Posts with tag "Lingerie School"

Lingerie School: De Montfort University Graduates, 2014


Karolina Laskowska

After three years studying Contour Fashion at De Montfort University, the end is finally in sight – I’m about to graduate from Lingerie School! Contour Fashion is a degree that specialises in intimate apparel – covering almost all areas of lingerie and then some. We’ve studied everything from corsetry to swimwear, and each chose our own final major projects – some girls chose to go down a technical route to fulfill a market niche, whilst others chose to design around aesthetics, pushing the boundaries of lingerie design.

My class is full of incredibly talented individuals and I’m so proud of what everyone has achieved- we all started at the same place, yet the final collections that everyone has created are so wonderfully varied, both from an aesthetic and technical perspective. Our final projects give students an opportunity to create something unique and boundary pushing, without having to worry about the consequences of whether the garments would sell at retail – it’s some of the most beautiful lingerie that sadly you’ll never be able to buy! I’m sharing a small fraction of this year’s graduate’s work with you and I hope you love it all as much as I do. Thank you to De Montfort University for letting me share all this incredible work with you!

All photoshoot images courtesy of De Montfort University, all other images belong to the respective designers.

Akaibi Vine

IMG_1128IMG_1469Developing silicone hand grips

DSCN6601Design & print development

IMG_2322Akaibi with her full final collection

Akaibi’s project is focused on sportswear for people with limited dexterity and flexibility, taking her inspiration from the Paralympics that were founded in her home town. By conducting interviews with people that suffer from limited mobility, she developed special silicone grips to help aid the process of dressing. The amount of technical detail and consideration that has gone into this collection is astounding and I can’t do it justice in a short paragraph – nevertheless, as a collection it’s a fresh and interesting take on sportswear, in a woefully underserved market.

Amber Khan


Amber-Khan-sketchbook-pageSketchbook work

Amber-Khan-Tech-Flats-BoardTechnical flat illustrations

Amber-Khan-Illustration-BoardFashion illustrations of the full collection

Amber created a corsetry and lingerie based collection, taking its inspiration from oriental florals and 1950s silhouettes and fabric techniques. It’s focused on rigid structures designed to emphasize the contours of the female body. She used fan lacing as a key feature in the garments, taken from her love of vintage corsetry, as well as trying to recreate the structures of oriental fans. Amber designed her own floral print for the collection, using a mix of illustrations in digital print and embroidery.

Charlie Watson


!cid_07A0CCD3-87D0-494C-90DE-F3101828F7DBInspiration board

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Charlie’s collection is inspired by the natural decay of flowers, using the varied textures throughout her surface embellishment. She’s used both modern and vintage shapes to create a stunning range of boudoir wear, with luxurious fabrics such as delicate leavers laces, silk satins, georgettes and chiffons. Corded lace was carefully positioned and appliquéd over the sheer fabrics to protect the wearer’s modesty, giving the collection a seductive and playful edge.

Charlotte Watson

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Charlotte’s collection ‘Aurora’ approaches soft bras from a fresh direction, using unusual construction features such as overbust and sidebust slings to give the garments aesthetic appeal as well as uplifting and supporting the breasts. Aesthetic inspiration came from glacier formations (with an icy colour palette and delicate lace applique and beading), whilst styling took its inspiration from the 1920s and 30s.

Charlotte Spence

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IMG_0149Sketchbook work

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Charlotte was initially inspired by a 1920s barber chair, with the design process focusing on each of the chair’s individual elements, from the textured upholstery to the intricate iron works. The collection is called ‘The Cut Lilac Collection’ and includes intricately laser cut faux metallic snakeskin along with lilac silk and crepe contrast elements.

Daisy Hobbs

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Daisy’s collection ‘L’Amore a La Vie’ is designed with a bride’s trousseau in mind – building up each outfit for her special day. Her inspiration originated from a Fabarge exhibition and an exploration into the life of the Royals and the part that sheer excess played. The collection uses delicate Chantilly laces and luxurious silks.

Emma Stubbs

10369742_10154276487670131_7196278949209921720_ndevelopment-5Mood board

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‘Labyrinth’ takes its inspiration from traditional black work embroidery, updating it with a modern twist. Emma developed the print from her own illustrations, creating floral motif patterns from drawings of crowns, jewels and masquerade masks. The designs are created as one-off show pieces and are embellished with lace and beading.

Georgie McCarten

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Georgie’s collection ‘Palazzo di Giardino’ was initially inspired by intricate and elegant Florentine architecture. Golden silk satins and chiffons are layered with lace appliqué and hints of blue, accented with crackled blue leather and embellished with beading. The collection is aimed at a boutique lingerie level.

Jennifer Lodge

IMG_1895 Inspiration-Board

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Sketchbook work

Natalia-BoardTechnical flat illustration board

Jennifer’s collection focused on the market niche of women with a 36-44 D-K cup bra size in dress sizes 14-26, creating a range of luxury boudoir lingerie. Entitled ‘A Russian Affair’, it was inspired by decadent Russian palaces with bold colours and striking gold embellishments. Stretch mesh was used to shape and control the body, with silk chiffons and satins creating fluidity and movement.

Karolina Laskowska

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My collection focused on bespoke corsetry, drawing its inspiration from Japanese kimono and antique corsetry, with colouration drawn from orchids and French macarons. All of the corsetry utilised genuine vintage kimono silks, upcycling them to give them a new lease of life. They’ve been paired with exquisite French leavers laces, both as a fabric and intricate appliqué. The corsets were all designed to give dramatic shaping, with a cupped rib silhouette allowing for comfortable waist reduction.

Nancy Hallam


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Sketchbook work Figure Board FMP 2 (Clear Background) copy

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Nancy’s collection is called the ‘Ethereal Bride collection’. It draws its inspiration from Edwardian fashion and architecture, using exquisite hand made laces with intricate beading and luxurious silks.

Rosa Silva

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hero-board-landscapeHero garment illustration

Rosa created a collection of high end swimwear entitled ‘Ceylon’. Her prints were inspired by Sri Lanka, conveyed through kaleidoscopic designs and rich embellishments. Designs are fashion forward with dramatic strapping details and exciting trimmings, from pompoms to beading, with contrast panelling in PVC.

Selina Bond

  IMG_2365Fmp-MoodboardInspiration board

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‘Bella Suora’ drew its inspiration from the catacombs of Napoli and the clothing of Italian widows and nuns, in particular the use of lace and structure head-dresses. Selina created a collection of luxury lingerie, pairing unusual materials – carbon fibre was used to create structure, contoured pieces, which leavers laces gave lingerie an elegant contrast.

Sophie Cook


Sketchbook work Sophie-Cook-Grey-Flats

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Sophie’s initial inspiration was drawn from images of insects covered in dew drops, which later led to a study of the shaping of coral. Her collection echos the delicacy of detail found within the insects’ wings, contrasted with the harsh structure of the coral. Fins stretch meshes and crepe de chine were used, paired with delicate lace appliqué and embellished with beads and Swarovski crystals, a visual translation of glistening dew drops.


Readers: Which of these designs are your favourite? Have you ever considered studying lingerie design?






Student at De Montfort University's world-renowned Contour Fashion course. Makes many knickers in her spare time.

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Lingerie School: The Little Black Lingerie Project

By Karolina

My first term of my ‘lingerie degree’ is beginning to draw to a close. It’s quite scary how time has flown by! A couple of weeks ago we began our first proper ‘design’ project: the ‘Little Black Lingerie Project’. Up until now we’ve just been learning basic techniques so it’s almost like a test to see how much we’ve taken in.

(You may also like: The Story of a Bra in 8 Steps, pt. 1)

At the beginning of term we were lucky enough to visit the Snibston Discovery Museum, home to one of the world’s largest corset collections. As much as I wanted to spend the day staring at the gorgeous corsets, that wasn’t the aim of the trip! We were meant to choose a single inspiring object and create a sketchbook based around it. This sketchbook is now acting as our project’s inspiration.

We were put into pairs with the aim of creating a bra and pair of knickers as the end product. We began by choosing our inspirational images. The object I’d found myself most inspired by was a preserved ‘Death’s Head Hawkmoth’. I was particularly interested in the shapes in its wings, especially the strong linear patterns.

I took charge of making and designing the bra whilst my partner decided to work on the knickers. I started out with sketching out a few ideas before deciding on a strappy eyelash lace demi-bra.

The next stage in the design process was to begin modelling the bra on the stand. This involves marking out the shapes of the bra on a mannequin so as to create a bra pattern. These mannequins are specially made for lingerie design – they are an industry standard size of 34B/UK 12 and have specially placed seams to aid the design process.

(You may also like: The Story of a Bra in 8 Steps, pt. 2)

After plotting out the design with fashion tape, I then had to somehow transfer the designed pattern onto paper. This is done with calico, a cheap rigid fabric. It’s pinned and cut over the taped shapes and then has the pattern lines drawn on. These are then removed, trimmed off and traced onto paper.

Sounds simple? If only! Unfortunately the pattern pieces taken from the mannequin will rarely work together. Once on paper, these then have to have 6mm seam allowances added to the appropriate areas. They are then cut out and ‘walked’ around to see if they fit. Unfortunately they rarely do, so an arduous process of redrawing each piece with the appropriate modifications begins. This has to go on until the pattern at least works in theory with each piece fitting together in the ‘walking’ process!

(You may also like: What Everybody Should Know About the Difference Between Real Corsets and Fake Corsets)

Unfortunately even with a pattern that fits together perfectly a garment may still not work. This is why toiling is always necessary. Toiling is a process in which either parts of or a whole garment are made up to test the fit. You’ll rarely use the fabrics for your final design in the toile as these are often too expensive! Instead you’ll use cheaper ones with similar properties. Here’s a picture of my toile – using a cheap white rigid lace instead of my more costly eyelash one.

I’m very glad I finished this toile – I managed to identify lots of issues with my pattern and construction that I simply wouldn’t have been able to resolve if I’d launched straight into my final bra. Small things like seam finishes and elastic tension can make a huge difference on something so small.

(You may also like: The Look for Less: The View from the Designer)

So here is my final garment in all its glory – I’m actually very pleased with how it’s turned out considering that this was the first pattern I’d made all by myself! Unfortunately I’m nowhere near the end of this project. There are still lots of elements that you wouldn’t necessarily consider a part of the design process – highly detailed technical drawings, specification sheets and so forth – that aren’t nearly as exciting as creating actual garments…

Readers – what do you think of this design process? Is it simpler than you’d imagined or could you see yourself tackling it?