Home / Lascivious + You: Design A Future Collection For This Erotic UK Brand
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It’s not a job, not even an internship, and you probably won’t get any royalties even if your submission becomes a bestseller.

But the new design competition announced by Lascivious this week might be your best chance to get your fashion portfolio in front of one of the world’s most influential lingerie brands — and the international media that follows its every move.

The trendsetting UK label is inviting fashion students, fans, designers and “like-minded creatives” to submit illustrations for a mini-range of 4-6 pieces that could become part of a future Lascivious collection.

The winning entry in the brand’s ‘Black Bra Project’ will receive a cash prize of £250 and its designer may see their work included in the official A/W 2015 collection that Lascivious will release in August of next year. Entries must be received by July 25, 2014.

All designs must be in black only, and although the contest is called the ‘Black Bra Project’, you’ll need to submit drawings for at least four pieces — a bodysuit, a couple of brief options, a suspender or anything else that would partner well with your bra design.

“Quite simply it’s titled the ‘Black Bra Project’ because, as a general rule, when we think about the design of a new lingerie set, we tend to start with the bra and then develop other pieces that work around this,” a Lascivious spokesperson told Lingerie Talk.

Designers are asked to submit only drawings, not samples or prototypes. Illustrations can be computer-aided technical drawings or hand-drawn, and must show both front and back views. Entrants are also welcome (though not required) to submit moodboards and other supporting materials that show how their collection was conceived and where their inspiration came from.

A contest like this will cause a buzz of excitement among young design students, especially in England where this year’s class of lingerie design graduates are finalizing their grad collections and shopping their resumes around for internships and starter jobs in the industry.

It also helps fill the gap created last year when lingerie giant Triumph suspended its hugely popular international student design competition, the Triumph Inspiration Awards.

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But anyone considering entering the ‘Black Bra Project’ should be mindful of what’s involved here: Lascivious is asking you to do a LOT of work, and they want to see your design process as much as the finished work itself.

“The items you design must convey luxury, innovation and be flattering to the body,” the company says in its project announcement.

Contest entrants are asked to review the “key branded shapes” in the Lascivious catalogue and take into account “shape, form, texture, opacity and detail” to ensure that their entries “will sit happily within the ranges created by Lascivious.” That means paying attention to fabric choices, trimmings and decorative elements, hardware fastenings and the kind of graphic, multi-functional silhouettes that Lascivious is known for.

The company also advises entrants to study up on fashion trends for the A/W 2015 season, and to visit museums, art galleries and exhibitions for research and inspiration.

Lascivious, which last year was named to the annual list of the UK’s ‘Cool Brands’, has a long and diverse history of collaborations with other boundary-pushing designers working in jewelry, leather, latex (above), hosiery, corsetry and even womenswear.

The ‘Black Bra Project’ is a logical extension of the brand’s enthusiasm for collaboration, so it’s hard to fault them for trying to swap spit, creatively speaking, with talented newcomers. But contests such as this skirt some ethical and legal grey areas, too, whether intentionally or otherwise.

(Just imagine if E.L. James asked readers to submit plot ideas for her next ’50 Shades’ zillion-seller or if Adele invited fans to send her melodies and lyrics for her next mega-hit album, with no other reward than an acknowledgement and a paltry cash ‘prize’.)

Students entering the Lascivious contest should realize they are potentially surrendering their design copyright or future patent rights, and would be wise to consider whether they want to give their best ideas to someone else for the chance at a £250 prize.

Of course, no one will enter this contest just for the money, and teachers and mentors would likely advise fashion students to leap at a rare opportunity to get noticed by a respected industry leader like Lascivious.

Chances are, if you’ve got what it takes to win this contest, you’ve got a bright future in fashion design.

More contest details can be found here.

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