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Beautiful Bottoms’ High-Flying Bird
Posted by richard | September 2, 2011

There’s a bit of a catch for anyone lucky enough to scoop up one of the Antique Bird pieces from the fall collection by Beautiful Bottoms: eventually, someone’s going to ask you what, exactly, that creature is.

A swallow? A swift? A magpie? Perhaps an extinct species?

Why not just say it’s a mythical creature, the BeeBee, whose song and graceful acrobatics brought joy during the Industrial Revolution to the grim factories of Newcastle, where Beautiful Bottoms first took flight?

That wouldn’t be far off, since the image on the Antique Bird print isn’t a real species; it’s a pastiche of several bird images (such as the African paradise flycatcher) hand-drawn by the label’s co-founders Lauren Skerritt and Poppy Sexton-Wainwright.

The intent was to create something vaguely Victorian to give an authentic vintage vibe to BB’s third full collection. To my eyes, it’s reminiscent of turn-of-the-century wallpaper — or a sketch from one of Darwin’s notebooks.

And that makes perfect sense, because Antique Bird marks an important step in Beautiful Bottoms’ own evolution. It’s the label’s first original print design, and a good indication of where this once-tiny boutique brand is headed.

One of the lesser-known facts about Lauren and Poppy is that they are not, strictly speaking, fashion designers. Beautiful Bottoms actually began as a course project for the girls’ university business degrees (in Newcastle) and quickly found a devoted following among lovers of soft, wispy, romantic smalls. The girls juggled schoolwork and their fledgling business at the same time, designing, marketing and distributing their debut collection.

That was two years ago, and Beautiful Bottoms is now firmly established as an affordable luxury brand, distributed through numerous boutiques and online shops in North America and the UK. U.S. fans can now find this youthful label in such places as Journelle, Anthropologie and BHLDN, and many retail boutiques.

The Antique Bird print shows up in several pieces in the new collection, but it’s not the only thing new-and-noteworthy. There are nine style ranges in this generous collection of loungewear and boudoir pieces, with a good mix of rich monochrome sets (emerald, purple and a smoky dove gray) and dreamy prints — the Autumn Muse line (above), with its delicate falling leaves pattern and seasonal taupe colorway, is a perfect bedroom look for fall.

To date, Beautiful Bottoms has made its mark with sheer, trousseau-appropriate silk pieces that feature oversized side ties and halters. The AW2011 collection builds on that legacy with plenty of sweet camis, slips and playsuits, but there’s also another addition to the BB repertoire: the label’s first structured underwire bra, which you can see below in the Antique Bird print on an eggshell base.

You don’t need to be a bird lover to covet items from this collection, but here’s a shopping tip for guys: any one of these pieces would make a perfect romantic gift for the sexy naturalist in your life.

Here are some images from the Beautiful Bottoms AW2011 collection:

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