There’s an obvious temptation, when looking at the brand new Caged Beauty collection from indie label Electric Ibiza, to start adding up all the style references and borrowed bits of inspiration from other labels.
Yep, there’s a caged skirt that reminds you of you-know-who. A bodysuit imprinted with geometric lines just like Nichole whatshername. A too lascivious peep-hole bra, if you know what I mean.
But this is far from being a copycat collection. Designer Ema Jean Sharpe, a transplanted Brit now basking in the Mediterranean glow of Ibiza, has taken her style cues for Caged Beauty from some of the UK’s leading directional lingerie labels — but that’s just the starting point.
Ema likes to embellish her creations with unlikely frills and unexpected style flourishes; the result is a collection (and a label) that is both familiar and crazily original at the same time.
Her elasticized caged skirt (seen above), for instance, comes tricked out with a large silk tassel in back and leather bow in front, while the matching harness bra features leather bows and open cups. A very daring set for those women who find Bordelle or Mint Siren too, um, tame.
Likewise, there’s the Basque black lace boned bodysuit, which is enhanced by a peekaboo mesh panel in front and leather bow, not to mention the wicked fringed leather restraint-belt.
And nowhere is Electric Ibiza’s boundary-pushing more evident than in the two pieces with the prominent black line patterns. The Cage mesh bodysuit with its high neckline and lace trim almost seems demure — until you notice its ultra-low back. Same with the stretch mesh Cage girdle dress in pale lilac — its open bust and long silk tassels turn the piece into something that is as shocking as it is stylish.
Electric Ibiza is not a line for modest girls, but there are some looks here that anyone can wear anywhere. There’s a lovely leather balconette bra and matching cincher with leather fringes, and a rather sweet strapless padded bra and mesh briefs set with a pink lace trim and cute tassels. And for sheer (literally) romance, you’ll have lots of fun with the expansive Batwing chiffon playsuit.
Caged Beauty marks a change in direction for Ema, whose debut collection was much more costumey and glam-heavy (who can forget those pink fringed epaulets?!). This set seems more evolutionary than revolutionary, and it makes us wonder why more designers don’t try this approach — adapting emerging style trends with new and forward-looking ideas that challenge women to see how bold they can be?
Here are some looks from Electric Ibiza’s new Caged Beauty set, which will reach stockists soon. (Main photo above courtesy of Ana Lui photography.)