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Lingerie News: March 2015

Photo: Carter Smith. Via Allure.

Photo: Carter Smith. Via Allure.

A roundup of everything interesting that happened in the world of lingerie for March...

  • [Jezebel] Buy These Pajamas & Rescue a Prostitute; Or, Why Rescue Brands Are Dumb -Punjammies, whose name is a combination of both pajamas and Punjab, is a company whose pajamas pants are made by former female sex slaves in India. Not necessarily the first of its kind, Punjammies seeks to raise awareness around the issue of sex trafficking (often by having former sex slaves create the items themselves). However, these types of rescue endeavors can do more harm than good such as interfering with public health work, and often openly capitalize on these women and their backgrounds. And while the idea of Punjammies is nice, and the women behind it potentially sincere, it's really not about the women buying the pajamas, but about those they're aiming to help.
  • [Inquisitr] 'Victoria's Secret Swim Special' Ratings Beat By 'How To Get Away With Murder' Season Finale - Although the Victoria's Secret Swim Special was meant to showcase the Angels' unique characters and life stories, it lagged behind ABC's How To Get Away With Murder's season finale, which had 8.99 million viewers (putting ABC in the top spot across networks for that night). Despite the fact that the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show tends to be extremely popular (pulling more than 9.1 million viewers in 2014), the swim special didn't seem to have the same impact. Currently, there doesn't seem to be any talk of a follow-up special with Victoria's Secret wanting to "see what the viewership and ratings for the swim special are first."
  • [Forbes] The Bad Saga of Silicone Breast Implants - Dr. Jack Fisher, a professor of plastic surgery, wrote a book titled "Silicone on Trial: Breast Implants and the Politics of Risk" which details how regulation and regulators can "run amok." For instance, the many issues surrounding silicone gel implants in the late 80s and 90s was caused by FDA head David Kessler, who ignored the fact that silicone had been used successfully in various medical devices for the past 50 years. Kessler continued to reject the science, and his own advisory committee, and instead listened to trial attorneys who wanted to go after device manufacturers. After 19,000 lawsuits, Dow Corning, the leading manufacturer of silicone products, filed for bankruptcy in 1995. Then in 1999, a comprehensive review of the safety of silicone was put together by the Institute of Medicine, but it came too late with $11 billion dollars already paid in settlements, awards, and legal fees. Even now, silicone's reputation hasn't fully recovered with only "three American manufacturers approved to distribute silicone-gel breast implants."
  • [BBC] How Did WW2 Change the Way People Dressed? - During WW2, people had to use clothing coupons to buy new pieces and due to cutbacks and rations, many items were re-purposed, such as a blanket being turned into a child's cloak. A very fashionable item a the time were handmade "siren suits" (long sleeved trouser suits) that could be easily put on before going to an air raid shelter. You could also show your support for the Allied forces with patriotic patterns and prints, such as the wartime scarves made by Jacqmar which cost two clothing coupons.
  • [CR Fashion Book] 9 Ways To Wear A Corset - When Carine Roitfeld, editor in chief of CR Fashion Book, suffered a back injury, the doctors ordered her to wear a back brace. Although hospital issued, Carine wears her brace as if it were a corset, stylishly incorporating it into her wardrobe.
  • [Seattle Pi] Lingerie Ads Had Modest Beginnings - Even though we tend to associate a certain type of image when it comes to lingerie ads, they didn't start off that way.
Carine Roitfeld in backbrace. Photography by Alexandra Utzmann. Makeup by Miwoo Kim. Dress and jacket Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci. Photo via CR Fashion Book.

Carine Roitfeld in backbrace. Photography by Alexandra Utzmann. Makeup by Miwoo Kim. Dress and jacket Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci. Photo via CR Fashion Book.

  • [Allure] The Truth About Breast Lifts - The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has noted that the number of women opting for a breast lift has increased by 600% in the past 16 years. Many women who have begun to experience sagging, either from weight loss or breast feeding, have begun to seek out the help of licensed plastic surgeons to prevent this. Multiple techniques exist to perform a successful mastopexy, such as Galaflex or Refine (two techniques that work with the breast from within), injecting a woman's own body fat into her breasts, or getting a run-of-the-mill surgery. For many women opting for a breast lift, their goal is to restore what they feel they've lost.
  • [Elle] 'Cinderella' Costume Designer On Corsets: Actors Like Them - Sandy Powell, the costume designer for Disney's live action Cinderella, admitted that she wasn't consciously inspired by the animated version. As she designed the dress, she went through several incarnations before deciding on the gown that appears in the film, which is a pretty conventionally-constructed period dress built with a corset, a crinoline, bodice and skirt. In order to design Cinderella's glass slipper, Powell went to a shoe museum and was inspired by five-inch heel from the 1890s. After deciding it needed to be made of glass, she approached Swarovski to collaborate. In regards to the controversy of the size of Lily James' waist, Powell says "it's ridiculous" and that the actress simply has a naturally small waist. Powell goes on to say that some actors really like the corset, since they're fitted and mold to your body and aren't uncomfortable at all.
  • [Jezebel] American Apparel Has Started Erasing Pubic Hair, Nipples from Website - Recently there have been reports of American Apparel airbrushing the nipples and pubic hair from the models on their website (which they weren't doing previously). Paula Schneider, the brand's new CEO, says that "there are moments in time too for different types of advertising" but it's unknown if this type of photoshopping is a permanent editorial choice or a single event.
  • [Body Magazine] Aerie Closing 20 Stores, Despite Strong Results - Even though Aerie's sale rose 13% in its fourth fiscal quarter, and outperformed both the women's and men's apparel, its parent company - American Eagle Outfitters - has decided to close 20 stores, making the total amount of stores 81 by the end of 2015.
Photo: X-ray Delta One/James Vaughan, Flickr. Via Seattle Pi.

Photo: X-ray Delta One/James Vaughan, Flickr. Via Seattle Pi.

  • [Body Magazine] Sales at Soma Intimates Up 13.7% in Q4 2014 - The sales for Soma Intimates went up 13.7% for the fourth quarter in 2014, but despite this increase, the company announced that they would only open “12 stores to 14 stores” in 2015 as opposed to the “19 to 22” they originally planned last December. Up until now, Soma had been growing rapidly with only 128 stores in 2010 and 263 by November 2014. Todd Vogensen, the SVP for Soma's parent company, Chico, said that while we may see "an overall reduction" in store count, Soma is still a focus.
  • [Body Magazine] Victoria's Secret Sales Up In January & 2014 - The “net sales for the fourth quarter ended January 31, 2015, were $4.069 billion, an increase of 7% compared to $3.818 billion for the quarter ended February 1, 2014.” Additionally, "Victoria’s Secret stores in the U.S. and Canada (including PINK but not La Senza) totaled $1,914.2 million for the 4th quarter of 2014 compared to $1,797.7 million for the same period in 2013." From February 1, 2014 to January 31, 2015, L Brands increased the amount of Victoria's Secret stores in the U.S. "by a net of six to 983" and in Canada "by 7 to 31".
  • [Yahoo] Meet the Fashion Fetishist Who Creates Custom Latex Creations for Gaga, Kim K, and Beyonce - London-based designer, Atsuko Kudo, is well-known among many (including celebrities) for her latex designs. The designer began working with latex because she felt empowered while wearing it, and wanted other women to have the same experience. Atsuko says that if you're interested in wearing latex, to remember it's a delicate fabric - think chiffon, not leather - and is designed more for your pleasure.
  • [Teen Vogue] This Teen Launched a Body-Positive Bra Line  - And It Got Picked Up By Aerie - After taking her younger sister to go bra shopping, 19-year-old Megan Grassell realized that many young girls - like her - are having a terrible experience buying their first bra. This insight inspired Grassell to start Yellowberry, even though she didn't know how to sew, make bras, or run a business. But after bringing some fabrics to a local seamstress to create her first prototypes, she found some small manufacturers in LA and began to sell them from her website. Now, the Yellowberry for Aerie collection has launched on their website, and Grassell's future plan for her company is for it "to be the place where any girl goes to buy not only her first bras, but remains with the company until she is ready to move on."
  • [Vogue] Breathless: Why Are Breast Implants More Popular Than Ever? - Breast implants are the number one cosmetic procedure in the US, with nearly 300,000 women going under the knife last year. While writing this piece, writer Karley Sciortino reached out to several women, trying to understand what compelled them to get implants in the first place. One woman - Christina - said that it made her more proportionate at a size 12. Still, Sciortino didn't understand the compulsion, feeling as though there's a greater diversity of what's considered attractive, citing popular celebrities like Beyonce or Kate Upton. After acquiring a male colleague's opinion, who suggests that surgery is the hallmark of the insecure, Sciortino ultimately agrees with him, saying that "a confident woman doesn’t need fake boobs."
Kate Moss in Atsuko Kudo. Photography: Steven Klein/Art Partner. Via Yahoo.

Kate Moss in Atsuko Kudo. Photography: Steven Klein/Art Partner. Via Yahoo.

  • [International Business Times] Neon Moon Plus Size 'Feminist Lingerie': Can The Anti-Spanx Brand Have Spanx's Success? - A 25-year-old Brit, Hayat Rachi, Kickstarted her own lingerie company to counter the sexualization of women's bodies via lingerie. Rachi says that "not everything is about being sexy" and she designed her collection to not have any padding, wiring or push up features. Although Rachi feels that lingerie should be for every size and body type, a critic pointed out that her range is only UK 8-14, even though the average size is a 16. However, the designer has said that after the next round of funding, she'll be able to expand her ranges.