You can’t pick up a fashion publication these days without reading about the year’s most alarming trend: the alleged death of the thong. Yes, people who count such things assure us that the venerable G-string is rapidly losing its appeal among young shoppers, overtaken in popularity by fuller-coverage, high-waisted bottom styles that are friendlier to a woman’s curves.
This is wretched news for people who frequent strip clubs, but it’s a kind of validation for brands like Fortnight Lingerie, the made-in-Canada independent that has been promoting “classic” (as opposed to “retro”) underwear styles since coming onto the market more than five years ago.
Using a variety of modern performance fabrics that answer the need for both comfort and support, Fortnight is one of a handful of young brands that have turned Bridget Jones’ woeful granny pants into coveted fashion staples for a new generation.
Fortnight may have been ahead of the curves, so to speak, when it comes to upscale big knickers, but that only begins to explain the brand’s appeal. Its form-fitting longline bras and body-con slips also have the look of traditional foundation garments, but are actually ingenious hybrids fashioned from a combination of 21st century materials.
Fortnight is all about the interplay of softness and strength, and many of its styles involve a combination of lace, jersey and power mesh working together to create flattering, well-defined silhouettes. You can see this best in the latest version of its signature chevron jacquard material used in the Vega style range from Fortnight’s new Autumn-Winter 2015 collection (that’s the Vega bodysuit in the main photo above).
The new collection was inspired by the colours, design motifs and folklore of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, the Paris-based dance company that had a sweeping influence on arts and culture throughout the 20th Century. And while you won’t find any obvious Russian themes in this collection, you’ll see that aesthetic sensibility in the way designer Christina Remenyi brings together diverse components in unexpected ways. Example: a soft tencel fabric spun from beechwood fibers (and new for Fortnight) paired with mesh to create the Faye chemise, which looks to become a layering staple.
Fortnight‘s commitment to its modern version of old-fashioned style hasn’t wavered much over the years, and new seasonal collections typically involve refinements to the fit, construction and colour options in its most popular catalogue styles. What has changed, though, is the lingerie market itself, which is catching on in a big way.
Fortnight is a word-of-mouth success built on the support and recommendations of loyal specialty boutiques and the fashion press. Now, with the release of its fall collection, the brand takes another major step toward the mainstream — it recently shipped its first order to Bloomingdales, and the new range will be offered at Anthropologie and Nordstrom Canada, too.
“Being a business that started in a basement five years ago, partnering with such iconic stores is undeniably thrilling,” Christina told Lingerie Talk. “However, we continue to prioritize growing relationships with our independent boutiques. It’s thanks to their passion and commitment to Fortnight that we are where we are today.”
To emphasize its connection with the past, Fortnight shot its latest marketing campaign in the house owned by Christina’s aunt, a musician who performed around the world from the 1940s to ’90s and who filled her home with old-world antiques and collectibles.
There’s also another connection to Fortnight‘s own past on display here — Toronto-born model-actress Alyson Bath, who has been the face of the brand’s lookbooks and editorial campaigns since the beginning (Alyson was one of the two women seen in the brand’s 2010 viral video ‘Super Sexy CPR‘, which was viewed millions of times around the world).
“When Alyson comes in for her fitting before a photoshoot, we see the collection come to life for the first time,” Olivia De Vellis, the company’s general manager, told us.
“It’s not just about her curves (which make us all so envious!), it’s her adventurous and free-spirited aura that helped provide a consistent brand image and message over the years,” she added. “She’s comfortable and confident on the inside, which radiates outward.”
Below, Alyson models a selection of styles available in the new collection. Check out the full set of new looks on the Fortnight website.