Watching the American Music Awards last night, I was struck by how much the visual presentation of a song has eclipsed the actual performance when it comes to winning audience approval.
Perhaps Katy, TLC, Ke$ha and others hit a few sour notes, but did anyone really notice (or care) given the blinding, hypnotic assault on our retinal cortexes that accompanied their performances?
Lingerie can be a bit like that, too. The visual impact of your boudoir outfit can mask a lot of defects — not in you, but in the garment itself. Loud, garish styles that overpower the senses may not stand up to a critical inspection, but they certainly make a memorable impression.
No one knows this better than Beach Bunny, the very popular California swimwear brand that last week brought its signature version of glitz and glam to the lingerie market with the introduction of its new label Love Haus.
The word “subtle” isn’t part of Beach Bunny‘s vocabulary, and Love Haus is no exception. It’s a big, bold collection of come-on lingerie and statement-making loungewear pieces and stylistically it is — like most BB collections — all over the map.
“From retro glamour girl in an artisan-style corset and lace bed jacket to Roman goddess in a draped chemise and signature micro thong,” the company said in announcing Love Haus, “women can finally feel comfortable, confident and naturally themselves in the bedroom.”
Beach Bunny is also renowned for producing numerous collections every year, something it’s promising to do with Love Haus, too.
Now 10 years old, Beach Bunny is in many ways a classic made-in-America success story: former swimsuit model Angela Chittenden built a family-run empire by creating a huge catalogue of outrageously sexy pieces that were often inspired by lingerie styling. Strategic licensing deals with all-American bombshells like Kate Upton and the Kardashians helped make the company a favorite among celebrities and fashion magazines, while its abundant use of metallic bling gave it a recognizable fashion signature (and a fanbase among beachcombers with metal detectors).
Beach Bunny prefers to think of itself as offering a stylistic blend of European elegance and Californian casual, but the truth is somewhere in the middle. It has created a lot of glamorous and original swim looks but — let’s be honest — it also has to answer for a profusion of extremely trashy ones, too.
The debut Love Haus collection fits that pattern as well. The nicest pieces are the most understated ones, while the gaudiest items here look like they won’t last more than a couple of wearings. There are some awkward pairings (jewel-tone satin on black lace), a whole range of sheer pieces that look like Maison Close rejects, and a few what-were-they-thinking items such as the lace bed jacket and a mesh-and-stretch-leather corset.
The stretch-lace panel skirt with the weird fake leather tie-belt (above) illustrates the Beach Bunny/Love Haus puzzle nicely: here’s a brand striving to create a unique American style, but the result looks more suited to a bordello than a boudoir.
None of which will deter this collection from finding a place in the market, since Love Haus is designed to appeal to the same huge fanbase that is drawn to Beach Bunny‘s over-the-top swim styles. And if it’s your ambition to look like the classiest stripper on the stage, Love Haus may well be your next go-to lingerie brand.
“Presented with beauty, grace and the perfect balance of sex appeal and unrivaled comfort,” the company says about itself, “Love Haus pieces are destined to become classic wardrobe staples.”