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Luxury Lingerie Reviews: FYI by Dani Read, Lascivious & Jenny Packham

Who can resist the January sales? I most certainly can't. Here are 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 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... silk 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, leaving 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 nice 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 are 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 beautiful.  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 quite high. The high-waist also means 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 it really 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 became 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 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 possession. It's a simple enough piece, made of silk satin with a lace trim along the neckline and sleeves.

The robe 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 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 loose sleeves and full skirt are fun to swoosh around in and the tie waist is nice. 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 machine-sewn 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 the industry works.

Readers --- did you manage to catch any bargains in the sales? Have you tried any of the designers above?

Karolina Laskowska

Lingerie designer. Spends most of her time sewing bras and getting excited by chantilly lace.

20 Comments on this post

  1. I love the makeup and face expression of the model (Karolina?) on the first picture.

  2. Sarah says:

    Really surprised by the Jenny Packham robe – £739 and it is made in China??

    • Karolina says:

      I thought the same – I know a lot of luxury brands manufacture in China but at that sort of price point I’d expect a little more, knowing that the labour wasn’t as expensive as Europe for example!

  3. Amanda says:

    That’s funny, I’ve seen a handful of Agent Provocateur’s items that are so not worth the money and look cheaply made and trashy. There is one particular pair of underwear that are basket weaved that doesn’t even fit well on their model on their website and I tried them on and they were absolutely terrible. It’s definitely changed in the last years and feels a bit more like a risque Victoria Secret to me. I think there are standout pieces but I feel it’s been disappointing in terms of quality when there are many beautiful brands out there.

    • Karolina says:

      Unfortunately I’ve found that to be the case with several of AP’s designs – I remember once being outraged to discover a pair of knickers was polyester satin instead of silk, which at that price point seems awfully overpriced. That said, I’ll still happily spend money in their sale!

    • Estelle says:

      Their new Soiree range still appears to be ‘premium premium’ quality, but you pay for it – I’d LOVE their Gene corset for my wedding but at £950 there’s no chance. Admittedly the last item I bought from them was a couple of years back so maybe the quality’s changed since. I hope not!

  4. Estelle says:

    Sounds like a pretty disappointing shopping experience! I have a handful of Agent Provocateur items that are so worth the money – beautiful, well made and a perfect fit – but normally it takes a lot to make me spend a really huge amount on lingerie because I’m so worried it won’t fit right or just won’t look so good as it does in the photo. So it’s good to see reviews like this and get an honest opinion on which brands are worth the money :)

    • Karolina says:

      Curiously I’ve often been disappointed with the quality of Agent Provocateur and wouldn’t dream of spending full price on it! That said, I barely ever pay full price on anything ;) Despite this one piece I’ve actually always been very happy with Lascivious – the quality is usually exceedingly good with a good fit, a shame these knickers let them down!

      • Estelle says:

        I have the Nadia basque & knickers, and some other bits and pieces – all beautiful and perfectly fitting, and despite numerous wears they never start to look old. Maybe you’ve just been unlucky :)

        I was MASSIVELY disappointed with AP’s stockings though. I normally buy Leg Avenue ones for £2ish (I get them wholesale price – but they’re still cheap at retail prices) and they’re great. The AP ones were silk and cost a whopping £40 and the fit was horrendous, they were wrinkled everywhere and got full of pulls after just one wear. Total waste of money! And like in many places, hosiery is non-refundable at AP.

        I have yet to try Lascivious but their Nena set has been on my wish list since the moment I saw it. I shall definitely have to buy it if the quality is that good! :)

      • Marcia says:

        Dear Karolina, perhaps you should have ordered those knickers in L size.

        The bras fitted large on you back as well.

        I am also very disappointed with Agent Provocateur quality and customer service.

  5. jenfrreva says:

    barf @ those second briefs.

  6. Arabelle says:

    What a bummer, I have been eying the lasvicious set for awhile.

  7. So much disappointment! I hate when lingerie isn’t as amazing in person as you hope it will be.

    • Karolina says:

      Tell me about it! I know I have excessively high expectations but some faults are inexcusable. Luckily I managed to pick up some other pieces in the sale that I am TOTALLY in love with and can’t fault – it’s just that they’re from several seasons ago so I didn’t think there was much point in reviewing them.

  8. Fatima Nasir says:

    Love the Lascivious Bra, the rest isn’t worth the money.

  9. Ashlee says:

    I absolutely adore your style.

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