Everyone loves a mystery. And the biggest mystery in fashion lingerie these days is: why is Etam being so coy about rolling out its new designer collaboration with Cherry Blossom Girl?
Bits and pieces from the collection have been appearing sporadically on the French lingerie giant’s webshop for nearly two weeks, but the big promotional push that it deserves has been left up to CBG herself.
We showed you the first style series in the collection here last week. And yesterday, CBG introduced the second set on her blog. It’s called Miranda and if the campaign photos seem awfully overexposed, don’t worry, it’s intentional.
Cherry Blossom Girl is the photographer/stylist Alix Bancourt, whose blog has an enormous following among 20-something European women. As a result, she has significant clout in identifying and even setting style trends from her home base in Paris.
And she also loves a mystery.
The Miranda set is a tribute to the 1975 Australian movie (and novel) Picnic At Hanging Rock, which traces the events following the disappearance of three schoolgirls and their teacher during an outing north of Melbourne on Valentine’s Day, 1900.
It’s not a true story (as many people think), but Peter Weir‘s first big film hit has had the same kind of grip on the female imagination as The Virgin Suicides, the American movie that is the inspiration for CBG’s other new style range, Lux.
Picnic At Hanging Rock is worth re-watching anytime it pops up on the late show, if only to give you another chance to speculate about what happened to its characters, and the subtle Freudian undercurrents of sexuality, dread and dream-like surrender that are the plot’s underpinnings.
Cherry Blossom Girl doesn’t go that deep with her Miranda interpretation, which is a soft pastel range of silk briefs and bras with white lace and tulle trims and big grosgrain bows. It was inspired, she says, by the lights and neutral colors of the movie and the bleached backcountry landscape where it is set — something that is also expressed through those overexposed campaign images.
There’s probably a debate to be had about the ethics of creating pretty, romantic lingerie that is inspired by stories in which the death of tragic heroines is linked to their sexual awakening. But that question will likely go over the heads of French girls — who will absolutely gobble this collection up — just as it did for CBG herself.
There’s one more style range coming in this collaboration, which is based on CBG’s favorite film heroines. It’s the all-black satin-and-lace Gilda range, and it’s much more openly erotic than the Lux and Miranda ranges. Keep an eye on Cherry Blossom Girl’s blog for details.
Here are some more looks from the series. That’s Alix in the photos; she’s one of the few lingerie designers who model her own creations.
And in case you’re wondering, Etam no longer ships to the U.S. If there is a retail distribution point for their products in North America, we’d love to hear about it.
The Lisbon sisters were born to be memorialized.
Nearly 20 years after their appearance in the Jeffrey Eugenides novel The Virgin Suicides, and a dozen years after the cult film of the same name, the five youthful heroines continue to have an almost hypnotic effect on young girls everywhere.
Parents (like me) of teen girls were deeply troubled by that movie, not because it romanticized the tragic destiny of Lux Lisbon and her siblings, but because it did it so convincingly.
Boys (both in the story and in real life) were baffled by what happened to Lux and her sisters. But girls got it instantly: how the growing pull of desire overlaps with a constant, aching loneliness; how the intimacy of family and friend relationships made romantic ones seem awkward and foreign; how uninviting the future looked in comparison to the exquisite, isolating perfection of youth.
The Virgin Suicides became a kind of template for the fuzzy, narcissistic agonies of middle-class teens in general and turned Kirsten Dunst into a celebrity reference point for a generation of young women.
It seems almost inevitable, then, that someone should decide to create a romantic lingerie collection inspired by the Lisbon sisters. And that that person would be Alix Bancourt, the Parisian blogger/stylist/designer who calls herself Cherry Blossom Girl and who reminds you of what Lux Lisbon might have been like if she had chosen to live: artistic, light-hearted, given to daydreams, and gifted with impeccable style taste. (That’s Alix modeling her own creations in the photos.)
The Lux collection is the centrepiece of Cherry Blossom Girl‘s second collaboration with the French lingerie label Etam, which is comprised of three style ranges that salute Alix/CBG’s screen idols.
The Lux line is a fairly large collection of super-pretty soft bras and briefs in pastel shades and summery floral prints, shown above. Look for lots of feminine ruffles and satiny bows, not to mention the matching print bow tie.
There’s also the Gilda line of black satin and lace pieces (like the sheer polka dot body above), named for the Rita Hayworth film of the same name.
The third line, Miranda, hasn’t been released yet, but it’s not inspired by Miranda Kerr or Cosgrove. Instead, it’s a tribute to the main character in another iconic film about mysteriously interrupted young lives: Peter Weir’s 1975 Picnic at Hanging Rock.
The first collection from Cherry Blossom Girl for Etam last spring was one of the prettiest of the year and quickly became hard-to-get. Items from the new set were posted on Etam’s website earlier today (and are reasonably priced), so don’t wait too long to get in line!
Here are some more looks from the Lux range:
Last year it was spring lambs on the fashion runway. This time, it was pythons and poodles and models in matching afros.
But those weren’t the most exotic creatures in last night’s spring runway show from French lingerie brand Etam, held at the Beaux-Arts de Paris and streamed live on the internet.
That honor would go to Grace Jones — at 63, still as fearsome as ever in a hip-baring bodysuit and customized goat horns — and a bevy of other 80s’ disco icons who came out of semi-retirement for the high-spirited spectacle.
In fact, Etam’s annual show was more concert than catwalk, with astonishing back-to-back performances from Jones, Chaka Khan (above), Gloria Gaynor and Sister Sledge that kept the crowd on their feet. It’s awfully hard to make a lasting impression during Paris Fashion Week (across town, for example, Karl Lagerfeld was turning a fashion runway into an airplane cabin to unveil his latest), but Etam‘s disco inferno should do the trick.
The disco theme also backed up the goods on the runway, as Etam unveiled a spring line filled with high-glam pieces sparkling with gold and sequined accents.
If you didn’t catch the 90-minute show, here’s an edited best-of video to give you a taste of what you missed!
Images courtesy of AP, Getty
Being a lingerie model can be dangerous. Especially if you work for French label Etam, which keeps finding new ways to generate buzz by putting its models in harm’s way.
The label is in a heap of trouble after it sent three models wearing trenchcoats into Paris’s famed Musee d’Orsay (above) to perform an unauthorized striptease in front of amused art lovers, before getting chased out by security guards.
That episode followed two other recent ‘flash attacks’ on French landmarks by the scantily-clad trio: stripping down to their bright skivvies during a security check at Charles De Gaulle airport, and holding a chilly impromptu skate at the outdoor rink at the Eiffel Tower.
Those stunts (see videos below) were posted on Etam’s YouTube channel. However, the clandestine video of the museum stunt has disappeared from the Etam site after museum authorities threatened legal action. A spokesman for the Orsay said the museum wasn’t informed of the Etam stunt and called it “a serious infringement of the Orsay’s rights and the rights of others.”
The museum houses, among other things, a vast collection of Impressionist masterpieces and, ironically, is about to open a new exhibit featuring its catalog of Degas nudes (below).
Etam’s latest escapades are meant to promote the upcoming live webcast of its spring runway show, which happens on Jan. 23 at 9 p.m.
And it’s not the label’s first adventure in guerrilla marketing. This time last year, the sexy flashers drew lots of stares — and plenty of press — when Etam sent them into the wintry streets of Paris in January to talk to passersby about the spring collection and show (see it here on our list of the best lingerie videos of 2011).
You may not be familiar with Sophie Hallette, but if you have a taste for couture lingerie then you probably have this label in your undies drawer without even knowing it.
Sophie Hallette is one of France’s largest and most esteemed lace-makers and supplier to many of the world’s great fashion houses and lingerie labels. In the past year alone, the 120-year-old dentellière has leant is exquisite patterns to new lingerie collections from Aubade, Princesse Tam Tam, Agent Provocateur, Nina Ricci, Wolford, Andres Sarda and Lise Charmel‘s breathtaking Look Fatal range.
But most people around the globe will know Sophie Hallette’s work from an unforgettable, one-off moment in history — this spring’s Royal Wedding.
SH was responsible for creating the lacework for Kate Middleton’s Alexander McQueen wedding gown, delivering an exclusive pattern of roses, shamrocks and lilies that was painstakingly hand-sewn onto the gown’s décolletage, sleeves and train.
Now, the French lingerie label Etam is capitalizing on the lacemaker’s historic moment in the fashion spotlight by introducing a limited “prestige” collection called Sophie Hallette for Etam.
There are more than a dozen pieces in the Sophie Hallette collection that show off the diversity of the lacemaker’s patterns. (Have a look at the portfolio on the Sophie Hallette website to see more than 2,000 incredible patterns in their catalogue.)
To be honest, some of the items in this new Etam collection (like the Silky set in the top photo) showed up earlier this summer when Etam rolled out the lookbook for its Fall 2011 range.
But who can fault Etam for paying such a tribute to one of the industry’s great artisans? Perhaps Etam is simply piggybacking on the demand for all-things-Kate-related, but there’s something touching about the label’s decision to shine a well-deserved spotlight on a partner that is less well known to consumers.
Besides, if it turns a new generation of fashionistas into lace connoisseurs, Etam will have done a valuable public service!
Below are a few of the sets included in the Sophie Hallette for Etam collection, followed by an illuminating video that looks behind the scenes at Sophie Hallette.