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There was a time when the surest way for a young celebrity to boost her media profile was to do a nude photospread in Playboy, regardless of what the parents and vicar might think. But these days, with print-based porn all but gone, what’s an aspiring starlet to do to keep her name — and figure — on the wagging tongues of media consumers?

The answer is the lingerie fashion photoshoot, an increasingly common way for young celebs to promote their latest projects and stay on the public radar.

Stripping down to your skivvies for a major magazine has become a bizarre rite of passage for today’s new generation of attention-seekers. And it’s one more sign that you’ve made it: as any publicity agent will tell you, exposure is everything in this game.

Overexposed and underdressed celebrities were everywhere in 2012, from the obvious (LiLo gunning for another comeback) to the unexpected (Kristen Stewart in Elle) to the surprisingly sweet (Rachel McAdams).

Here’s a gallery featuring 25 of the most memorable celebrity peelers of 2012, chosen from among hundreds out there. See if you can spot which ones are having fun, and which ones look like they’re hoping their parents won’t see this.

Some noteworthy items in our gallery: Esquire (and Photoshop) somehow turned Rihanna into a Caucasian bottle-blonde without inciting riots in Barbados (which might have been justified); country crooner Kellie Pickler claimed her Maxim shoot was done to support the troops (umm, okay); and identical twins Eva Longoria and Freida Pinto stripped down for competing mags.

Our favorite? We see a tie between the chameleon-like Nicole Kidman, who does another career rebound in a Deborah Marquit neon underwear set shot by Mario Testino for V magazine; and Sofia Vergara, who radiates so much joy you would adore her whatever she looked like. Lucky for us she’s also muy caliente.

To get us started, that’s Kim Kardashian above, in an utterly redundant — but gorgeous — new spread from Factice magazine.

AMBER HEARD, private shoot
LEA MICHELE, Marie Claire
LINDSAY LOHAN, Maxim Australia
RIHANNA, Esquire
KALEY CUOCO, Esquire Mexico
Can’t-Miss Holiday Stocking Stuffers
Posted by Melmira Boutique | December 14, 2012

Looking for some last-minute gift ideas that won’t break your holiday budget? Here’s a few suggestions — for both women and men — that anyone on your Christmas list would be happy to receive!

Fortnight’s Intimate Sculpture
Posted by richard | December 12, 2012

For its fourth full collection, Canada’s Fortnight Lingerie looked to both heaven and earth for direction.

Designer Christine Remenyi found inspiration in astronomy, Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and modern graphic design.

The result is Asteria, a 2013 collection of expertly crafted pieces that takes its name from asterism, an obscure term referring to distant star clusters.

That kind of esoteric thinking might be hard to see in this bright collection of tailored undergarments, but Remenyi was also inspired by another, more earthly, muse: the American sculptor Richard Serra.

And while it might be hard to imagine the master of gargantuan clusters of twisted metal as the inspiration for a lingerie line, one look at Asteria and it totally makes sense.

Serra’s installations (MoMA did a Serra retrospective a few years ago) often weighed many tons, with pieces snaking around each other in gorgeous symmetry. If you consider the images below, all that metalwork had a noticably organic sensibility, and a very feminine one as well.

Serra’s work both contains and mirrors the shapes of the natural world … which is exactly what Remenyi sets out to achieve in her intimate fashion sculptures.

As with past Fortnight collections, Asteria is comprised of figure-hugging pieces that accentuate feminine curves and which mimic shapewear but without the feeling of constraint.

Fortnight remains a fit-centric and fabric-conscious brand, and Asteria offers plenty of examples: like the Lyra slip (top photo), with its shiny lustre front and broad-weave jacquard back; or the Mira range which uses stretch lace to similar effect.

The collection is substantially larger than anything Fortnight has delivered before: more than 30 pieces in five style ranges, and in a bright selection of spring hues like cyan, magenta, vermilion and pale pink along with the traditional black and ivory.

The patterned jacquard pieces in the Lyra line look like this collection’s standouts — that’s the bandeau and high-waist knickers combo above, in black. The bandeau pieces throughout the collection are new and there are expanded offerings in Fortnight’s very popular longline bras and sleek bodysuits.

Below are images from Fortnight’s promo campaign, shot at the stately English manor Graydon Hall in Toronto, and selected product shots from its lookbook.

Once a local secret, this proudly made-in-Canada brand is now available in most discriminating lingerie boutiques wherever you shop.

Check the Dolls Singing Deck The Halls
Posted by richard | December 12, 2012

The best commercials from Victoria’s Secret are the ones that don’t take themselves too seriously — like this little gem featuring a handful of supermodels butchering the lyrics to “Deck The Halls“.

They’ve done this sort of thing several times before and there’s always a troubling subtext — ie., let’s all laugh at the ditzy babes — but it’s saved by the tone-deaf Angels’ mugging and self-mockery. You can almost see the “smart” Angels trying to sound dumb.

That leaves Doutzen Kroes in the thankless role (again) of the designated airhead, mangling her lines happily — although it’s likely the result of language difficulties rather than bubble brains. As she complains at the end, “It’s not fair to have a model singing!”

Victoria’s Secret did an entire segment during its annual televised fashion show last week in which company execs and models gushed shamelessly about how good their own TV ads are, referring specifically to those multi-million-dollar Bond-like epics directed by schlocky action director Michael Bay.

Personally, I’ll take the semi-unscripted, blooper-style vignettes like the one below every time. Because nothing is sexier than a woman with a sense of humor about herself.

Ethical Undies for Humanitarian Hotties
Posted by richard | December 11, 2012

“The will is everything.”

That’s an old Italian proverb … and a line from the movie Batman Begins … and a good way of summing up yesterday’s improbable launch of the inspirational lingerie line Cherie Amie.

The Dallas-based label started by former Peace Corps volunteers chose international Human Rights Day to launch its fair-trade apparel collection, less than six weeks after a fire nearly wiped them out.

Tara Smith had just returned from Cameroon with Cherie Amie’s inventory on Nov. 7 when an early morning blaze started in the furnace of her rented house. She escaped with her dog (also named Amie) and about half of the company’s inventory. (See “Fire Cripples Fair Trade Label“)

“After my dog, I could only think of the beautiful apparel that our artisans had hand-sewn over the course of more than a month,” said Tara, 27, who arrived home only four hours before the fire broke out.

Yesterday, Cherie Amie debuted its online shop, featuring designer pieces like the Humanitarian Hottie boyshort, both men’s and women’s versions of the animal-print Benevolent Boxers (above) and, for brides, the Goodwill Garter.

Cherie Amie, which was founded by Tara and fiancé Ryan Schuett and funded by an Indiegogo campaign that raised over $15,000, is the first lingerie line dedicated to using 100% of profits to fund micro-loans for women entrepreneurs in developing countries.

And launching the label on Human Rights Day wasn’t just a coincidence, she said.

“We chose to unveil our intimate apparel and holiday discounts on a day meant to highlight the importance of universal rights, especially for women,” Tara said. “Poverty subtracts from those rights by excluding, marginalizing, and depriving women of their voices all around the world.”

This ethical brand supports women in three ways: in addition to supporting micro-loans, Cherie Amie produces its apparel in Cameroon, using local artisans who receive a fair wage. As well, a portion of the company’s income will go toward Peace Tree Africa, a non-profit agency started by Tara to finance development projects in sub-Saharan Africa. She plans to return to Cameroon in 2013 to oversee a new production order for Cherie Amie.

The label’s collection includes teddies, babydolls, panties and other items you can see in the images below. There’s also a 2013 wall calendar featuring the company’s products modeled by a group of friends and supporters called “Our Fair Ladies” (above).

“If anything, the fire that destroyed our home and office lit a much bigger fire in our hearts,” Tara said, “making us more determined than ever to empower women and relieve poverty with Cherie Amie.”

Here’s a look at some of the pieces in the first Cherie Amie collection — perfect for the fashionable do-gooder on your Christmas list.

Bonsoir babydoll
Goodwill garter
Untie Me tie-side panty
Ready teddy
Humanitarian Hottie boyshort
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