Angie Johnson has already earned a devoted following for her clothing and accessories label, Norwegian Wood, but the decision to launch her first lingerie collection this fall will surprise some of her fans.
After all, this is a label that made its mark with an eclectic assortment of heavy fringe necklaces, richly textured leggings and cool elastic harnesses. But underwear?
Actually, the move into lingerie makes a lot of sense in Angie’s universe. Like so much of Norwegian Wood, the new lingerie set has a DIY-craft-project look: a bit accidental, a little eccentric and, ultimately, an inspired idea.
It’s a small collection (14 pieces) that features some very creative silhouettes and gorgeous printed fabrics that look like they were ripped straight from the Canadian landscape.
Only one style range (shown above) appears in Norwegian Wood’s Fall 2011 RTW collection, which is an utterly unique mélange of streetwear layering pieces and accessories — including this year’s quirkiest must-have trend, a stand-alone silk-and-leather shirt collar.
The icy blue Ellen lingerie range in the fall line borrows from Angie’s work with elastics, harnesses and clever jewelry fastenings. It features a harness bra in blue stretch velvet with brass buckles, and a matching high-waist brief that combines the crushed velvet panels with clear mesh and cotton elastic band. A terrific look, and one perfectly in synch with this Montreal label’s statement-making indie aesthetic.
That early stab at undergarments led Angie to consider the merits of a full collection.
“I wanted to start making my own underwear,” she told Lingerie Talk. “And it got to the point where I thought, if I’m going to make panties, I have to make a bra. And then I found this great silk and, as so often happens, I said, ‘Okay, I’m doing a collection.'”
That proved easier said than done. “I thought it would be simple to do panty patterns,” Angie said. “But I had to go through eight prototypes to get the fit I wanted.”
Norwegian Wood is a very texture-based label, and Angie’s design inspirations are often rooted in fabrics she is drawn to. Thus, you’ll find soft bamboo and stretchy cotton jersey throughout her lingerie collection, and some memorable prints: the colorful silk floral, a flocked floral mesh pattern, and the dramatic “branches” digital print you can see in the Triad bra below. (The “branches” pieces are literally made from fabric scraps left over from one of NW’s popular leggings that has been selling for three years.)
And several pieces in the collection reveal Angie’s flair for DIY experimentation. The black lace Banded Sweetheart bra, for instance, is more about fashion than function: resembling a cutaway crop top, it’s cleverly supported by nude ruched elastic bands. Definitely something you’ll want to show off!
The Cage panties in floral silk aren’t what they appear to be, either. Those black elastic bands aren’t a cincher or suspender, they’re actually attached to the brief.
But Angie’s most creative flourish with this set might be the piece that least resembles lingerie. It’s the cream fringe and fern lace tank top with an extravagant 8-inch fringe. Perfect for next summer’s outdoor festival season!
Norwegian Wood can be found in a variety of Montreal boutiques, and the label’s latest RTW collection was also recently picked up by Topshop in the UK only. The best place to get your hands on NW’s unique lingerie pieces is through their Etsy shop — which also features dozens of Angie’s jewelry items, leggings, dresses, tops and more.