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Paris/London Trend Report: New Lingerie Designers to Watch in 2012

By Kristina:

As a lingerie designer, I am constantly on the lookout for new and innovative labels, from which I gain inspiration and ideas. Now, I’m not talking about knocking off original designs (which I do not condone) --- I’m talking about searching around for new silhouettes, fabrics, or details that can help me gain insight into what the upcoming trends may be and forecast what will become top sellers a year from now.

Well, after my recent trip to Paris and London to visit some lingerie trade shows and trend services, I have scouted out a handful of startup labels that I feel have lots of potential to make it to the top. Here are a few of those new brands I plan on keeping a special eye on in the next few seasons!

Shell Belle Couture was recently started by Michelle Blenkinsopp in an attempt to create a luxury lifestyle brand with beautiful feminine details and vintage undertones. And after viewing her newest collection of lace and mesh underpinnings, I think you’ll agree that her venture is already a success. Based out of London, Shell Belle uses delicate, lightweight fabrics in some unique and innovative ways, which include antique replicas of eyelash lace, dainty swiss dotted mesh, and thoughtfully placed embellishments and bow ties. This luxurious collection is sure to make any woman feel feminine and demure.

Obey My Demand sounds more like an S&M club than a lingerie label, but once you check out these designs you will understand why. Creator Leanne Brooke’s new London-based brand utilizes a mix of leather and mesh for her avant garde pieces that are equal parts sexy and rock and roll. Bold cutouts, metallic studs, and layers of mesh ruffles make each piece a contradiction, arousing delight. These pieces are not for the faint of heart, which is evident in OMD fan Lady Gaga --- who sported a sexy leather bra and panty set for her “Born This Way” music video. Oh, and did I mention that OMD just won 2011 “New Designer of the Year” at the UK lingerie awards? I definitely have my eye on this new talent!

A more conservative, yet equally beautiful label recently launched, is Fraulein Annie by Frauke Nagel, which is also designed out of London. With expert craftsmanship and romantic detailing, it is easy to see these designs making it big in the mainstream population. The current collection is not only stylish, but also touted as fashionable shapewear easily worn under everyday clothing. With its wide selection of bra sizes ranging from A-G cups and its advanced, comfort-focused fabrics, these pieces are within realistic reach for many of us practical girls and will most likely become part of my next lingerie investment.

Finally we have Electric Ibiza – a new line just launched last year by Emma Jean Sharpe out of Ibiza, Spain. These cheeky designs are sexy and edgy with a hint of European flair. The newest collection showcases linear details, transparencies, and one-piece bodysuits that are designed to be worn as outerwear as well as innerwear. And with pieces this daring and unexpected, any fashion risk taker would look forward to showing off one of them during a night out on the town.

I wish I could share with you all of the highlights from this season's shows, but there are just so many great new startups all worthy of their own attention – it’s almost impossible to just pick a few! I look forward to seeing what these new labels will bring to the table next season, and hope they all continue to inspire and impress.

What are your favorites? Tell me in the comments!