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Softer Than The Skin You’re In
Posted by nadine | December 6, 2010

Soft luxury: two words that tell you just about everything you need to know about Skin Lingerie.

We’re not talking fleece nighties or silk camisoles here. This is high-end cotton lingerie and loungewear designed for the spa-loving crowd and all you city dwellers in drafty, overpriced lofts. If you dream of spending your summers in the Hamptons and your winters at Canyon Ranch, this is the line for you.

Skin is a NYC-based lingerie shop designed to fill a specific void: designer/owner Susan Beischel launched Skin in 2003, with the specific aim of catering cotton lingerie to a discerning crowd:

“Most cotton lingerie out there was either too mature, or too juvenile. I wanted to create a more sophisticated fashionable look that women could wear more often,” she says.

The result: fresh, chic, irresistibly comfortable lingerie made primarily from pima cotton. The collection is targeted at an upscale demographic with lifestyles and vacations that necessitate the word “luxuriate.” (The brand is carried at luxury resorts and spas, with many of its clientele discovering the line while in various states of indulgence.)

Prepare to drool over these organic pima cotton pieces:

Sleepshirt | Skin Lingerie

The cotton sleepshirt tunic (above and top photo) can also do double-duty. Wear it to bed, as a resort cover-up, or belt it over jeans.

French Lace Bra | Skin Lingerie

French Lace Chemise | Skin Lingerie

The cotton French lace bra is guaranteed not to itch. This soft cotton bra has fine lacy inserts that up the sex appeal without compromising comfort. The matching French lace chemise (above) offers the same style features for your evening wear needs.

Lounge Gown | Skin Lingerie

The lounge gown is perfect for just that: lounging. For the daring, the backless halter dress is also a viable choice for a night out. Candlelit dinner for two, anyone?

Shop for Skin online, unless you happen to frequent boutiques in the Hamptons or select international upscale lingerie boutiques, department stores, spas and resorts. You don’t have to live like the rich and famous to dress like them.

Ayten Gasson Eva Eye Mask
Posted by melanie | December 5, 2010

Today: The Gift of a Good Night’s Sleep

Ayten Gasson Eye Mask

The Gift: Eva Eye Mask
Price: $13
Perfect For: Stressed-Out Sleepyheads
Shop: Ayten Gasson

Have all the holiday prep and to-do lists taken the joy and relaxation out of the holidays? If so, then you’ll appreciate the beautiful Ayten Gasson Eva eye mask.

Giving new meaning to the song ‘Silent Night’, the silk eye mask with vintage lace overlay will allow the stressed-out recipient to block out the world with its black lining as she lays in a blissful bubble bath.

We all know as the holiday season approaches that it signals a time to surround oneself with family and friends, unwind and be thankful for life’s successes/gifts. But let’s get serious — Christmas can also be a very chaotic time. There’s planning, and cooking, and cleaning, and entertaining and cutting off Uncle Luther’s liquor consumption before his very pitchy rendition of ‘Oh, Holy Night’.

So if you know a hostess (or bride-to-be) who could deserve a little down time this holiday season, what could possibly be better than giving the gift of sleep — well, encouraging a more peaceful night, anyway.

Is It Real Or Is It Miraculous?
Do Victoria’s Secret models stuff their bras to get that unearthly cleavage?

VS Angel Rosie Huntington-Whitely spilled the goods this week, admitting that she uses good old chicken fillets and other devices to achieve some extra boost.

“I do believe in chicken fillet,” Rosie told The Times UK.”If anyone knows me and sees me in a photoshoot, well, there are friends in there. I’ve been known to have three in at a time for shoots — plus padding.”

Rosie also acknowledged using spray tans before a photoshoot as well as body makeup. But her #1 beauty tip? Water.

”Drink a big bottle of water every day, as it will take away puffiness. Fiji is best. Everybody rolls their eyes at this tip, but it does work. Water is the drug of God, that’s what I say.”

That’s Rosie above, shot during this week’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Try to pretend it’s all real.

Tickle These Ivories
Here’s a fun new way to play Chopsticks that might actually impress your friends.

La Senza UK has produced a clever-but-questionable marketing campaign called the Cup Size Choir, in which models lined up like a piano keyboard writhe and moan in musical notes that match their cup size.

The video above has the girls “playing” Deck The Halls. But the company website also lets users tickle the ivories to create their own tunes, which they can record and share with friends.

We’re having tons of fun with this. We’ve already done Santa Baby, Hips Don’t Lie and In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. Your turn.

It’s Knickers Knicking Season Again
If you get some nice lingerie for Christmas, make sure to ask to see the receipt.

A European study on retail crime found that fine lingerie was one of the most desirable items targeted by shoplifters during the holiday filching season.

The study predicted €5.4 million in goods will be stolen from European shops over Christmas, with booze, lingerie, video games and iPads topping the list.

The country with the worst shoplifting profile is Ireland, where an estimated €82 million in goods will be stolen during the six-week Christmas shopping season.

Ultimo Gets Its Girl(s)
UK label Ultimo suffered a serious setback last summer with the departure of superstar spokesmodel Kelly Brook (right), whose contract was prematurely cancelled after she started showing up in nude editorials elsewhere.

Ultimo was left with some mighty big cups to fill, and tried some unusual approaches. First, CEO Michelle Mone tried modeling her own gear to publicize her recent diet success, then the brand went with a “real women” campaign that put the supermodel search on hold for a while.

But you knew that wouldn’t last long, and Ultimo recently announced two major model signings to boost its holiday profile. The brand’s new star is Brazilian beauty Raica Oliveira (above left), 26, a former flame of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.

In addition, Ultimo signed pop singer Jade Ewen of Sugababes to be the new face of its youth line Miss Ultimo, which earlier this year dumped starlet Peaches Geldof.

Lost and Found
Speaking of Michelle Mone, the Ultimo honcho has had quite a month.

First, Mone raised eyebrows last month when she wore a custom corset during a visit to Buckingham Palace, where the lingerie entrepreneur received an Order of British Empire.

Then, on Monday, Mone left a suitcase the included two priceless items — her OBE medal and a secret prototype for a new bra design — in the back of a cab in London.

Mone turned to Twitter to get the word out, and on Friday the priceless package was dropped off at a police station with the contents untouched.

Maybe They Should Call It “Forget You”?
An edgy new lingerie shop on Melrose Avenue in L.A. has been forced to cover up its sign following complaints from neighboring stores about its name. The offending name? FUK U.

It’s unclear what the store will do about its name and sign when it opens. But we’re hoping they’ll invite Cee Lo Green to perform at the launch.

Happy Hanukah
New York lingerie label The Lake & Stars sent us this Hanukah e-greeting this week. A nice reminder that Christmas isn’t the only focus of holiday season.

The Bare Truth About Irina
Russian model Irina Shayk has threatened legal action against the Spanish edition of GQ, after the magazine ran nude photos of her in its December issue. According to Irina, the magazine actually photoshopped images of her wearing lingerie to remove underwear and make her appear nude.

But is that the whole story?

GQ Spain fired back this week, claiming Irina posed nude and approved the photos. And the pictures weren’t photoshopped, it added.

“Irina posed nude for GQ — Irina knows it, Elite (modeling agency) knows it, the photographer knows it, and so do the stylists and the fifteen witnesses who attended the photo shoot,” the magazine said in a blog post.

Hard to know who to believe. One thing for sure: someone’s reputation is going to need some airbrushing once this issue dies down.

The Year’s Coolest Leg Warmers
Posted by LT Staff | December 3, 2010
Paul Smith
Betsey Johnson
Bella Legs
Leg Avenue
Rag & Bone
Marc Jacobs

These days everything old is new again, especially if it’s 1980s-old. And nothing says ’80s like leg warmers, those durable, dependable essentials that kept you from freezing on campus and made you look like Jane Fonda in the gym.

Well, Jane’s back with another workout video (okay, it’s a DVD), and Barbie stole scenes in Toy Story 3 in her kid-friendly striped leggings. No doubt about it, leg warmers are back in a big way.

Most of us don’t have an old pair kicking around from two decades ago (although you’ll likely find a few mismatched singles at the bottom of your closet).

Thankfully, however, a new generation of fashion designers are turning leg warmers into fashion statements. Finally, a trendy item that will keep us warm and cozy!

We’ve selected a sample of this season’s hottest leg warmers in all price ranges. You’ll thank us the next time you’re standing in a lineup outside a club at 11 p.m. wondering why all those shivering idiots left the house in nothing more than a lace mesh minidress!

Shopping Tips

  • You can find leg warmers in a variety of styles: stirrup, flared over-the-boot, or standard tube style.
  • Most leg warmers are one-size-fits all, but some classic brands come in extra-long lengths. If you’re buying a packaged item, make sure to check the length so you don’t end up with something intended for Heidi Klum.
  • There’s a wider variety of fabrics available than ever before. Wool is the gold standard if warmth is your main concern, but remember what wool smells like when it’s wet. Acrylic blends provide more options for designers, but sacrifice warmth. And don’t overlook microfleece options — today’s microfiber fabrics are become style staples.
  • Finally, don’t buy yoga or dance leggings if you’re looking for something to keep you toasty outdoors. Dance-oriented leg warmers look fabulous but they can be tough to get over your jeans or into your boots and, generally, make a lousy outdoor style choice (and yes, we’re looking at you, American Apparel).

Our current faves are listed below; compare with the photos above.

Neon Fairisle Leg Warmers by Paul Smith
ASOS.com, $227 (top row left)
The most pricey of the bunch, these Paul Smith gems are 100% wool knit with a slouchy shape. Alert Santa now.

Betsey Johnson Buttons Up! Legwarmer
Urban Outfitters, $30 (top center)
Soft acrylic with heart-shaped buttons down the side. Wear over boots or tuck in.

Bella Legs Velvet Pink
Bella Legs, $150 (top right)
Life is too short to deny yourself at least one pair of this L.A. brand’s incredible leg warmers. The velvet model comes in black too.

Keyhole Corset Laced Leg Warmers
Leg Avenue, $10 (bottom left)
A calf-flattering cutout highlights these 14″ cuffed leggings made with an acrylic/spandex blend. Not a great choice for climbing through snowbanks, but if there’s such a thing as formalwear leg warmers, this is it.

Shoreditch Leg Warmers
Rag & Bone, $150 (bottom center)
All you need to know about this beautiful set can be found in these two words: 100% cashmere.

Buzzy Fair Isle Sweater Leg Warmers
Marc by Marc Jacobs, $128 (bottom right)
Another sweater-like option. Ribbed wool in a 19″ uncuffed style. Comes in two base colors – Kahlua (pictured) and Marine Blue.

Posted in Legwear
Velda Lauder Corsets: A Modern Guide
Posted by melanie | December 2, 2010

Today: Bedtime Reading for the Burlesque Crowd

The Gift: Corsets: A Modern Guide by Velda Lauder
Perfect For: Fans and fanatics
Price: $10
Shop: Amazon

If you have a serious lingerie connoisseur on your Christmas gift list, she’ll undoubtedly appreciate corset-maker Velda Lauder’s recently published book, Corsets: A Modern Guide.

Historically, figures like Marie Antoinette literally suffocated themselves by sporting a corset — hardly enticing. More recently, though, celebs like Dita von Teese (whom Lauder has dressed), Lady Gaga, as well as the original Material Girl have all contributed to the corset’s revival.

Even the cinematic release of Burlesque features well, what else — loads of corsets! And, did you happen to catch the Victoria’s Secret fashion show this season? Again, tons of corsets big and small, accentuated the tiny waists of the bombshell models as they sauntered down the runway.

Not only is Corsets: A Modern Guide highly informative from a historical standpoint, but Lauder also writes from a personal perspective — after all, she has been in the business of corsetry for over 10 years. Some of her clients have included opera singer Sarah Brightman, lingerie retailer Coco de Mer and, naturally, the annual Victoria’s Secret telecast.

Can’t decide if this is the right gift? Let me help: if your recipient knows such lingerie terms as bespoke, tanga, Chantilly lace and boning, then this book is definitely for her!

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