We’re used to talking with lingerie designers whose work is influenced by movie stars, artists or the famous women who inspire them. But who could have imagined a modern intimates collection inspired by the guy who made suits for Elvis Presley, Hank Williams and Roy Rogers?
In fact, the Rhinestone Cowgirl collection from Brooklyn indie duo Daisy and Elizabeth wasn’t just influenced by the embroidered western suits created by Nudie Cohn, it was a true collaboration with his granddaughter, who re-opened the legendary Nudie’s Rodeo Tailor store in California last year.
Daisy and Elizabeth‘s 9-piece capsule collection features the kind of western-themed embroidery and rhinestone embellishments that once adorned suits crafted by Nudie Cohn for everyone from Elton John to Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash and even Ronald Reagan.
The collection is an affectionate tribute not just to Nudie, but to many of the stars who sported his most famous creations. There’s a ‘Rocket Man’ bra, panty and garter set named for Elton, a ‘Hank’ camisole named for Hank Williams, and a ‘Wagoner’ set named for stylish country singer Porter Wagoner.
The real must-haves, though, are the ‘Parsons’ romper named for ’70s icon Gram Parsons and featuring the marijuana leaf embroidery pattern made famous on the Nudie suit he wore during his days with the Flying Burrito Brothers; and the full-length ‘Bobbi’ tulle dress featuring an eagle design and named for Nudie’s wife — the original ‘rhinestone cowgirl’.
Everything in the collection, which is priced from $100-$475, is made to order and can be ordered from the D&E webshop.
For those unfamiliar with the legacy of Nudie Cohn — a Ukrainian tailor born Nuta Kotlyarenko — his North Hollywood store was a centerpiece of country and western fashion from 1947 until the store’s closing in 1994, 10 years after Nudie’s death. He is credited with introducing rhinestones to western wear and his kitschy one-of-kind ‘Nudie suits’ (costing up to $20,000) were favorites among both C&W stars and rock bands.
Nudie’s legacy was revived last October when his granddaughter Jamie Nudie and her colleague Mary Lynn Cabrall reopened Nudie’s Rodeo Tailor in Santa Clarita, a few miles north of its original location. D&E founders Daisy Hartmann and Elizabeth NeSmith, who have featured western design elements in their five-year-old Brooklyn lingerie brand, learned about Nudie through a newspaper article.
“When it came to our attention a few years back that one man and his wife had been responsible for so many of our favorite rhinestone-encrusted suits … we became dead set on working with Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors,” the pair said in a press release. “On that first conference call with Jamie and Mary Lynn, we geeked out pretty hard.”
Nudie’s had never done western-themed lingerie before — even though Nudie got his start designing showgirl costumes in New York after coming to America — but jumped at the opportunity.
“They had never done anything in the lingerie department, though when we approached them they said they had already been thinking about it and figured this was the perfect opportunity,” Daisy told Lingerie Talk.
“Nudie’s began in the lingerie and custom costuming business in New York, and we are so happy to carry on that tradition of flair and sparkle in this collaborative collection, bringing it to a modern generation that appreciates the history, style and attention to detail,” Jamie and Mary Lynn said in a statement.
Daisy and Elizabeth, who were both born and raised in the U.S. South, launched their label after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology’s intimate apparel design program in 2011.
Since then, the lingerie and swimwear brand has incorporated touches of boho style and old-world Americana in its unique collections. Last year, the label caught the attention of Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Kacey (Pageant Material) Musgraves and designed the custom ‘star suit’ (above) that she wore at Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July picnic. They also sent her some items from the Nudies collection as “a pre-Grammys gift” (alas she showed up on the red carpet Monday in an Armani Privé gown).
But where, you might wonder, would a person wear D&E‘s flashy Rhinestone Cowgirl pieces? Clearly this unique collection is meant for fetching compliments and starting conversations during festival season, so whether you’re headed to Coachella or Stagecoach, get your orders in now.