Dottie's Delights S/S 2015: A Fantasy Getaway
Paying homage to a retro aesthetic while still remaining accessible and modern is a delicate balancing act. Doing so while having a distinct, and recognizable, point of view is even rarer. Such is the talent of handmade, indie label, Dottie's Delights.
From the early days of pointy bras and girdles to her recent 'Sheer Show' collaboration with Mosh, designer Stephanie Kuhr continues to impress with vintage-inspired collections that feel really fresh and new. Part of why Dottie's Delights is so thoroughly charming is there's a sense of vampy playfulness paired with sophisticated glamour that is equally at home with the vintage-loving crowd and those that have a more modern aesthetic.
For the Spring/Summer 2015 collection, Sleepwalk, Stephanie was inspired by the soft pastel color palettes and tropical motifs of vintage tourism artwork. Shot on location in Oahu, the collection features candy-colored pastels and mid-Century influenced prints. Her frilly sheer short robe, made famous by its mid-1950s silhouette and yards and yards of ruffled trim, is crafted in mint green, lavender, and sky blue. It adds a frothy femininity that is pure fantasy. This season also sees a Bardot-esque babydoll with a fabulously dramatic trapeze shape and little puffy cap sleeves. I love how over-the-top girlie and playful this is, especially when done in these pastel colorways.
There are floral prints reminiscent of the florals popularized during the era. The pieces utilize vintage deadstock silk charmeuse in a mid-Century floral print with white painted silk screen detail to add depth. The bralette is cut in more of a cropped top style that was popularized in clothing and swimwear during the era. It is paired with a modern tap short that has a low rise and a bit of flare at the hem. Over the last year or so, Stephanie's two-part bra cups look considerably less pointed, making them more accessible to a wider audience that may love the vintage aesthetic but don't want a vintage silhouette under their clothes. This version features rosy-colored lace on the upper cup, which picks up the color of the flowers and adds romantic appeal.
Other floral pieces in the collection include these embroidered pieces called 'Tonight or Never.' The pops of bubble-gum pink in the waspie piping, garter straps, and mesh of the panties brings out the pinks in the muted florals. The edges of the waspie curve gently to allow for ease of wear and mirror the curve of flower petals. So pretty!
The 'Swizzle' range is crafted of a soft nylon textured with a tropical leaf motif. The muted charcoal pieces are lined with pink silk on the lower cups to really set off the pattern. Those high-waisted full shorts look like they'd be saucy fun to wear (and catch a breeze in!). The real showcase of these pieces, though, is the girdle. It's impossible not to see that look and know immediately it's from Dottie's Delights. From the split strap detailing of the garter straps to the diamond-shaped front panel to the contrasting band of color on the bum, it's so wonderful to see Stephanie's signature girdles in a context that is vintage-referenced yet sleek and sophisticated.
Moving on, a bold zig-zag print in silk adds zing to these vintage-referenced styles. I especially like how the strong pattern plays against the detailed texture of the lace on the bra cups. Also, the black contrasting bands on the front of the garter belt mirror the pattern and draw the eye up and down (which is always a good thing!).
What do you think of Dottie's Delights' Spring/Summer 2015 collection? Are you a fan of the retro aesthetic? Do you have a favorite look from the line?