Some designer lingerie labels — the ones with diehard fans and trademark styles — face an interesting creative conflict with each new collection.
The industry is driven by the demand for new looks each season, but for some established labels there’s a corresponding pressure to not stray too far from their popular signature styles. Why risk turning off your loyal customers when your catalogue pieces are dependable bestsellers?
No one knows this better than Damaris Evans, who has produced many ground-breaking lingerie looks since launching her luxury label Damaris just over 10 years ago and the lower-priced diffusion line Mimi Holliday a few years later.
The classic “bow” knicker with its silk tails; the peephole backside with its revealing bum cleavage; the barely-there all-straps brief; and, more recently, the extreme deep-V décolletage — all are Damaris signatures and recurring themes in each new collection.
They’ve also provided the foundations, so to speak, for a growing global empire. Damaris products are now available in over 100 boutiques worldwide and the Mimi label is (according to the company) the top lingerie seller for both Topshop and Net-a-Porter — a rare trans-Atlantic conquest.
The distinctive Damaris look has also spawned innumerable copycats. The brand claims that “95% of the whole lingerie market is now influenced by Damaris’s designs” and says it has negotiated legal settlements with “wannabes” such as La Perla, Myla, New Look and others who have “blatantly attempted to replicate the bow knicker.”
Though still young, Damaris is a legacy brand in the making — meaning your grandkids will wear Damaris (or, more likely, Mimi Holliday) someday — and one determined to guard its legacy with extreme vigilance.
Damaris could continue to churn out bow knickers in candy-colored hues season after season and no one — certainly not retail buyers — would complain. But how much fun would that be for a design team that has strived over the years to find new ways to showcase women’s sensuality?
So it’s a refreshing surprise to see this fall’s new collections from Damaris: here is a brand that refuses to play it safe. Oh, you’ll find immediately recognizable elements in both the Damaris and Mimi Holliday lines for A/W 2012, but both collections are also brimming with clever innovations, new styles and an exhilarating freshness throughout.
There’s a lot that’s new here, especially in the high-end Damaris line (below), which this season offers five new style ranges named for diverse global locations plus — big news for brides! — the label’s first bridal range.
That’s the new Timbuktu range in the main photo at the top of this article, and it’s a good illustration of a brand that’s not content to rest on its laurels. It offers a new mix of satin and chiffon, and the ornamental maribou feather trim on the dazzling bolero jacket adds some real glamour to a romantic package. Destined to be one of the most sought-after ensembles of the season.
Elsewhere in the fall collection you’ll find padded versions of the popular V-bras, creative new uses for Swarovski crystals, dangling tassels and a frisky new fringe-based set called Vegas. The new bridal line, called Casablanca, carries the chic Damaris silhouette into a bride’s trousseau — including a waist cincher made to look like the matching garters.
Over at the Mimi Holliday label, meanwhile, Damaris’s creative juices are flowing abundantly. Fall brings more than a dozen style ranges from Mimi — some that update popular ranges from past collections, but plenty of new looks too.
What you’ll notice immediately is an expanded offering of silk slips, teddies and camis — or at least Damaris’s original take on those fashion staples — along with interesting new high-waisted knickers and softer tap pants with nice fluted hems. A good example is the silk Chanterelle playsuit above, with an understated French dot pattern.
For the image gallery below, we’ve chosen some of the nicest news looks for fall, many of which aren’t what you first think of when you think of Mimi Holliday. This label already has a huge presence in the bra-and-briefs market for 20-somethings; now it’s looking to help those girls expand their intimates wardrobe. (Several new style ranges with names like Elferine, Nymphina and Tinkerbell give you a pretty good idea of who they’re targeting!)
The biggest surprise, though, isn’t lingerie at all. It’s those to-die-for bunny and kitten ear headpieces that you see below. They go on sale later this fall and — mark my word! — will be this season’s hottest accessory.
If you’re devoted to Mimi’s usual candy-colored palette, faux Parisian polka dots, lacey soft bras and those ubiquitous bow knickers, you won’t be disappointed with this collection. But you can also expand your wardrobe with new animal prints and some rich new hues for fall like berry, azure and eggplant.
It’s all very sheer, beautifully detailed and ridiculously seductive. See? Where Damaris is concerned, some things never change.
The new film project from UK lingerie label Damaris answers a question that has troubled many women: with all the super-sheer and barely-there erotic lingerie on the market these days, where’s a girl gonna hide her gun?
If you think that’s a frivolous query, then you’re obviously not a super-sexy secret agent femme fatale, like the central figure in Packing Heat, the somewhat surreal spy fantasy film from Damaris and director Johnny Green.
Packing Heat debuted recently at London Fashion Week and features the SS2012 collection from the luxury intimates brand. It’s also a showcase for edgy model/actress Liberty Ross, who gets to fire all kinds of weaponry whose bullets explode in bright bursts of color.
It’s a surprising twist on a familiar storyline, and it neatly introduces the big directional theme in Damaris’ 2012 collection — bright, eye-popping color.
And the film’s payoff? After her barrage of gunplay, Liberty neatly slips her pistol down her backside — so now you know what that peek-a-boo cutout in Damaris’ lingerie is for.
Packing Heat follows the 2010 Damaris film Chore, another widely admired concept film that won a Fashion Film Award. Don’t be surprised if Packing Heat does the same.
10 years into a career studded with highlights, Damaris Evans continues to push herself and her premium lingerie label Damaris in new directions.
Damaris has endured over the past decade not just by producing collection after collection of super-sexy pieces, but by building a repertoire of signature elements that set her brand apart: the notorious peephole backsides, the sheer sling bras, big unwrap-me bows and distinctive clasp hardware.
For her 10th anniversary collection, Damaris adds a new weapon to her arsenal — the pronounced, and very revealing, deep-V décolletage. It makes an appearance in several pieces in the fall collection, including — get this — a V-cut on the tail side of the Pannetoni knicker.
This new silhouette borrows a bit from luxury swimwear design and is reminiscent of some luxury French and Italian labels but, as always, Damaris makes it her own. (It should also be noted that her V-cut isn’t just a fashion-forward look; it’s also quite a feat of engineering.) And you’ll see a lot more of the V-cut in next spring’s Damaris line, which turns the seductive look into something flirty and fun too.
The 2011 anniversary collection includes five styles and a number of new silhouettes, color combinations and textures: think bubblegum pink see-through tulle and satin adorned with Swarovski crystals and you’ll bet a sense of the intricacy involved in this set.
Enjoy the images below from the Damaris AW2011 collection, and make a mental note of that decolletage: you’ll be seeing a lot of it.
The anticipation is finally over! No, not the onset of spring (although my lackluster complexion is rejoicing at the sight of sun), but the arrival of the S/S 2011 collection from UK luxury label Damaris.
It’s been two months since we reported on the flirty spring offerings from Damaris’ sister line, Mimi Holliday, but in true big sis form, Damaris has again managed to steal the spotlight and set the bar higher with its new offerings. Who said sibling rivalry was a bad thing?!
Consisting of seven lingerie ranges, the new Damaris collection boasts feminine and fun embellishments, and new variations on some of Damaris Evans’ signatures like the see-thru naked bra and peek-a-boo knickers.
But perhaps the two ranges that best exemplify Damaris’ spring theme of ‘colossal frivolity and modern romance’ are Visionaire (below) and Faux Pais (above) — if you’re looking to make a dramatic statement, these two lines will give you that and more.
The red-and-lilac lace range, Visionaire, is the boldest set in the collection, and includes a new body style with three provocative peepholes at back, and the very alluring corset knicker. You’ll also want to check out the red lace brief with lip-shaped band (true!) and the romantic shoulder bra with broad lace straps.
Meanwhile, the adorable Faux Pais set shown in the top photo is Damaris’ most whimsical and borderline-kitschy range: vivid lime-and-fuchsia striped Leavers lace in a truly original configuration.
How hot are these two new ranges? Well, the Faux Pais bow knicker and the gorgeous Visionaire strapless bra are already sold out on the Damaris website, even though the collection was just released this week. But don’t despair: advance orders from retailers should mean you’ll see these pieces popping up in your favorite boutique.
Other treats in the new collection? Look for the Eau de Vivre line, in bright aqua blue tulle and, yes, Swarovski heart appliqué on the panty, or, the innocent-looking Formidable, a bridal range in white tulle and Chantilly lace, with gold stud detailing that creates an edgy twist on convention.
For those seeking a darker palette and sophisticated styles, look no further than Portia, a black-and-ivory graphic range with floral Chantilly lace layered over polka dot French lace, and, for a high fashion look, the cocoa-hued Raison D’Etre set, which offers a cocoa-hued silk tulle necklace bra and Swarovski-encrusted tulle knicker.
My advice? Hurry, and get over to damaris.co.uk before the entire collection disappears! This is surely one season not to be missed!
Damaris lingerie is available in sizes 32-36 B-D and S, M, L.
Damaris Evans sure knows how to spice up the holidays.
The one-minute film is a collaboration with award-winning filmmaker Justin Anderson, who previously worked with Damaris to create the extremely popular short film Chore earlier this year.
The jaunty new Christmas vid features model Lyza Onysko and includes some traditional holiday items — mince pies, nuts, fruits. Oh, and an entirely new interpretation of “stocking stuffers” to surprise your beloved on Christmas morning.