give.

Still, despite my gallery of intimates (yes, I’m referring to my underwear like a museum collection), there are a few brands I’ve not yet managed to get my hands on. While there are, of course, dozens I want to try, the five names in this article are the ones I’m most looking forward to sampling in 2015.

Alexandrea Anissa

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I’ve had my eye on Alexandrea Anissa for a few seasons now. While the label does specialize in fairly unstructured garments, like bralettes, there’s just something I find very viscerally exciting about this new, indie designer. I see these pieces, and I instantly want them…which is something I cannot say for every lingerie brand. Alexandrea Anissa also produced one of my  favorite lookbooks of 2014. I’m excited to see where this label goes; I believe they have that “it” factor.

Paloma Casile

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Paloma Casile is a French lingerie designer that I honestly don’t hear much about. I see the brand’s work often (mostly because I follow them on Instagram), but they’re a rather quiet label. Despite their under-the-radar approach to marketing, I’m ecstatic that several high-end lingerie boutiques already carry this brand – notably Jane’s Vanity and Nancy Meyer. Paloma Casile’s airy emphasis on lace pushes all the right buttons for me. There’s something I find very classic, yet also very approachable about their body of work. I tend not to be obsessed with French lingerie companies, but I’m very much looking forward to trying at least one piece from Paloma Casile soon.

Carine Gilson

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While I’m on the subject of luxury lingerie, let’s go ahead and talk about Carine Gilson. Carine Gilson is the most established brand on this list, both in terms of industry longevity and name familiarity. Their work is world-renowned for fitting the highest standards of true luxury lingerie, and their pieces use construction techniques that have been all but phased out of the typical lingerie brand. In fact, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a single Carine Gilson piece I didn’t like. This is a designer that almost everyone agrees is one of the best in the world. And, for the first time since I’ve started blogging about lingerie, I feel like I’m knowledgeable enough to truly appreciate their work.

La Lilouche

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La Lilouche is an indie designer we’ve been talking about for years on TLA, and I’ve been a solid fan of their innovative designers for just as long. But I think this year is the year I finally commit to buying something. It’s very exciting to watch designers I’ve known since the very beginning grow and change and develop their unique brand voice, and La Lilouche has a very individualized perspective I don’t see from any other label. I have roughly six La Lilouche items saved to my favorites on Etsy right now, and I think it’s time to buy at least one.

Ewa Michalak

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Ewa Michalak is the darling of the full bust community, and is perhaps best known for customizing bras in hard-to-find band sizes like 26 and 28. They’re also famous for their exceptionally size-diverse group of models (showing how the product varies on different body types), and for passionately standing up in their own defense when they feel certain customer complaints are unfair (which can be a shock, particularly if you’re used to American-style “the customer is always right” service) Though I’ve known about Ewa Michalak for awhile now, I just haven’t bitten the metaphorical bullet and tried a set. Yet I’ve been visiting their site more often lately, and I’m ready to to see what everyone else is raving about.

Are they any lingerie brands you’re especially excited about trying this year? I’d love to hear! Please share them in the comments.

Cora

Cora

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in a small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, it's become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and has been featured on the websites for Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

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Lingerie Lust Objects: La Perla Tea Rose Bodysuit

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It’s hard to describe just how much I love lace right now. I’ve mentioned a few times around here that there’s this whole, rich world of textiles which has recently opened up to me (primarily through obsessively talking with other lingerie people about fabric), and, quite suddenly, I appreciate lace and embroidery and silk and tulle more than I ever imagined possible.

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For lace especially, there’s something bewitching about all those tiny threads woven into a delicate, ethereal pattern. There’s this wonderful interplay of revealing and concealing, of fragility and strength, of technicality and sensuality, present in lace in a way I’m not quite sure exists other lingerie materials. It’s absolutely enchanting, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of this effect.

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La Perla’s Tea Rose Bodysuit is basically my fantasy lingerie piece. It’s yards of stunning lace made into a garment that’s just as perfect for innerwear as it is outerwear. I’m no stylist, but you could wear this for so many occasions: date night, cocktails, evening dinner. And yes, obviously, you can wear this in the bedroom, as well.  Honestly, at $1415, I highly encourage wearing this La Perla bodysuit at every single available opportunity. Throw it on when you’re grocery shopping, I don’t care. Make it your signature piece.

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While the bodysuit itself is completely sheer (save for the stretch tulle on the bottom), it does come with a beautiful racerback bra that’s meant to be worn underneath (shown below). Really, I just think of it as getting a bonus La Perla bra that I can wear with anything…because how killer would that lace look peeking out from underneath a low-backed top this spring? Luxury lingerie is supposed to be impactful; that’s one of the things you’re paying for at this price point. And La Perla delivers.

la perla tea rose bodysuit braPerhaps unsurprisingly, the La Perla Tea Rose Bodysuit is selling out very quickly. Only Size 1 is still available at Journelle, and there are low quantities of sizes 1, 2, and 3 at Net-a-Porter currently (size 4 is completely sold out). On the La Perla website itself, only a size 34B appears to be available. You’ll have to check the La Perla size chart to see how that lines up with the usual 1, 2, 3, 4, sizing, but I imagine it’s one of the smaller sizes. Lastly, Nancy Meyer also has 34B and 36B in stock. At any rate, this is an heirloom piece and a boudoir investment. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one, then I consider you very fortunate indeed.

What do you think of La Perla’s Tea Rose Bodysuit? Would you wear it?

Cora

Cora

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in a small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, it's become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and has been featured on the websites for Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

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New Year’s Lingerie Giveaway, pt. 1: SJ Lingerie Bodysuit

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Pearl Bodysuit – Featuring intricate French lace with a scalloped peek-hole detail down the front with a pearl at each join, this stunning Pearl bodysuit is a must-have piece for the boudoir.

2014 is almost over, but there’s just enough time to start two more lingerie giveaways before the end of the year. As I’ve mentioned in previous sweepstakes posts, I love being able to collaborate with brands and give my readers access to some truly special items. (you know, the kind lingerie addicts like to dream about). And the luxury label SJ Lingerie is one such brand.

Based out of Australia, SJ Lingerie (formerly known as Sally Jones Lingerie), specializes in bold and provocative intimate apparel made from the finest laces and fabrics sourced from around the world. All items are made on the Gold Coast of Australia, and this company has already made waves in the intimate apparel industry with strikingly beautiful ranges like their Raw and Pearl collections.

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Vixen Bodysuit – The Vixen bodysuit embodies French femininity with luxurious black stretch lace that feels like butter on your skin and a show-stopping scalloped peek-hole feature down the front.

But what exactly is SJ Lingerie giving away, right? Well, my dear readers, the winner has their choice of any 1 of the 4 bodysuits shown in this post. Considering how beautiful all of SJ Lingerie’s bodysuits are, I can’t even begin describe how awesome that is. Well…awesome and hard because how can anyone possibly pick a favorite?

All four bodysuits are available in sizes XS-L (with the Pearl bodysuit and the Raw bodysuit available in up to an XL), and they retail in price from $150 to $189 USD. Speaking as someone who owns the Pearl bodysuit in size L (review coming next year!), I found the fit to be very generous, and I think it could easily accommodate someone who’s at least a size beyond the given range.

Raw bodysuit, Marilyn

Raw Bodysuit – The Raw bodysuit creates an eye-catching piece for inner or outerwear with its sheer Italian tulle, black lace appliqué (in all the right places), and a plunging low back.

Ready for the details on how to enter? Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Leave a comment with your favorite item from SJ Lingerie. (This entry is required.)
  2. Like SJ Lingerie on Facebook.
  3. Follow The Lingerie Addict on Pinterest.
  4. Like The Lingerie Addict on Facebook.
  5. Sign up for the Very Important Addict mailing list.

As usual, the first entry of leaving a blog post comment is required. All other entries are optional, and you only need to do them if you’d like to increase your chances of winning. The SJ Lingerie giveaway is open internationally, and TLA readers around the world may enter.

Entrants must use the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of the post so their entries can be accurate checked and recorded. Failure to use the Rafflecopter widget nullifies your entries. Finally, please remember to leave a valid email address that you check regularly as you’ll be contacted via email you if you win.

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Neoteric Bodysuit – The Neoteric bodysuit features delicate European lace panels with a deep v neckline and a beige underlining within the cups for extra support and coverage. Designed for inner or outer wear.

Terms and Conditions:  The giveaway winner will be chosen at random and posted publicly to The Lingerie Addict by Friday, January 9, 2015. In addition, a private email will be sent to the winner of the giveaway and SJ Lingerie on the same date. The giveaway winner must respond by Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 6:00 pm PST to claim their prize or a new winner will be chosen. Entering this giveaway indicates an acceptance of all terms and conditions. Neither The Lingerie Addict nor SJ Lingerie can be held responsible for failure to read or follow the guidelines given in this blog post. Facebook, Pinterest, Aweber, and Rafflecopter are unaffiliated with this giveaway. Persons working for The Lingerie Addict and SJ Lingerie as well as their immediate family members are ineligible to enter or win.

And that’s it! Thank you for reading The Lingerie Addict and best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cora

Cora

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in a small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, it's become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and has been featured on the websites for Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

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Sale Lingerie of the Week: Rosamosario Chantilly Lace Jumpsuit

Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links.

rosamosario chantilly lace jumpsuit
This is almost certainly the last “Sale Lingerie of the Week” feature until 2015, and so, in commemoration (and celebration!) of 2014, I wanted to end on a somewhat extravagant note.

I love featuring luxury lingerie in the weekly sales spotlight. Some of that’s a matter of personal taste (I cannot lie; I love silk and lace), but some of that’s also because I want to share the thrill of the hunt with you. There’s something very gratifying about stalking some opulent, expensive, seductive creation online (the kind that’s wayyyy outside of your price range), only to discover one day that it’s been put on sale and is now definitely within your price range. Of course, that whole price range thing varies by the consumer, but if your budget is $400 or so and you happen to wear an extra small and you’ve been raving a red Chantilly lace jumpsuit…let me introduce you to Rosamosario.

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This is the kind of piece that should really just be paired with a skintone bodysuit and worn out of doors. I mean, you’re literally dripping in yards and yards of scarlet lace; it seems a shame to keep all the lusciousness to yourself. When I imagine visiting my Italian villa, the one with the vineyards and the olive trees, this is what I lounge in on my divan.

As I mentioned a couple of paragraphs ago, this jumpsuit is only available in size XS now (sale items almost always have limited availability; that’s the nature of the sale), but if you dig Rosamosario’s aesthetic, I’d also take a look at the strapless Chantilly lace chemise shown below. It’s a little bit more than the jumpsuit (roughly $70 or so), but there’s one left in sizes small, medium, and large, respectively. Again, I’d buy a black bodysuit or maybe even a matte opaque shaping dress and wear this to dinner. This much gorgeous lace deserves to be seen.

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rosamosario strapless chantilly lace chemise

Finally, just to check in very quickly, how do you feel about these sale lingerie of the week features? Are they useful? Are there certain things you want to see? Do you want them to happen more frequently or have more items? Please let me know your thoughts.

Cora

Cora

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in a small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, it's become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and has been featured on the websites for Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

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Sale Lingerie of the Week: Fleur of England ‘Hot Chocolate’ Satin & Lace Chemise

Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links.

fleur of england silk chemise hot chocolate

One of the things most people don’t realize about the world of lingerie is that, like the rest of fashion, intimate apparel runs in seasons (in fact, I’m already receiving my first A/W 2015 lookbooks right now). But unlike the rest of fashion, lingerie never truly goes out of style. If you’re wearing last years colors or prints…who cares? And out of season lingerie is a great opportunity to try some fresh colors, styles, or brands you may not have considered otherwise.

fleur of england silk chemise 3The luxury label Fleur of England is a longtime TLA fave. I love this brand’s textiles, and photographs really don’t do justice to quality of silks and laces they select. How can you adequately convey silk that feels like warm oil in a picture? You can’t. The hot chocolate colorway was one of their new tones for this year, and as a woman with deep brown skin, I’m smitten with it. Brown is not an especially popular fashion color for most lingerie brands, but I am in love with the idea of having a high-end “nude” or neutral for loungewear.

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Fleur of England’s silk satin & lace chemise is available in sizes S, M, and L (I’d say I likely max out around a large in Fleur of England’s size chart), and is on sale for $149 (down from $250). Obviously, this not a “cheap” lingerie purchase. Fleur of England is really not trying to capture the $50 and under market. But if you’ve had your eye on this brand for awhile and $150 is a better fit for your budget than $250, I definitely recommend picking this up while you can. The Fleur of England website itself very rarely has sales.

Do you own any Fleur of England? If so, what do you think of it?

Cora

Cora

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in a small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, it's become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and has been featured on the websites for Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
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Lingerie Market Spring/Summer 2015: Styles and Trends for Next Season (Designers A-K)

Editor’s Note: As you’ve no doubt noticed, this year’s trend report is exceptionally late. There are reasons for that, both personal and professional, but I feel it’s very probable that no one wants to hear about the varied and assorted details of my life.  So while I do want to acknowledge that this year’s post is very tardy (lingerie market happened back in August), I also feel it’d be best to jump right into all the good stuff that’s coming out next season. I apologize for the delay, and I hope you enjoy the pictures! For another take on next season’s trends, check out Sweet Nothing NYC’s Spring/Summer 2015 Roundup.

All photos copyright of The Lingerie Addict.

Angela Friedman:

Angela Friedman’s Spring/Summer Collection promises richly textured, yet breezy, pastels. Though she’s perhaps best known for her corsetry (which, as usual, is exquisite), I find myself paying more and more attention to the lingerie and loungewear side of her business nowadays. A particular standout for me is the blue and blush striped bra and panty set below. While the pattern is reminiscent of vintage lingerie, the styling is thoroughly modern.

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Asceno

Asceno, formerly known as Beautiful Bottoms, has emerged as a designer to watch in the world of lingerie, sleepwear, and swim. The brand is attempting to be taken more seriously as a lifestyle label (thus the dropping of the old name), and I think these new, sophisticated, prismatic patterns are a definite step in the right direction. Apart from lingerie, I’d love to see this print on a maillot.

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Babajaan

Babajaan is a newer brand attempting to make inroads into the luxury swimwear/resort wear market, a segment of the industry that is rapidly growing and highly profitable. Designed in London and made in Brazil and Italy, their designs strike me as rather simple, but I do appreciate the way their suits play with rich textures and subtle detailing. It’s still hard for new brands to make it, but I’m interested in seeing where Babajaan goes in the next few seasons.

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Blush Lingerie

Though I haven’t talked about them often on TLA, Blush Lingerie is an amazing brand for price-conscious lingerie addicts. They specialize in fashionable prints and styles that aren’t too “out there” for the everyday consumer, and with the launch of their new e-commerce boutique, Blush is poised to be an even bigger player in the intimate apparel space. If this isn’t a brand you’ve noticed before, I recommend taking a look now.

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Cheek Frills:

Cheek Frills is a lingerie/loungewear line out of the UK specializing in ultra-comfortable undies. Their modal fabric is second-to-none, and this is a company that I desperately want to see in department stores all over the US. People are becoming more and more interested in loungewear; it’d be nice to see more than usual 5 or 6 companies on department store racks in the States.

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 Christine Lingerie:

Based in Canada, Christine Lingerie is a brand that I had to learn to appreciate. While I’ve always been into silk and lace, it wasn’t until recently that I could really see myself in this company’s designs (a function of growing older, perhaps?). Since then, however, I’ve been an earnest fan. Christine Lingerie isn’t a company you go to for groundbreaking, revolutionary, garments. But if you’re into classic, sensuous loungewear, they’re one of the best.

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Chromat:

With the tagline “structural experiments for the human body,” Chromat has rapidly become a fashion industry fave, appearing everywhere from major fashion magazines to Beyoncé performances. I’m admittedly a bit tired of the strappy aesthetic (it’s becoming as overdone as retro/pinup lingerie was a few years ago), but I’ve had nowhere near my fill of Chromat’s designs. I’m very excited about where this company’s “experiments” are going next.

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Dollhouse Bettie:

One of my most favorite brands from this last market season, I left Dollhouse Bettie’s booth completely in awe of their in-house designs. This boutique-turned-brand is a company with a very well-honed point of view. Their lingerie is not only gorgeous, it’s also ethically-constructed, very high quality, and available at an jaw-droppingly amazing price point (seriously, major value here for true lingerie aficionados). I loved everything, and if you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, start here.

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Edge O’beyond:

I was very surprised to see the brand new UK label Edge O’Beyond at Curve this year (they hadn’t even officially launched their first collection yet at the time of market!). Getting a new lingerie brand off the ground is wildly expensive, far more than I think most people realize. Their first collection received some positive press, and while I do see a lot of promise from their second collection (the tulle bra and panty set below was a particular standout), I’m always worried when new brands try to get a foothold in a conservative. I hope the gamble pays off.

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Elila:

Elila is a plus size and full bust lingerie specialist and one of the few companies offering off the rack bras up to a 54 band size (they also make bras in up to an N cup). With an emphasis on well-fitting undergarments for a traditionally underserved market, Elila produces sturdy, functional lingerie that’s meant to stand up to the rigors of daily wear. Nowadays, they’re also branching into more fashion-forward ensembles, like the beautiful cream embroidered set below – one of the best looks from this season’s market.

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Elle Macpherson:

Since Bendon no longer has the Elle Macpherson license (their next partnership will be with Heidi Klum instead), I imagine you may see these styles tagged as Heidi Klum Intimates in the near future – assuming they’re not discontinued entirely, of course. Elle Macpherson Intimates is (was?) a steady, dependable brand consumers could rely on for pretty lingerie at a friendly price point. They were one of the first designer labels I tried, and I’d still recommend them today. The white eyelet set in particular was a definite standout for the summer months.

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Else Lingerie:

Sometime within the last year, Else Lingerie became a real brand to watch for me. I think they have the capability to make it as a major label (they would be perfect for the more well-known department stores), and design-wise, I’d put them in a similar category to Elle Macpherson, Huit, or Stella McCartney. The emphasis is on beautiful, yet accessible, lingerie. The satin teddy below was one of my favorite pieces from this season’s lingerie market, and I sincerely hope it gets picked up by all the best boutiques next year.

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Empreinte:

There are two words that come to mind for me when discussing Empreinte Lingerie: 1) luxury and 2) fit. Empreinte is a European full bust specialist and they combine some truly amazing textiles (look at the blush set below!!!) with a particular dedication to perfection. Think of this as high-end comfort…especially if you’re a woman who wears a larger cup size.

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Evollove:

Another of the Bendon brands (along with Elle Macpherson, Stella McCartney, and Pleasure State), Evollove doesn’t have a firm foothold in the Unted States yet. The brand is a D-G cup specialist with an emphasis on trendier aspects of lingerie like color, print, and texture. The full bust market is an area that can always use more options, and it’d be nice to see Evollove take off in a way its sister brands have stateside.

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Fantasie:

Another full bust specialist, Fantasie Lingerie (which is also an Eveden brand) consistently releases sophisticated, refined bra sets for women in fuller bust sizes. Their classic, lace overlay Ivana range is a favorite of mine, and I was very happy with this sneak preview for next season. The two sets immediately below this paragraph were among my top choices from the entire market tradeshow, and I’ll be quite disappointed if they don’t make an appearance in my favorite lingerie boutiques.

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Freya:

Another brand from the Eveden family, Freya also specializes in full bust sizes, manufacturing bras up to a K cup. The floral print bra set immediately below was a strong market standout for me, and I also thought their swim range was especially fun and exciting. It’s nice to see Freya stretching their boundaries a little when it comes to color and print.

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Goddess:

The plus sized specialist in the Eveden family, Goddess produces bras in up to a 50 back size and N cup size. Traditionally, Goddess is not to be the most fashion forward of Eveden’s brands, so it was very exciting to see the company pushing into lighter, more romantic colors and patterns for Spring/Summer 2015. I’m a fan of all three looks below.

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Harlow and Fox:

I am really, impossibly excited for Harlow & Fox and I have been since their debut. While there are plenty of luxury lingerie options for women in the B-D size range, there are pitifully few for fuller busted women (i.e. those who wear DD cups and up), and Harlow & Fox is seeking to fill that niche. Having seen the collections in person several times, I am amazed at the quality of fabric and attention to detail this brand exhibits. A top pick for me from the entire market season was the floral robe below. I plan on buying one as soon as possible.

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Huit:

Huit is Eveden’s only brand for smaller busts (i.e. below D cup, though the company also makes some styles in up to F), and is also, in my opinion, their most fashion-forward label.  Two of the most exciting things I saw at market this season were the embroidered sets below. This is amazingly avant-garde, not just for Huit, but for the industry in general, and I hope to see these looks featured in a few editorial shoots next year.

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Jane Woolrich:

A staple of the luxury lingerie world, Jane Woolrich is a brand with a classic vision of silk nightgowns and lace peignoirs. Now that I’ve been bouncing around tradeshows for a few years now, I have tremendous respect for any designer that deliberately bucks trends and fads and sticks to their own aesthetic, which, in Jane Woolrich’s case, means timeless, elegant lingerie. I fully admit to not really understanding this label when I first became a lingerie blogger, but now I am undoubtedly a fan. This is perfect for swanning around your drafty, countryside estate (whether it’s a real estate or simply the one in your dreams).

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KissKill Lingerie:

This Australian upstart label is making waves in the luxury lingerie world through their use of risque fabrics and provocative silhouettes (combined with silks that feel liquid against the skin and laces that look like something out of the 19th century). There’s something just a little bit edgy and devil-may-care about KissKill Lingerie, and I sincerely hope they keep pushing in that direction. It’s nice to see a brand that doesn’t take itself so seriously.

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What are some of your favorite looks and brands from Part 1 of the Lingerie Market Trend Report? Any standouts or must-haves for you?

Cora

Cora

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in a small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, it's become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and has been featured on the websites for Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

More Posts - Website

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Review + DIY: Velvet Heart Lace Socks

Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

"Lithe Is But a Dream" lace socks from Velvet Heart via ModCloth

“Lithe Is But a Dream” lace socks from Velvet Heart via ModCloth

I’m not much of a fancy sock person – San Francisco is a leggings and tights kind of city. But it’s definitely been getting warmer, summer’s been getting longer, and I’ve been trying to mix up my wardrobe in general, so I fell in love with the idea of these lace socks.  Unfortunately, the reality fell far short. The issue is definitely one of quality rather than design – I still think the socks are adorable and am hoping to at least squeeze a photoshoot out of them before they fall apart.

"Lithe Is But a Dream" lace socks from Velvet Heart via ModCloth

“Lithe Is But a Dream” lace socks from Velvet Heart via ModCloth

I bought the socks from ModCloth, knowing full well they were a final sale/no returns item. When they arrived, I admired the cute cardstock packaging, wrapped with a grosgrain ribbon, detailing care instructions (machine wash cold, tumble dry low), and of course, the original brand name: Velvet Heart. Luckily I saved the label otherwise I completely would’ve forgotten that information for this review, as ModCloth always conceals original brand names.  Velvet Heart still has the socks available in a handful of colors.  (Don’t be confused by their product image: it’s a technical drawing, not an actual photograph of the sock or even the same lace.)

I slipped them on to pop down the block to run an errand at work. Even just trying them on they seemed awfully snug. I have small feet, size 6, standard width, so that was a bit surprising.  Baring my knees, I wore them with a simple dress and black pumps.  My work is literally a block down the street from me, so I walked a total of two short blocks. By the time I got back, my toes had already popped through!  I was shocked… I had just paid $10 for socks that I wasn’t even able to wear for a full hour before they developed holes!

The problem lies in the construction. The sock is seamed together from a lace fabric, which on its own might be fine. It’s held together with a narrow overlock and matching wooly nylon thread. I wear the seam along the outside edge of my foot, twisting it to a back seam at the heel.  My toes popped through the fabric at the seam, which leads me to believe that A) the seam allowance is too narrow, and/or B) it was stitched with a “sharp” needle rather than “ballpoint.” A sharp literally punctures the fabric for each stitch and is used for woven fabrics, whereas a ballpoint rolls the individual threads aside and is used for knits. Upon closer inspection, it seems the fabric was cut on the wrong grainline, with the stretch running vertically rather than around the foot.  No wonder they felt so snug when I tried them on!

DIY pattern for lace socks. Print to fill a standard letter size sheet of paper.

DIY pattern for lace socks. Print to fill a standard letter size sheet of paper.

As I said, I think they can be salvaged for a photoshoot, but I certainly won’t be able to wear them out, especially with heels.  Still, I think the simple construction would make for a fun and easy DIY project.  Attached is a pattern I’ve drafted for this style of sock.  To put it together, remember to pay attention to the direction of stretch and use a ballpoint needle. Even if you don’t have an overlock machine, you could try using a faux-verlock stitch on a home sewing machine, or combining a straight stitch with a zig zag to finish the edge. Remember to test your tension settings on scraps of your fabric.  I would use a double pass zig zag to add an elastic trim like the one on the Velvet Heart socks, but you could fold under 1/2″ and do a simple zig zag if you’re using stretch lace fabric yardage. (These are DIY/home-sewing options, not production standards, FYI.) Alternatively, you could buy a a fixed width stretch lace, which is often used for making lace mitts and bralettes, and tailor the sock height to match its width, using the scalloped edge to avoid finishing the top of the sock altogether.  You’ll need a lace that’s a minimum of 9″ wide – I think ideal would be about 12″. If you want a taller sock, you’ll have to add width to the top to create a calf shape.

What do you think of lace socks? Is there a particular brand that makes a style you like? Are you going to try to DIY your own lace socks now?

Marianne

Marianne

Marianne Faulkner is the designer of Pop Antique, a clothing and corsetry line specializing in sustainable materials and comfortable curves. She is based in San Francisco where she earned her MFA in fashion design at the Academy of Art University, and has been a columnist at The Lingerie Addict since 2011.

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Lingerie Review: Marie Jo ‘Catherine’ Bra Set

Note: I purchased this lingerie with my own money. Marie Jo Lingerie is unaffiliated with this review.

TLA_Primadonna_Catherine-1

I feel like I should start this review by saying that the Marie Jo ‘Catherine’ bra set is one I actually bought for my honeymoon 18 months ago. Though I didn’t really say so here, I was very reluctant about sharing a lot of wedding stuff on TLA, both because I assume most of you aren’t that interested and because weddings are deeply personal events. However, I was also extremely wary of brands that might want to capitalize on my nuptials by bragging about how I wore their products during my wedding/honeymoon. It was important to me to have a non-sponsored wedding. After all, it wasn’t The Lingerie Addict that was getting hitched – it was Cora Harrington.

Anyway, enough time has passed that I’m sure the danger, if it ever existed at all, has also passed as well. The good thing about the speed of internet news is that things get old after a week…much less after a year. And since I’ve started wearing this set again, it felt right to share a review here on TLA. I also don’t see many reviews of the Marie Jo brand, so I wanted to add to the body of knowledge. I can’t be the only person wondering how a bra that retails for over $150 at regular price fits and feels.

TLA_Primadonna_Catherine-3

Well,  if you only have a couple of minutes to read this review, let me just say…this set is wonderful. I love the fit. The materials are soft. And the lace is so gorgeous that I want a entire chemise made from it. I fully admit to being wary of most luxury brands and even more wary of brands that I believe represent the “old guard” of lingerie. But the Catherine bra set at least, is incredibly beautiful, and it reflects a certain sense of romance and delicacy that isn’t present in many of Marie Jo’s other, more well-known styles.

As with most of my lingerie reviews, I purchased the bra in size 34C and the knickers (a deep brief) in size Large. The lace is stunning Leavers lace in a floral print. The bra has a sheer, color-matched, micromesh lining on the outer two-thirds of the cup and the very first portion of the wing (if you’ll look just to the left of the cup in the image above or below, you’ll see a seam and the lace between the underwire and that seam is what has a mesh backing).  The gore is also backed in a sturdier powermesh, and has a small crystal or jewel hanging from it. There’s only one row of hook-and-eye closures at the back, and even by my admittedly lax standards (unintentional pun!), the band is very stretchy. Fortunately, I don’t mind a stretchy band, but that may be something to keep in mind if you run across this style on sale somewhere. The panty utilizes the same Leavers Lace with an embroidered opaque front panel and embroidered mesh sides and back. There is no shaping or powermesh (i.e. this is not a girdle), just a lot of gorgeous fabric.

TLA_Primadonna_Catherine-4

I was very happy with the fit of both of pieces, and though this bra set looks delicate, I found it to be suitable for everyday wear. I would not throw this into the washer and dryer as I don’t trust the lace to come out in good condition if you do, but it is fine to handwash and hang dry. As far as fit, the bra and panty were completely on-point for me, and I also thought the set was incredibly comfortable. Finally, I adore this vintage-inspired color. It makes me want to buy more blush lingerie.

While I don’t have plans to purchase anything else from Marie Jo right now, I would pick up the Catherine again if it was available in another colorway (like midnight blue) and preferably on sale. A quick glance at the their website, however, leads me to believe this particular range has been phased out (though the Tilda and the Lauren styles do catch my eye). All in all, I was very happy with this little experiment into a bra brand that’s become a little obscure nowadays.

What do you think of the Marie Jo brand and the Catherine set in particular? Have you tried any of their products? And would you wear this bra if it made a comeback?

Cora

Cora

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in a small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, it's become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and has been featured on the websites for Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

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Lace in Lingerie: Different Types and How It’s Used

Victorian chantilly lace

Victorian chantilly laces from my personal collection

Lace is one of my absolute favourite things about lingerie – I’m absolutely obsessed with it.  Its transparent delicacy and floral intricacy are incomparable when it comes to lingerie fabrics – so it’s no surprise how heavily it’s used!  However, as far as materials go, it’s pretty expensive, for a variety of reasons. In this article I’m going to give you a brief introduction to this wonderful fabric and hopefully give you a better understanding of its significance in lingerie!

Lace was once created arduously by hand by skilled craftsman – it held a hugely valuable place in society, with its various trends evoking a person’s status in society.  Lace has always been a luxury fabric – whilst its individual fibres aren’t necessarily expensive in their raw state, it’s the huge amount of work that goes into creating them that carries this cost.  Hand made laces first began to appear in Italy around the late 15th century. For many centuries, laces were made by hand. The two basic types of hand-made laces are either needle lace, where the pattern is created with a needle and thread, or bobbin lace, where threads are wound onto weighted bobbins and twisted and plaited. However, these beautiful laces were rarely used on undergarments, instead being flaunted on outer clothing as a demonstration of wealth (that is, when it wasn’t outlawed for all but the clergy and aristocracy to wear!).

It wasn’t until the early 19th century that the most significant developments were made into machine-made laces.  Amongst these was the ‘Leavers’ lace machine in 1813 – a machine that is still in use today, and was arguably one of the most instrumental in creating the modern lace industry that we know today.  Please note that I’ve simplified the types of laces and machines greatly – there are many that I have chosen not to mention, and have instead chosen to cover the ones you will encounter most in lingerie.

'Monica' chemise by L'Agent by Agent Provocateur, using Raschel lace

‘Monica’ chemise by L’Agent by Agent Provocateur, using Raschel lace. Image from Net-A-Porter

Raschel lace – most contemporary laces are created on this machine, which uses a Jacquard apparatus to create the lace pattern, knitting whole rows of loops of thread at a time. This is the type of lace you’ll find most commonly in lingerie at lower price points – it is the fastest and easiest type of lace to manufacture, and one of the best for the use of synthetic fibres such as nylon.

Ayten Gasson's 'Orla' bralet uses an English Leavers lace trim

Ayten Gasson’s ‘Orla’ bralet uses an English Leavers lace trim. Image from Ayten Gasson.

Fleur of England's 'Pandora' babydoll uses French chantilly leavers lace

Fleur of England’s ‘Pandora’ babydoll uses French chantilly leavers lace. Image from Fleur of England.

Leavers lace – although an antique machine, some of the finest laces found in modern lingerie are still made of this type of lace. Originally the leavers lace industry was largely based in England (particularly Nottingham), but unfortunately there now remains only 1 manufacturer (who, conincidentally, makes many of the trims that Ayten Gasson uses in her designs).  Most leavers laces are now made in France, particularly in the region of Calais (in fact, many designers choose to refer to this type of lace as ‘Dentelle de Calais’).  These laces are incredibly fine, often with complex pattern. ‘Chantilly’ lace, where the pattern is interrupted throughout the design and surrounded by tulle, is a type of Leavers lace that requires threads to later be hand ‘clipped’ around the start and finish of each new lace design. You are most likely to find this type of lace used in high-end and luxury lingerie.

Freya's 'Arabella' style uses an embroidery in the top cup and knicker

Freya’s ‘Arabella’ style uses an embroidery in the top cup and knicker. Image from Freya.

Last season Bordelle created a custom 'thorn' embroidery for their lingerie designs

Last season Bordelle created a custom ‘thorn’ embroidery for their lingerie designs. Image from Baby Likes To Pony.

Schiffli embroidery – whilst this is not technically a lace, it is often mistaken for one. Machine embroideries are most commonly created using Schiffli machines, which lockstitches designs onto a tulle base.  These designs can be extremely complex and beautiful. You’ll find embroideries at all sides of the lingerie market – brands like Freya and Fauve use a great deal of embroideries in their designs, with more high-end brands such as Agent Provocateur using them in their designs. High-end brands are likely to have their own exclusive embroidery designs created just for them, as with Bordelle’s thorn embroidery from last season.

Myla's 'Layla' bra uses a guipure lace on the cups and cradle.

Myla’s ‘Layla’ bra uses a guipure lace on the cups and cradle. Image from Journelle.

Guipure lace – as with embroideries, Guipure is not technically a lace. It is in fact a heavy embroidery, where the tulle base has been chemically dissolved away, leaving the embroidered design free-standing. It is a fairly expensive fabric to use as its creation can be quite time consuming and resource heavy. Myla often use Guipure embroideries in their designs.

My 'Agata' set design uses a heavily embroidered and beaded French chantilly leavers lace on the cups and knickers

My ‘Agata’ set design uses a heavily embroidered and beaded French chantilly leavers lace on the cups and knickers

Close up detail of the lace used in my 'Agata' lingerie set design - featuring a chantilly lace base with embroidery and beading

Close up detail of the lace used in my ‘Agata’ lingerie set design – featuring a chantilly lace base with embroidery and beading

Embellished laces – often laces can be later worked into either by machine or by hand – some of the most popular techniques are cording (where thin pieces of cord are delicately stitched over the original lace design to add texture), embroidery (both hand and machine, where the lace design is gone over with stitching for emphasis) and beading (where beads and sequins are hand-stitched for further embellishment).  These can all be fairly costly varieties of lace, as they require very specialist and time consuming skills to create.

As well as there being these different types of lace, they can all also be found in totally different forms – different widths with different edgings, all of which hugely affects how the lace is used:

All-over – this type of lace is usually very wide and often does not necessarily have a finished edge – it is usually used the same as any other fabric and can be used to cover large areas in lace (for example, as the main fabric of a babydoll).

Trims – these are usually thin laces that are used either as edge finishings or embellishments on lingerie.

Flounce  – this type of lace has no set width but features two different styles of edge on either side – usually one side features a scallop, whilst the other is flat.  This lace is usually manufactured in matching symmetrical pairs. These laces (alongside galloons) are most commonly used in lingerie that features a scalloped edge.

Galloon – this type of lace features the same scallop design on both sides of the lace, meaning that symmetrical pieces can be cut from the same piece of lace.

Although it may not be something you’d ever considered, how lace is used can have a major influence on the cost of a garment. If a designer wants to use a scalloped edge along a bra cradle and wing, for example, they must pattern cut the bra to match up along each seam.  This means each fabric piece for the bra has to be cut with a little overlap, so that when they are sewn together it appears as though the design continues through the bra, even when interrupted by stitching.

Agent Provocateur Soiree's 'Adara' bra uses the lace's scallop throughout - on the cup, cradle and wing. This would incur quite a lot of waste but its price reflects this - £395 just for the bra

Agent Provocateur Soiree’s ‘Adara’ bra uses the lace’s scallop throughout – on the cup, cradle and wing. This would incur quite a lot of waste but its price reflects this – £395 just for the bra. Image from Agent Provocateur.

This type of pattern cutting has rather serious implications for garment cost, as it incurs an awful lot of waste – there are often large gaps between the cutting of each piece, regardless of how skilled the pattern cutter is.  Although the odd centimeter of lace being wasted may not seem that serious a cost problem, you have to consider scaling up in larger areas of industry. If each lace bra wastes 5cm of lace and 1000s of bras are being sewn in one go, this can amount to whole kilometers of waste. Alternatively, if a particularly expensive type of lace is being used, those 5cm can get very pricey – for example, a particular lace trim that I use in my designs is intricately beaded and costs around £35 a metre at wholesale price.  As an example,  that 5cm ends up costing around £1.50 per garment – imagine scaling that up for production!   Many brands work around these extra costs by topping an all-over lace fabric with a similar lace trim – the aesthetic is similar but usually costs a lot less!

This tulle maxi skirt form Rosamosario uses lace appliqué along the entire hem

This tulle maxi skirt form Rosamosario uses lace appliqué along the entire hem. Image from Net-A-Porter.

I covered the ins-and-outs of lace appliqué in a previous post, but this remains in my opinion one of the costliest ways to use lace in lingerie – not because there’s particularly vast amounts of the fabric being used, but purely because of the sheer volume of labour involved in stitching. Appliqué either involves ready-made lace motifs (often guipure) or hand cutting designs from a chantilly lace and then stitching around the edges onto the lingerie’s fabric to create an isolated piece of embellishment. Brands at lower-price points tend to use read-made lace motifs and tack just a couple of stitches on the most prominent parts of the motif.  Ususally though, the piece of lace is carefully machined with a zig-zag stitch along its intricate edge to attach it completely to the garment’s fabric.  This technique is most commonly seen in couture lingerie such as Carine Gilson and Rosamosario, where you’re unlikely to find lingerie selling for less than £500.

Readers: are you as fond of lace as I am? What is your favourite way that it’s used in lingerie?

Karolina

Karolina

Contour Fashion graduate. Spends most of her time sewing bras and getting excited by shiny things.

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Lingerie Lust Objects: Curriculum Vitae ‘Lauren’ Lace Top

Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links.

Journelle Curriculum Vitae Lauren Lace Top 1

Meanwhile, in other things I am currently coveting but cannot afford, let’s talk about this ‘Lauren’ lace top from Curriculum Vitae (a brand I only just now discovered, by the way, because I am not cool).

While summer is definitely over, I don’t think the lingerie-as-outerwear look has to go out of style. And though this piece is technically for the boudoir, I really want to throw it over a longline, strapless microfiber bra and pair of cropped slacks (Does that even go together? I’m not a fashionista.) and pretend to be in my mid-twenties again while sipping white wine downtown. Yes, I know that’s a very specific daydream, but please just indulge me.

Journelle Curriculum Vitae Lauren Lace Top 2

What I most love about this top is that amazing paisley lace pattern. After visiting Interfiliere last year, I’ve been slightly obsessed with fabrics and textiles. A gorgeous lace just makes me feel all tingly inside, and the uniqueness of this pattern (combined with the width of it and the conspicuousness of it and the outright luxuriousness of it) just pushes all the right buttons. If I’m going to spend $345 on a top (yes, that’s the price of the ‘Lauren’), I want it to be something that I don’t see anywhere else. And this fits the bill.

Journelle Curriculum Vitae Lauren Lace Top 3

Of course, this lace shell is trimmed in silk. It’s also made in the USA. Sizing is XS thru L with Large fitting a maximum 12-14 US. If your size is sold out at Journelle (entirely possible since this item seems to be popular), you can also buy it directly Curriculum Vitae here. While I’m hoping I can grab this at the end of the season, I’m also not holding my breath. I wouldn’t blame anyone who can afford it for picking this little bit of lingerie magic up right now.

Have any of you heard of Curriculum Vitae? What do think of their aesthetic?

Cora

Cora

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. I started TLA in a small studio apartment in 2008. Since then, it's become the leading lingerie blog in the world, and has been featured on the websites for Forbes, CNN, Time, Today, and Fox News. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that every who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

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