The cutest newcomer on the American lingerie scene this year isn’t a sexy new fetish brand, or even an item of clothing. It’s a doll-like cartoon figure named Lanie, part precious little princess and part naughty scamp with a fondness for flashing her knickers at the boys.
Lanie is both the graphic symbol for and the inspiration behind Morgan Lane, a can’t-miss new luxury brand from 26-year-old illustrator-fashion designer Morgan Curtis of New York.
Lanie is all over the brand’s debut 2014 lingerie and sleepwear collection (available through Shopbop), in its packaging, hang tags, marketing and in an adorable print on its Lanie Eve PJs. There’s even a custom lace trim on some pieces that bears Lanie‘s image.
Lanie, who was named after Curtis’s sister, looks like a cross between a Kewpie doll and Betty Boop — no accident given its creator’s love of vintage pinup illustrations.
The character is bound to elicit squeals of delight from the 20-something urban fashionistas who are Morgan Lane‘s target market.
At the same time, though, its rather startling blend of juvenile innocence and adult sexuality — Morgan Lane calls itself “lingerie for the little doll in you” — might also spark outrage from the conservative parenting groups that waged a PR battle against Victoria’s Secret last spring.
As cute as she may be, there’s nothing PG-rated about Lanie or the grown-up fairy tale that introduces her on the Morgan Lane website.
It tells the story of a little doll who comes to life and is “always getting into trouble”. One day, a boy follows her home and “secretly watche[s] her through the window as she trie[s] on her lingerie. …”
“The boy wanted to play with Lanie so much he climbed through her window and surprised her. Lanie was instantly dazed with love. She gave him a flash and said, ‘Just wait and see what fun we’ll have.'”
Not exactly a child’s bedtime story, is it?
“Lanie is a muse of sorts who defines the playfulness, enchantment, seduction and mischief that belongs to the Morgan Lane girl,” the company says in a press release.
Designer Curtis spent much of the past five years as a design consultant for her mother, the popular womenswear designer Jill Stuart, and dreamed up the Morgan Lane concept after creating a series of doll paintings.
“Morgan realized her desire to combine her two biggest passions: illustration and lingerie. She wanted to tell a story using both mediums, and Morgan Lane was born,” the company says.
The resulting collection is very well conceived, although you’ll find it a bit pricey. The debut range is split between lingerie ensembles, nightwear garments and a handful of accessories like the gift-worthy Lanie sleep mask.
Our favorite items are found in the sleepwear collection, where the designer’s fondness for vintage styling is evident in such pieces as the Dree romper, the Lanie bloomer, and the sleeveless Riley chemise.
With an A-list pedigree in New York’s fashion community, an accomplished debut collection, and an utterly unique brand identity thanks to that little doll, Morgan Lane has all the makings of a hit.
One suggestion, which Morgan Lane probably hears a lot: they’ve GOT to turn Lanie into a real doll!
While we’re waiting for that, here are some images from Morgan Lane‘s first photo lookbook.