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Introducing Erica M. A/W 2015: Bacchanalia

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Bacchus was the Greco-Roman god of wine, indulgence, intoxication, and freedom. Decadent parties in his honor, called bacchanalia, were venues for revelry and hedonistic pleasures. For her debut lingerie collection, Erica M. has imagined a world of a New York underground secret society where Art Nouveau excess and bacchanalian debauchery come together in an ecstatic celebration of sensuality and empowerment.

We were fortunate to have the opportunity to interview designer Erica Young. Not only is she part of the dynamic and growing community of black-owned lingerie brands, she is doing some of the most directional and fashion forward work in the luxury hosiery industry. Since she launched her label in 2012, Erica has been moving towards expanding her legwear line to include catsuits, bodysuits, and, ultimately, lingerie.

Erica M.'s lingerie debut features all of the drama, innovation, and energy for which this coveted brand is known. Cora and I both literally swooned when we saw this lookbook. The drama! The intrigue! It's so well styled that the model looks as if she's stepped out of a James Bond movie. There's such a strength and unapologetic attitude in these photos that we can imagine ourselves stepping into the frame and slipping into an alter ego. And that is a very good thing.

Erica M.'s intricate legwear and bodywear pieces are created on cylindrical machines to create engineered lattice patterns where opacity and transparency do an intricate dance. Graphic, bold, and thoroughly modern, these knitwear pieces act like a transformative second skin. These leggings embrace the patchwork and mixed media trend, with the illusion of a brief and gartered stockings built into design. And how fabulous is that top with the Phoenix wings spread across the back!

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While the knitwear pieces are certainly striking, it is the coordinating capsule lingerie collection that will take your breath away. Embellished cups were a trend seen at the last Curve show, and Erica's snake embroidered bralette was a standout. With imagery that includes imaginary birds and mystifying symbols, the finely embroidered mesh collection inspires a sense of magic and the occult. The geometric mesh patterns found in the knitwear pieces carries over to an embellished bodysuit, creating a cross-hatch of texture above more delicate symbolic images. The fine mesh lets the skin show through, as if the symbols were drawn on the body itself in a ritual. This is storytelling and experimentation at its finest!

The lingerie collection includes simple triangle bralettes with ornate symbols along the edges and at the top of center darts, or heavily embroidered cups where no detail is overlooked (note the three whisper-thin straps at the top of the white bralette that affix decoratively to the cup with embroidered details). And that crop top! Triangle cutaways reveal a center strip that draws the eye from the decorative details at the throat to the rich imagery along the bust. There are definitely geometric Art Deco motifs giving edge to organic yet gothic appliques that are placed along the body in a way that speaks to ceremony or sacrifice. Absolutely stunning.


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Erica M.'s A/W 2015 collection will be released September 1st. Lingerie will be priced $42-$148, while the remainder of the collection will range from $42-$225. The lingerie collection will be sized S-L, and with the minimal support the bras give I'm imagining they will be best suited for A-C cups. The rest of the range will be sized S/M - L/XL (with the smaller size fitting US dress sizes 0-6 and the larger fitting 8-12).

What do you think of Erica M.'s foray into lingerie? Do you have a favorite look from the collection?