Home / Archives / February 2012
The Two Sides of Myla
Posted by richard | February 24, 2012

Most women have many facets to their personality, something that can be reflected (and expressed) by your lingerie choices.

Myla, the glamorous UK label from London’s tony Notting Hill district, knows this as well as anyone.

For their new Spring 2012 collection, Myla offers pieces that distinguish between a woman’s fondness for stylish, feminine looks and more assertive designs created with seduction in mind.

This really isn’t news, though: Myla has always straddled the line between erotic playthings meant for the bedroom only, and functional luxury that’s suitable to wear under a cocktail dress. It makes sense, then, that one of the themes of this collection is “wearable boudoir”.

The most memorable of the four new style ranges in the spring collection is the Verna range, with its halter-style ribbon ties and decadent combination of mesh and stretch satin. The Verna set (top photo) includes Myla‘s signature peek-a-boo 1/4-cup bra and high-waisted knickers with a big tie-side bow and built-in control panels. Verna comes in sultry black or a truly wicked lipstick shade.

On the feminine side of things, the alluring new Elouise (above) set is a satin-and-lace grouping that includes a longline balcony bra with sweetheart bow, while the sophisticated new Mira range includes the champagne chemise (below) with plenty of delicate detailing.

Myla has also updated its classic, flirty Isabella range for spring, offering new color combinations such as the soft pistachio show in the silk satin slip below.

And for lovers of vintage looks, Myla has brought back the popular Gardenia range first introduced in 2010, this time some new styles in a creamy caramel hue.

Whichever part of your personality needs to come out on your next date night, Myla has a look that can help you out! Here’s a few more campaign shots from Myla‘s Spring 2012 collection; hover over the images for style names:

Posted in Myla
All Hail the Scottish Queen!
Posted by richard | February 24, 2012

It’s tempting to look for some kind of political statement in Huit‘s eye-catching new Scottish Queen ensemble, but I warn you, you’ll be disappointed.

It’s not (as I had hoped) a salute to Mary Stuart and her woeful house, nor an attempt to stir up controversy ahead of the next Scottish independence vote slated for 2014.

In fact, it would be quite inappropriate for Huit to wade into those waters, since it’s a French lingerie label that was recently rescued from fiscal collapse by the English mega-brand Eveden, its new owner and overlord. Sure, the French and the Scots famously plotted against the English throne way back in the Braveheart days, but I somehow doubt this lingerie set is a continuation of that subterfuge.

Likewise, it’s not a tribute to the current and rightful “Scottish queen”, who will mark 60 years on the throne this year with an endless assortment of commemorative bric-a-brac.

Nor, for that matter, is Huit‘s “queen” tartan a slap at Scottish lingerie label Ultimo, which created its own distinctive tartan lingerie ensemble last year (although I suspect that if Scotland ever does get its own queen again, it’ll be Ultimo chief Michelle Mone, who probably has enough money and nerve for a coup d’etat.)

And finally, it should be pointed out that Huit‘s Scottish Queen is in no way meant as a slight against the manhood of your average kilt-wearing highland male, even though it would make a smashing addition to some of the costumery on display during the annual GlasGay Festival.

No, the Scottish Queen set is nothing more, or less, than one of this spring’s catchiest styles, and it’s showing up in shop windows around the world. The rainbow-hued tartan has some nice button detailing and comes in a balcony and push-up bra (with Huit‘s Magic Air inserts) and shorty and thong brief styles.

Huit is a venerable name in French lingerie, and its addition to the Eveden stable (they own Freya, Goddess, Elomi and other brands) brings another dose of playful, chic lingerie styling into the UK and global market. In fact, if there really is a message in the Scottish Queen set, it may simply be Huit‘s way of thanking their new UK owners for the 2010 bailout that saved the brand.

That Huit chose to do so with a tartan pattern this year is a bit risky, since tartan purists are easily rankled by new patterns that lack a proper, discernable lineage that can be traced back to some 12th Century peat bog.

Nevertheless, it’s a wonderful, modern print and hopefully the beginning of a new tradition. What’s more, it’s worthy of that ancient Gaelic toast-to-the-tartan: Mayest thou enjoy it / Mayest thou wear it / Mayest thou finish it / Until thou find it / In shreds, in rags, in tatters!

Here’s a look at the rest of Huit‘s adorable spring line for 2012:

Posted in Huit
Everything Rhymes With Orange
Posted by richard | February 22, 2012

Orange is a color for artists and extroverts and romantics given to zesty self-expression. That’s why Christo decided to drape Central Park in orange sheets — and not, say, crimson or purple — in the dead of winter. Orange is the palette of crazy people.

It’s also a tricky hue for lingerie garments. In the fall, designers will sometimes present muted autumnal tones that dilute orange into something resembling a neutral shade. But dramatic, statement-making orange is rarer.

But this year is different, and bright orange hues are popping up in designer lingerie collections everywhere, like marigolds announcing the arrival of spring. And it’s this kind of declarative color statement that is turning lingerie into too-cool-to-conceal streetwear.

We can give color arbiter Pantone some credit for the rebirth of orange as a fashion color. They named something called ‘Tangerine Tango’ as 2012’s color of the year in fashion and design — a bit arbitrary, perhaps, but some designers pay close attention to such trend-setting pronouncements.

Regardless of what the tastemakers decree, orange has much broader appeal than any single mutation can offer. Since it’s a hybrid of two primary colors, orange offers endless possibilities for variation and can work in fashion every season.

In the gallery below we’ve gathered some of the most interesting takes on orange lingerie and undergarments for Spring 2012, but don’t be surprised if no two shades look alike.

For color purists, you’ll find examples of coral, salmon, mango and tangerine, as well as tones that lean toward the yellow end of the spectrum or the red, and varying degrees of saturation ranging from crayon-like color pops to subtly understated pastels. But they’re all notes in the same symphony; this year, everything rhymes with orange.

And what can you actually do in orange undies? Take a hint from the Polish avante garde womenswear designer Malgorzata Dudek, whose wild creation is shown above: just dance your heart out.

Cosabella
Cotton and Ceylon lace, Dolce Vita collection.

The Lake & Stars
Bold body-con silhouettes from SS2012 collection. The socks are indispensable!

Sonata

Lalique lace body (above) and Danae bra and brief from the SS2012 Belle Epoque collection.

Victoria’s Secret Designer Collection
Lace demi bra and thong. Currently out of stock.

Zinke
XOXO romper (left) and Summer Crush bra top and flutter briefs from American Summer collection.

Only Hearts
Silk charmeuse dress.

Daisy & Elizabeth
Strappy color-blocked looks (w/suspenders!) from the Brooklyn duo’s SS2012 collection. Also shown in main photo at top of this article.

Free People Intimates
Detail showing Galloon lace halter bra (left) in nectarine; and lace trim bandeau in mango.

Damaris
Lemon Drop ensemble with lime satin and tangerine lace from SS2012.

Kriss Soonik
Open-front Susan Motion body can be worn facing front or back.

Ari Dein
Piazza Leone demi-robe from spring collection in colorway called La Seranissima.

La Fée Verte
Spring collection contains numerous pieces in a coral-like hue, both in the lingerie and new RTW line. Look for slips, soft bras and briefs, shorts and coverups in solid colorway or print.

180 by Jean Yu
Sheer silk-chiffon tee and shorts from last summer’s debut collection. Hard to find!

Petiole
Made-to-order silk tap panty.

VPL
B bra and U undi from 2012 spring collection.

Dimepiece
Sheer A-tank from 2012 collection, ‘The Drug and the Dream‘.

Eres
Three very different beachwear looks based on unique orange-y hues, from left: Saba coverup in louxor hue; Minaret bikini in soufi; Holdup one-piece in louxor.

Marie Jo L’Aventure
Christian bra and brief.

Passionata
Lace So Pretty ensemble from Spring 2012 collection.

Araks
Silk georgette Elin slip in a bright tangerine.

420-Friendly Looks from Dimepiece
Posted by richard | February 20, 2012

Dimepiece Designs, the urban streetwear label from California that mixes lingerie styling into many of its pop-art ensembles, is sure to raise a few eyebrows with an ironic, dope-friendly spring collection called The Drug and the Dream.

At least we think the name is ironic — maybe a kind of fashion statement in response to the failure of Prop 19 just over a year ago, which would have legalized pot possession in the state. Then again, Lotus Land still has the most relaxed possession laws in the country, so perhaps The Drug and the Dream merely celebrates that reality.

Whatever the case may be, if you’re looking for 420-friendly fashions, you’ve come to the right place.

Dimepiece‘s new set ranges in audacity from a bright yellow tee with the slogan ‘High as a Kite‘ to the cute MaryJane bra top (below) with a bold floral print that mixes roses and carnations with cannabis leaves. You can also get this look in a matching pencil skirt, cardigan and blazer.

You’ll find a variety of other dope-y styles in the spring collection, including ‘LSD‘ tanks and tops, and another series called ‘Happiest Place on Earth’ that recreates a Mickey Mouse image from a cannabis-leaf print. Not sure if they’ll let you into Disneyland wearing that one, though!

Whether this is your kind of fashion statement or not, Dimepiece‘s unsubtle street fashions are always a huge hit, especially on the anything-goes Left Coast. Lots of cool caps, beanies and sheer tops in the DD store now, too.

You can get in on the rush for one of the new Dimepiece looks by pre-ordering these looks until midnight PST tonight (Feb. 20).

Posted in Dimepiece
Fortnight Waves The Flag for Canada
Posted by richard | February 17, 2012

The lingerie industry in Canada has seen its ups and downs over the past few decades but it’s enjoying a resurgence these days, especially when it comes to independent luxury labels.

Want proof? Toronto-based Fortnight Lingerie is actually bragging about being Canadian in a new marketing campaign meant to emphasize their local heritage.

The company’s new behind-the-scenes video (below), called ‘Made In Canada‘, shows garments being meticulously crafted in their Toronto studio and is part of a campaign to promote not just Fortnight, but the Canadian fashion community in general.

“We’re trying to identify ourselves as a company that cares about what it is creating,” Fortnight’s brand manager Greg Denny told us. “We’re not just designing garments that are being shipped overseas to be made and then brought back and sold at a discount.”

But the video is also “a promotion for Canada, a way of showing things can be made here,” he adds. “We want to show that a sustainable company can grow and prosper on the idea of making products locally.”

That belief has become a core part of the two-year-old company’s values, and an important ingredient in Fortnight‘s rapid growth. With only two full collections under their belt, the company is now stocked by a long list of North America’s most esteemed retail boutiques.

Promoting its Canadian roots, Greg said, is a way of showing the “intimate connection we have to each garment, from design to manufacture.”

Fortnight is all-Canadian in all aspects of the product, from development, design, pattern-making, fabrics and manufacture. Everything is made in-house by expert technicians who can monitor quality control. We want to show that a company can grow with that model.

Fortnight Lingerie represents a small group of brands that are entirely made in North America. It’s a feat to be very proud of in today’s fashion industry.”

Fortnight isn’t the only lingerie brand using nationalism as a promotional strategy. A similar message is being used with growing frequency by American designer labels to separate themselves from the tsunami-like wave of offshore goods from Asia. It’s a potent message that dovetails with the Obama administration’s focus on made-in-America economic policies and consumer worries about jobs lost to overseas manufacturers.

But there’s another subtext in Fortnight‘s ‘Made in Canada‘ message as well — the argument that you don’t need to be a European label to produce top-quality luxury lingerie.

“If you’re a retailer, usually one of your selling points is that you stock European brands,” Greg said. “But it’s not just Europeans that make high-end luxury lingerie. It’s also made right here in Canada.”

Fortnight designers Christina Remenyi and Addie Chown are currently developing the label’s 2013 collection, which will debut this summer. Their 2012 line of tailored bodywear and foundations — inspired by classic female rock music icons — can be seen here.

(Ed. Note: Top photo shows Christina at work in Fortnight’s first studio — they’ve since moved to a larger workspace in Toronto. Both photos by Richard.)

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