Making a sexy lingerie video isn’t all that hard. Get yourself a camera, a model, some knickers and an on-trend pop song for a soundtrack and away you go.
If you don’t believe me just search YouTube, which is infested with tens of thousands of DIY efforts from aspiring filmmakers, over-eager boyfriends and would-be pornographers.
Now, making a professional film suitable for promoting a hip lingerie brand … that’s another matter.
The past year saw brands from around the world using videos more than ever before, often scoring viral internet hits that rival music videos.
Some established brands went for ambitious, big-budget productions like the new Damaris-Johnny Green collaboration and drew big audiences. But irresistible indie delights like The Loved One‘s ‘girl party’ shoot prove that you don’t need to hire Michael Bay to create something truly memorable.
A few notes about our annual best-of list for 2011 lingerie videos:
Agent Provocateur – ‘Always Remember‘
Paz de la Huerta starred in no fewer than six short films with the odd public service message: wear your AP undies so you’ll look good if you accidentally expose yourself in public. Must have hit a nerve, because this was the most-watched lingerie ad of the year (non-VS category).
Rihanna for Emporio Armani
Rihanna strips down to her undies and puts on her new jeans, both by Armani. The agencies call this vertical marketing. Whatever, it was one of the year’s slickest productions.
Beyonce – ‘Best Thing I Never Had’
Not a lingerie ad, but a video single that just happened to feature the Queen in Agent Provocateur’s bridal lingerie collection. If there is a hall of fame for product-placement, this will be there.
Kate Upton for Guess Lingerie
Does Kate qualify as a celebrity yet? Given that she starred in photoshoots and videos for a zillion different lingerie and swim brands this year, we’d say yes. This smooth, sultry clip for Guess shows what all the fuss is about.
Forrest + Bob – ‘The Fallen‘
This was one of the most-seen lingerie films of the year. But don’t watch this five-minute soft-core gem unless you have a defibrillator handy and the curtains drawn.
Damaris – ‘Packing Heat‘
Humphrey Bogart in a lingerie commercial? Sure, why not? This ambitious production may be the first-ever lingerie action flick. Arty film noir fun from the same people who created the award-winning Chore last year.
Agent Provocateur – ‘Fleurs du Mal‘
This much-discussed comic chiller features zombies in very expensive undies. What is the world coming to?
Calvin Klein X
What would the year be without a Calvin Klein censorship scandal? We were totally unimpressed by CK’s strip-with-your-friends-in-a-box series from CK One, but this much-banned ad for men’s brand CK X is smokin’.
The Freedom Project – Lonely Hearts / AlwaysSometimesAnytime
The Freedom Project was an arty collab that somehow connected the New Zealand brand Lonely Hearts with the Jonathan Franzen novel Freedom. It’s hard to explain, but we absolutely adored it. Learn more about the project here.
Agent Provocateur Home Collection – ‘In Praise of My Bed‘
The least-seen of AP’s many video productions in 2011, this one is simply perfect. This time they’re promoting bedding, not lingerie, but you wouldn’t know it. You’ll never think the same way about your bed again.
The Lake & Stars
An evocative performance piece that accompanied the New York label’s pop-up shop in November, this film makes a stripper pole seem like a ballet prop.
La Fille d’O – ‘Different Suit‘
This Belgian label makes you re-think what sexy means. This was one of many out-of-the-box small films promoting LFDO’s fashion-forward fall collection.
Strumpet & Pink
Because its inimitable creations are custom-made, most people never get a chance to see what S&P’s knickers look like on a model. Which is what makes this new video so precious. I keep expecting the model to turn into a bird.
The interactive ‘Flashmob‘ film from this UK cult label was the best lingerie video of the year — and a great technical and marketing achievement to boot. But you can only see it here. The film above is a BTS video from the Flashmob launch party, and it’s a lot of fun too.
Elisabetta Canalis for Roberto Cavalli
This is sad. A BTS vid shot just before George Clooney decided this woman wasn’t good enough for him. And the soundtrack — ‘Only Girl in the World‘. Sigh. Give yourself a shake, George: even Warren Beatty had grown up by your age.
Between The Sheets
If you’re a fan of either Coney Island, model Susan Coffey or Between The Sheets’ casual Playdate collection, you’ll find lots to like in this DIY promo film.
Bar Refaeli and Pink Martini’s ‘Bitty Boppy Betty‘ — what could be more fun?
Belle et Bonbon
A nice showcase, with a gorgeous soundtrack by Vashti, from an exciting new UK label.
The Loved One
How do you inject some zip into your lingerie photoshoot? Two words: surf rock! Absolutely adorable.
What did this poor woman do to get tossed into a tiny cell with no mattress and just her PJ Bobettes to keep her warm? We may never know, but watch for a big splash in 2012 from this Miami label.
How did Etam spread the word about its live-streamed runway show in January? By sending models into the streets of Paris. Brrr. BTW, the show itself was fabulous. You can see it here.
A polished promo for Fifi’s cabaret-style runway show at Paris’s notorious Crazy Horse. And since you asked, yes, I will be your candy.
Blush Berlin – ‘Pardon, Paris‘
Blush-Berlin hits the sweet spot with this taunt of French labels that send their models out to accost strangers on the street. Take that, Etam!.
Cherry Blossom Girl
Super-sweet and super-girly, this video was a perfect match for CBG’s much-admired collection for Etam.
Intimissimi – ‘Be Italian‘
Irina Shayk and that song from ‘Nine‘? Whatever they’re selling, we’re buying.
Freya – ‘Holy Fit‘
Part of Freya’s memorable campaign to (finally) get women into bras that fit.
This viral pre-Christmas video from the UK online retailer was spot-on. In fact, FigLeaves claimed its sexy Christmas photoshoot drove sales up by 65%.
What would any year be without a clever nudge-nudge commercial from naughty Ann?
Intimissimi – ‘Feel Like a Woman‘
This one has a hilarious subtext that you might miss. This time, Intimissimi and Irina are peddling men’s undies.
Wait for the punchline, then go to www.askmeaboutmypanties.com to find out what this is all about. That’s all we’re saying.
Blush Berlin – ‘Secret of Love‘
Another one from the German label, which produces very smart videos and this year earned plaudits for its send-up of Rupert Murdoch. This one is very subtle, with a lovely punchline.
As an art form — and it is an art form — lingerie design might be the only creative enterprise that reaches a public audience second-hand, through a camera lens.
Since it’s also a personal consumer product, lingerie spends most of its time in drawers and closets or shared intimately in discreet settings. Only the most determined shoppers ever get a chance to view and appreciate the enormous range of artistic acheivements produced every year by the world’s great intimates designers.
New York editor Patrice Farameh knows that paradox well, and sets out to address it in her new book, Second Skin, a luxurious, boxed edition that explores the erotic art of couture lingerie.
For those who appreciate fashion, art, photography, erotica or any combination thereof, Second Skin makes an edgy statement as a coffee-table book, or an intimate one as a gift for the bedside table.
“Lingerie is the most delicate art in fashion design,” Patrice told Lingerie Talk. “It really is the second skin on a woman.”
In preparing Second Skin (which was released in North America two weeks ago), Patrice consulted with dozens of the world’s premier labels “to show the whole spectrum of what’s really going today in lingerie design.”
Eventually, 40 top labels were profiled in the book, which combines artistic photography, quotes and background information about the brands, their designers and their philosophies.
Included in this who’s who of contemporary lingerie artistry are familiar European names like La Perla and Andres Sarda, along with smaller independents such as UK corset label Eternal Spirits and Australia’s Hopeless. U.S. designers aren’t forgotten either, with Undrest, N De Samim, The Lake and Stars and Jean Yu among the American labels represented.
Second Skin includes a compelling introduction by Lisa Z. Morgan of Strumpet & Pink, and a foreword from the Seven Bar Foundation, the non-profit group that stages luxury lingerie runway shows to raise money to help women entrepreneurs in disadvantaged countries.
And it’s more than just a photography book; Second Skin also tries to understand the erotic appeal of lingerie and its role in how women perceive themselves.
“Where does that alluring power come from, and how does a designer work that magic into each gorgeous flesh-wrapping piece of art?” Patrice asks in the book’s introduction. “I’ve learned that lingerie is only as erotic on the outside as the woman feels on the inside. And the designers [in Second Skin] are incredibly skilled at creating that sense of desire from within.”
Second Skin is published under the Daab Media imprint, and is one in a series of unique luxury books in Farameh’s ‘Curated Collection’ that look at semi-hidden niches in the world of art and culture. (One, called Skull Style, looks at the artistic use of skulls in popular culture and is a must-have for McQueen devotees!)
Second Skin ($85USD) is available now on Amazon and discriminating bookshops. For New York shoppers looking for a last-minute gift item, check out Clic bookstore and gallery, which held a launch party for the book.
If you notice a glint in your lover’s eye these days, it might not just be a twinkle of desire. It could also be the reflection from your dazzling, jewel-adorned undies. Lucky girl!
This season’s offerings from couture lingerie brands have included plenty of bling, as designers test the upper reaches of the market with garments that are as hefty as their price tags.
And we’re not just talking about the $2.5 million Victoria’s Secret fantasy bra — a prop that is rarely worn and never sold.
Back in the real world, luxury lingerie labels are finding more subtle and tasteful ways to decorate their goodies with a bit — or a lot — of sparkle. From Nichole de Carle‘s beautifully understated Diamond collection to I.D. Sarrieri‘s collaborations with Swarovski Elements to the new jewel embellishments from Damaris, you’ll find plenty of ways to add some shine to your boudoir wardrobe this year.
Of course you can go overboard with these platinum-card temptations, too. Agent Provocateur‘s near-mythical Swarovski Playsuit weighed in with a retail price of $25,000, while Harlette‘s diamond-encrusted suspender clasps aren’t far behind at $15K.
Here’s a look at some of the most eye-popping embellished lingerie designs available today; you’ll find plenty more if you shop around. And if you find one of these gems in your stocking on Christmas morning, you’ll know the recession is over!
The Australian label embraced ornamentation in a big way this year, and their exceptional creations will drive trends in this area next year. Both the PS Couture and White Label collections in the second half of 2011 embraced the theme of ‘Luminescent Treasures‘, with many style ranges incorporating jewels or crystal embellishments. That’s the jewel-trimmed Tiara babydoll below (left) and the Black Diamond corset (right) with tiny Swarovski teardrops.
As if that weren’t enough, Pleasure State created a limited edition holiday set called Crown Jewel (above and main photo), featuring an intricate weave of Swarovski Elements. Alas, it was an exclusive for Aussie retailer Myer.
The high-flying UK designer label threw down the gauntlet, so to speak, with its affordable diamond knickers collection this fall. Each of NDC’s graphic briefs in this collection feature a .10-carat certified Coster diamond on a metallic charm, placed modestly on the rear band. The diamond charm is detachable and can be added to a matching bracelet.
The first issue of this collector’s edition was a Selfridge’s exclusive and featured the White Diamond set above, with the charm in front. Watch for a new edition in January. Seven knicker styles available and — best news — it comes in at a (relatively) bargain-priced £232.
AP’s over-the-top Swarovski Playsuit was featured in the label’s funny Fleurs du Mal video this fall and was the crown jewel in its semi-new Soiree premium lingerie range. At about $25,000, this little number is targeted at the very narrow market that includes Gaga, Rihanna and the TOWIE girls. Unless you’re a Harrods employee — the only place you can buy it — this is as close as you’ll ever get.
The Italian luxury line from Cotton Club knows a thing or two about opulent adornment, as this stunning set, called Kalamity, shows. The satin-and-tulle triangle bra has a decorative series of Swarovski-trimmed cross-straps, all for a reasonable €236. But you’ll want the matching thong and suspender belt, both of which have the crystal trim too.
Here’s the only endorsement you need for the UK label’s new Chiacchiere line: designer Damaris Evans says this is her favorite design in 10 years of creating nouveau Parisienne pretties for adoring English girls. The range combines black silk tulle and fuschia satin trim, with multi-colored Swarovski jewels framing the cleavage. A masterpiece priced at £240.
La Perla’s Crystal Limited Collection is a late-season arrival that caps a brilliant year for both the Italian lingerie brand and Swarovski, which provided the crystal elements. Delicately understated, the crystals are embedded in the tulle triangle bra (£500) and g-string (£200). Watch for this set to arrive on the U.S. webshop soon.
The perfect gift for women who aren’t impressed by glass jewels, Harlette’s $15,000 suspender clasps have a heart-shaped platinum base set with 135 diamonds. Harlette partnered with Aussie jeweler Eskae in 2009 to create these alluring gems, and also offers a bespoke service that will customize them for special orders.
Renowned for its sumptuous creations for Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Harlette this year also unveiled its Couture Glamour gown (above) and matching lingerie in a shimmering metallic fabric. It’s a custom order beginning at £5000, depending on the amount of jewel embellishments you choose.
The gifted Spanish corset maker wowed the audience at the Cibeles Madrid Fashion Week this fall with the showstopper from her new Knotted collection — the Crystal Corset. A collarboration with Swarovski, it features 6,000 crystals in various sizes that took more than 100 hours to add. We haven’t found this on sale anywhere yet; maybe Maya’s team is just too tired.
Ready to be really dazzled? We saved the best for last with this selection from the 2011 collections by the exceptional Romanian designer. Sarrieri uses Swarovski crystals sparingly and strategically in a handful of style ranges to create very, very dramatic effects. From the top: the one-shoulder silk satin Addicted To Fashion body; the satin Black Temptation line; and the champagne-hued Diamonds Forever set (although those aren’t real diamonds!). You may now swoon.
Fashion lovers weren’t the only ones who took a shine to Made By Niki‘s fringe-tastic String collection in 2011.
It was also a big hit with retailers, photographers, stylists and magazine editors, who created the many different looks in this gallery.
That’s a shimmering Naomi Campbell above, wearing the String body for the current edition of SOON magazine.
More great shots below. When you’re done, find out why the String collection was named the most memorable lingerie look of 2011.
Photo: Mise en Cage
It’s a bit kitschy, a little trashy and completely impractical. It was also the most fun you could have in your undies all year.
That’s assuming, of course, that you were lucky enough to pick up one of Made By Niki‘s String bodysuits or anything else from this slinky, slippery, fringe-based collection of bodywear pieces.
Niki McMorrough’s String series, which debuted in late spring, has been selling out in boutiques around the world and turned the smart, fashionable UK indie label into an international phenomenon overnight.
For these reasons and more, we’ve chosen Niki’s String collection as the most memorable lingerie look of 2011.
And we’re not alone in thinking so. The String body was immediately pounced upon by celebrities and fashion photographers this year but — unlike some other over-the-top fashions — it also worked its way into average women’s wardrobes as a splurge item for special occasions and boudoir game-playing.
A couple of things make the String work so well.
First, it’s a completely original look — but with some familiar echoes. Some people see a 1920s-era Flapper reference, others see it as stripper gear. It can create an instant glam-rocker look or, in the right setting, a vintage Middle Eastern vibe (try this at your next belly dancing class!) And some people think it’s swimwear.
Like all of Niki’s work it clings to the body and accentuates natural curves but, more important, all that fringe tingles on bare skin. And, thanks to the use of quick-release clips, it’s surprisingly easy to get into.
Finally, the String isn’t nearly as immodest as it might appear from a distance. There’s a nude liner on most pieces and a variety of matching undergarments that let you create looks that are only as daring as you want to be.
To mark this occasion, Lingerie Talk spoke to Niki (above, with husband/partner Scott) about the String collection and her future plans. You can also see campaign images from the collection here.
Lingerie Talk: Did the success of the String collection catch you by surprise?
Niki: Yes it did. The collection was borne from a collaboration with KT Tunstall and my own playful experimentation with the fabrics. Here at Made by Niki, we all thought the initial prototypes were really cool, but rather unusual, and we weren’t sure if they would be a commercial hit, so we initially only showed buyers ‘for fun’.
How has the response to the String impacted your manufacturing and distribution operations?
One of the biggest highlights of the String collection’s success is that the range is hand-sewn in our Leicestershire countryside studio by 3 talented seamstresses. Whilst demand has meant that we have been crazily busy, it also brings a personal touch to the collection, making it even more special and rewarding to see customers’ feedback and the amazing sales growth.
It is so important for me and Made by Niki to ensure that customers are always provided with something fresh and unique and therefore we also work with one of the UK’s special small lingerie factories as well as creating a seasonal offshore line (Knockout, Feel, Atomic III), working closely with one of the world’s most prestigious manufacturers. It is so important for us to continue to consolidate on these existing relationships and I hope that this shines through in the final product!
Is there a ‘typical’ customer who goes for the String collection instead of more modest lingerie styles?
Not really. The String collection appeals to all kinds of women who love lingerie, fashion, style and culture. It’s very flattering and easy to wear, and definitely has ‘underwear as outerwear’ appeal. It looks equally hot on the beach, in the boudoir or at the club. It has been popular in the UK, USA, Europe, Middle East and Australia.
Customers are using the String pieces in a variety of different ensemble looks and for a variety of occasions. What are some examples you’ve heard about how women are using the String line?
Our customers are constantly telling us about where they wear their String pieces. One customer wears hers at work (in a city trading office!), others at the beach or on holiday, as casual daywear (eg under jeans) or dressed-up evening wear. And it certainly has bedroom appeal because of its stunning looks and the tingling sensation it gives to the wearer.
What celebrity would you like to see in Made By Niki?
Wow – there are so many celebrities who I would love to see in Made by Niki. Recently Naomi Campbell was shot for SOON magazine in the black String body and she looked incredible. Other fans of the brand continue to be Kelly Brook and Daisy Lowe, which is great as both are gorgeous girls with amazing figures and remain their curves! Maybe Rosie Huntington-Whitely or Miranda Kerr? 2011 saw us build relationships with stars such as Lady Gaga and Rihanna so who knows who will be the next celebrity spotted in my creations!
Will the String collection become part of your ongoing catalog? And will it influence future designs from MBN?
Well the String collection originally came about because of my working relationship with KT Tunstall when I designed a series of customised trousers for her tour. I then extended the range and officially launched the debut String collection for AW11. The success of the range has been astounding, especially at Selfridges and ASOS where the Black String Body was an instant sellout. There was so much demand for repeats, but we were determined to keep it fresh and moving forward, so we really had no choice but to design new interpretations for SS12.
The range sold out everywhere so quickly that we had to bring our SS12 launch forward by 3 months to meet demand. The thing is, I love working with this fabric so much, that there is always something new to try out. I cannot wait to show you the new range of String Bras, Knickers and Bodies for AW12.
What does the success of the String line tell you about what women really want, like, feel and yearn for?
Women are definitely getting more adventurous with their lingerie and now see underwear as an essential part of their outfit rather than being buried underneath layers of clothing. The great thing about the String collection is that it has been designed for people to see and truly embraces the trend of underwear as outerwear. A woman wearing it instantly feels confident and sexy which then translates in to their aura and personality – this kind of confidence cannot be truly bought.
What’s next for Made By Niki?
SS12 sees the launch of the Atomic range from Made by Niki which is the culmination of 5 years of constant exploration in to an ever expanding universe of unique lingerie and bodywear. I have continued my quest to find exciting new ways to smooth and slim the body and this starry range is sure to delight!
Obviously we are currently hard at work on our AW12 range entitled ‘Inheritance’ which comes in 3 groups, each inspired by a different aspect of genetic inheritance and human biology. It ranges from thermal base layers called ‘Nucleus’ to burlesque showpieces named ‘Molecules’ and beautifully delicate mille-feuille lingerie creations entitled ‘Membranes’.
Photo Credits (from top): Mise en Cage; Lutterworth Mail; Le Rouge Boutique, Cumbria.