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Fred & Ginger Head For Paris
Posted by amy | January 31, 2011

UK boutique label Fred & Ginger is riding high these days, following a featured placement on the reality show Britain’s Next Top Model last season.

Now, the sexy brand is out with a special Valentine’s lingerie collection and a sizzling photo campaign featuring BNTM contestant Charlotte Holmes.

The new line is called Moulin Rouge and, as you might expect with a name like that, it’s brimming with French silk satins, lace and bows that recall the glory days of Parisian nightclubs.

Some highlights in the collection are the peephole knickers (above) and a very sleek bodysuit with chantilly lace cups and straps. For something even more obviously seductive, check out the chiffon Bella babydoll nightdress or any of F&G’s skirted or frilled knickers.

Fred & Ginger was founded in 2007 by designer Victoria Holt and specializes in ornate and luxurious intimates for the UK market. The Moulin Rouge line certainly upholds that reputation, although it’s much less extravagant than F&G’s popular My Fair Lady line with its streaming ribbons and bright pink hues.

You can find Fred & Ginger in some fine lingerie boutiques, but the best option to is to use their online shop. Delivery to North America usually takes about two weeks.

You’ll want to keep a comb handy if you’re brave enough to shell out for this racerback jersey cami trimmed with dip-dyed human hair. Yes, you read that right.

Produced by Two Weeks, the in-house design label of Bitching and Junkfood, this vest-like garment has a lovely fluted silhouette and scooped-out sides and sells for about $100 (US). Hopefully, this hairy-fringed wonder comes with washing instructions.

Bitching and Junkfood is an edgy online shop based in the UK that carries an wide range of avant garde labels. It’s run by two young women, one from Australia and one from Ireland, whose own fashion creations involve eclectic accessories like leather hoodies and feather headresses.

No word on where the girls sourced materials for the dyed human hair top, or how many London lasses are sporting new bobs after selling their tresses to B&J!

Sometimes the surest way to success is to take things slowly, one step at a time. Just ask Michelle Taylor.

Long before she was leading one of the UK’s hottest new luxury lingerie brands, Taylor had a business plan to get her there. Now, barely a year after launching her glamorous label Tallulah Love, Taylor is quite literally taking on the world.

Designer:Michelle Taylor
Age: 35
Label: Tallulah Love
Launch: 2009
Based: London

Tallulah Love made its formal debut last January at the 2010 Salon International de Lingerie show in Paris. It was the perfect stage for a high-end label with big ambitions, and Tallulah Love was named the top new designer at the influential trade show, attracting interest from stockists and consumers alike.

But, as is so often the case, TL’s overnight success was a long time in the making.

Taylor began dreaming of creating her own lingerie label more than five years ago, and approached it as small business start-up. In 2008, operating as Michelle Taylor Design, she won a young entrepreneurs competition, with the prize being a trip to the Far East to source suppliers. Within a year, she received startup funding from a venture capital firm to create a website and make product samples for her launch. Business advisors also suggested she use, and trademark, the Tallulah Love moniker.

Taylor earned that kind of early support for her plans because she already had a track record in the lingerie design industry, working for others. A graduate of fashion marketing at Northumbria University, she got her design training with suppliers for leading UK retailers like Marks & Spencer. That led to high street gigs with Topshop, New Look and Miss Selfridge and, eventually, to a plum job at Playboy Intimates, where she helped create a vintage lingerie line for the iconic brand.

By the time she left Playboy a couple of years ago to fly solo, she had risen to the position of design director. More importantly, the years Taylor spent paying her dues in the lingerie industry gave her a wealth of invaluable contacts among suppliers and retailers that she could put to use when she launched her own label.

TL’s debut collection took the growing interest in nouveau vintage lingerie styles and spiced it up with plenty of contemporary frills and a keen eye for color trends. As a result, Tallulah Love has the look of 1930s or 40s intimates, but with enough embellishments (think bows and lots of lace) to feel trendy. Affordable price points also distinguish TL from others in the same market, allowing Taylor to entice younger women into the vintage-loving community.

Today, Tallulah Love’s seven style ranges are sold in luxury boutiques in the UK, Russia, Spain, Poland, France, Germany, Holland and Dubai. Taylor recently landed a distribution deal to take the brand into Japan and, not surprisingly, has her sights set on the U.S. market next.

Her next challenge? Finding investors to help finance increased production to meet the rapidly growing demand for Tallulah Love’s products. It’s a problem a lot of young designers would love to have!

Below you’ll find Taylor’s responses to our Bright Young Things questionnaire, along with images from the Tallulah Love collection. The first photo below shows one of the luxury packaging options that has also become a brand specialty.

Q&A with Michelle Taylor — Tallulah Love

How long have you been in business?
Tallulah Love has just completed its first anniversary of trading!

Were you profitable in 2010?
We saw a slight profit at the end of trading which is amazing considering the age of the company!

How many people are employed by your label?
Currently 2 but we contract services in so realistically 5 people and we have been blessed by very talented university students on work placements.

What plans do you have for new products/collections in 2011?
There will be both SS and AW main collections and a gift line which will be expanded this year. We will also be manufacturing some of the new collection in the UK, all very exciting for us.

How do you hope/plan to grow your business in 2011?
We will be introduced to the Japanese market during 2011 thanks to our new Japanese distributors — they will be showing TL collections at both the Osaka and Tokyo fairs. We have also received some positive media attention stateside and we will be pursuing a debut launch in the US. We have several project collaborations underway and TL are hoping to introduce our first Australian stockist in the first part of the year. TL’s popularity is growing at an astonishing rate in Europe we can now be found in boutiques across France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Holland and  Poland. We hope to expand our global presence throughout 2011.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in launching your label?
Sercuring adequate funding has been a major challenge. The rapid growth of the label has had its drawbacks and created some rather tense periods, we have commenced talks to secure long-term private investment which we hope will be in place during the first quarter of the year.

What is your most popular design or product?
We currently have two price points, one for the main SS/AW collections and one for gift collections. We seem to have had a wonderful response to every line thus far but I think the Lavender Blue Dilly Dilly line for the main collections and the Love Birds for the gift collections have just pipped the post!

Business-wise, what are you most proud of?
Accepting an export award from the UKTI was a real highlight. I definitely wasn’t expecting Tallulah Love to be at a red carpet business award ceremony in its first year of trading!

How will you define success for yourself?
Defining success for me is always about sharing and living my dream. Everything else just falls into place for me with this ethos. Tallulah Love has already given me so much in terms of realising my own personal goals and aspirations. The journey has been incredible, I am so grateful to everyone who has put their faith in my label. Their belief in me as a designer and their unwaning support for Tallulah Love has been inspirational.
Anything else people should know about you?
 Gosh, could I send out a big thank you to everyone in the Tallulah Love family, stockists, customers, staff, family and friends? You have all helped to make my dream a reality. This past year has been such a challenge, however I would not know what to do with myself if I wasn’t designing and creating. There is a wonderful network in the lingerie industry and we all try and help each other out and discuss problems and ways to move forward. I am currently working with art colleges and universities across my region hoping to inspire young designers to believe in their dreams and their abilities.

Oh, New York, we understand you’re under a blanket of snow right now and everyone’s hibernating, but please don’t hate us for posting sunny pictures of a lingerie-clad model at Coney Island!

Blame (or thank!) Between The Sheets powerhouse duo Layla L’Obatti and Josh Verleun (below), who have just released their S/S2011 lookbook, which offers a more extended peek than what we showed you in our recent Bright Young Things feature.

The collection follows the label’s successful aesthetic formula of breezy cotton and jersey separates that transition from the bedroom to the boardwalk. Soft bralettes and plunge V-neck tees are offered in beachy colors of soft sand, sea blue and sunny tangerine. The items are perfect to pack for an effortless, sunny getaway wardrobe which, for New Yorkers (and most Canadians for that matter), is an indulgent necessity around this time.

But perhaps the most exciting news, which was alluded to with their cliffhanger at the end of the BYT interview, is that Layla and Josh will be appearing on a new reality television series! The show, All on the Line, is hosted by Elle magazine’s Creative Director Joe Zee (a Canuck, did you know?!), and features struggling designers who receive the chance to pitch their collections to a major store.

Being the only lingerie designer on the list — others include Project Runway veteran Kara Janx — has its definite perks, but while we don’t want to think of the lovely Layla L’Obatti as struggling, we do understand the impact the economic downturn has had on emerging and/or indie designers. You can bet that we’ll be rooting for the couple week after week (I am, after all, a reality TV freak and adored Joe Zee on The City).

Layla also created a special collection of intimates for the show that she’ll be able to reveal after the series airs, which we will definitely keep you posted on.

So mark your calendars for March 29, when All on the Line debuts on the Sundance Channel!

Psst! You can also support Layla by visiting her site at www.btslingerie.com, where there are a ton of beautiful pieces sure to please any Valentine sweetie.

Here are some images from the new BTS lookbook. Doesn’t it just ooze urban summer?!

Beautiful Bottoms_SS2011

A lot of lingerie designers are referencing the 1970s in their spring collections this year, but perhaps no one has done it as cleverly and as artfully as that darling UK label, Beautiful Bottoms.

Beautiful Bottoms has created eight (!) silky style ranges for SS2011, each one inspired by one of the most memorable celebrity icons from the flashy hodgepodge of 70s fashion.

There’s the earth goddess Stevie Nicks, the florid bombshell Farrah Fawcett, the icy beauty Bianca Jagger and don’t-mess-with-me Angelica Huston.

Want more? No 1970s fashion lookback would be complete without the rest of the original Charlie’s Angels — the truly shimmering Jaclyn Smith and her fun, slinky pal Kate Jackson.

And Beautiful Bottoms doesn’t stop there. What would the 70s be without a couple of its tough-as-nails survivors: Pam Grier and Marianne (“Why’d You Do It?”) Faithful?

If the concept sounds gimmicky, one look at the BB images below will dispel any skepticism.

Poppy Sexton-Wainwright and Lauren Skerritt, the ridiculously young and talented design team behind BB, has done an exceptional job of honoring their celebrity idols with style choices that are well suited to the ladies’ unique and highly individual personalities.

And don’t worry, you’ll still find a lot of the style signatures that made Beautiful Bottoms such a huge hit last year — gorgeous flowing silks, plenty of girly ruffles and those big dangling bows.

Now, ready to play a little game?!

We’re NOT going to tell you which of the images below was inspired by which 1970s style icon. You have to guess.

Not fair? Okay, we’ll give you one tip: The main photo above is the Pam teddy, in a lovely understated print.

There are 7 other style ranges below. Good luck matching them with their inspirations.

And if you MUST have the answers, go to Lingerie Talk’s Facebook page AFTER 12 noon today where we’ll put up a list!

Beautiful Bottoms_SS2011

Beautiful Bottoms_SS2011

Beautiful Bottoms_SS2011

Beautiful Bottoms_SS2011

Beautiful Bottoms_SS2011

Beautiful Bottoms_SS2011

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