With a title like “Get Your Rabbit Out”, the fall lingerie and loungewear collection from Kriss Soonik is bound to generate a lot of snickering — and misunderstanding.
No, it’s not a rallying cry for women to whip out their favorite vibrator, nor a plea to take a pregnancy test, nor an invitation to some kind of carnal shenanigans.
For Soonik, an Estonian designer based in London, the title of her new collection refers to an Estonian expression that translates as “Get your rabbit out of your trousers!” and which apparently means “Be yourself, get out there!”
But that doesn’t stop Soonik from having some fun with the unavoidable multiple meanings at play here, which she acknowledges by adding feathery puffs to many pieces in the collection. Yes, the bunny tail is back — and it just might be this year’s must-have fashion accessory. Somewhere Hugh Hefner is probably smiling.
There’s also a new video from Soonik (below) that is much less subtle about the frisky side of her popular label — and the animalistic passions it arouses in the lead character, a timid lad known as Bunny Boy. In this fairy tale, however, it’s the female protagonist who is the wolf in sheer clothing.
Soonik’s bunny puffs are made from grey or black marabou feather and show up in some unexpected places: on collars, bikini waist bands, bra bustlines, the backside of Soonik’s signature suspender tops and, of course, on the derrière in her new briefs. The puffs are removable because, well, you can’t play all the time.
(NOTE: There’s a limited edition sapphire-and-powder-blue version of the Alison bra-and-knickers set (shown in lime, below) available at Opening Ceremony in New York.)
Boldness and expressive individuality are the hallmarks of this most independent of indie lingerie labels. And for the A/W 2014-15 collection Soonik reworks some of her signature looks, like the lace “wing” panels and the ever-popular Susan Motion reversible lace body.
Among the new styles, the Elve range, which is very elven indeed, is a standout in color-saturated burgundy (though it appears to be a limited edition, so don’t leave it on your wish list for too long.)
There’s also a good assortment of soft jersey loungewear pieces that are more comfortable than fashion-focused, and might be closest thing to a “basics” line that Soonik offers.
Below we have the editorial imagery from Kriss Soonik‘s Get Your Rabbit Out, followed by a selection of looks from the new collection. Kriss Soonik is available in a wide selection of international retail boutiques listed here.
She was one of the most familiar figures of the freewheeling 1970s, but no one saw her face and few people knew her name.
She was known simply as “Tennis Girl”, an anonymous leggy blonde caught scratching her bare bum on a tennis court bathed in late afternoon sunlight.
The mildly provocative 1976 photograph (below) by Martin Elliott went on to become one of the cultural touchstones of the era. Although it was banned in some countries, a poster-size version produced by the calendar publisher Athena sold more than 2 million copies. Most of them hung in college dorm rooms around the world, competing with Farrah Fawcett for dominion over a generation of young men’s fantasies.
Tennis Girl’s appeal was almost primal. Youthful, playful, sexy and slightly mysterious, the photo seemed to capture a candid moment in a young woman’s life that revealed a sensual spirit beneath the proper tennis attire. Seriously, who doesn’t wear underwear to a tennis match?
The model, 18-year-old Fiona Butler, never got a nickel for the iconic image shot at Birmingham University by her then-boyfriend, and didn’t reveal her identity until a 2007 newspaper interview.
Today, however, Tennis Girl is getting another spin in the sun as the centerpiece of an inspired photo campaign by UK loungewear innovator Kriss Soonik.
Soonik and photographer Kristel Raesaar recreated the famous image in tribute to the original Tennis Girl and to promote her label’s highly original tennis-themed pieces for spring 2014.
“It’s the accidental sexiness which I find captivating, the unexpected, caught-in-the-moment feeling,” Soonik said of the 1976 photo, which she discovered while putting together a creative concept for her new collection.
But Soonik’s personal connection with tennis — including its fashion and iconography — goes back a long way. In fact, the Estonian-born designer was named after 1970s tennis star Chris Evert, who was her father’s favorite player.
“My parents believed that I would follow the lead and become a great tennis player,” she told Lingerie Talk. “But after 9 years of tennis lessons, finally in high school it became clear that I wouldn’t become a professional. That was the moment when I had to find a new hobby and tennis got substituted with fashion design.”
“Years later, when I was already designing and studying at London College of Fashion, I went through heaps of luxury lingerie books and discovered an image of a tennis player with frilly knickers. To my surprise it turned out to be Chris Evert (above) with her infamous frilly knickers,” she added.
“So maybe it was my destiny to become a lingerie designer and not a professional tennis player all along.”
That destiny is apparent in Soonik’s spring collection, which blurs the line between sporty activewear and erotic underwear. As always with this 5-year label, categories are pointless; last season, Soonik delivered a pair of kendo shorts that could turn heads in a bedroom or a dojo.
The highlight of the new collection is the Kristel suspender top (below), a reimagined piqué polo shirt with built-in suspender straps that you can let dangle or attach to your favorite thigh-highs.
Soonik spent years exploring ideas for a tennis-themed garment, and eventually based it on the multi-purpose Kristel body that has been a signature piece in her catalogue for several seasons. This time, though, it’s been adapted to put a sexy spin on that most ubiquitous — and preppiest — boyfriend fashion staple, the polo shirt.
The Kristel Polo is offered in both a sleeveless tank and a T-shirt with puffy feminine sleeves and pearl buttons to distinguish it from all the other boring Lacoste knockoffs.
There’s a matching piqué cotton thong with a gold Kriss Soonik metal label in back and — another tribute to her sporting roots — a delicate lace Kristel Polo knicker with a coquettish ruffle on the backside. Just like Chrissie Evert would have worn back in the day.
And just the thing that Tennis Girl might have chosen, had she known the whole world would be staring at her bottom.
Here are some more shots from the SS2014 campaign, titled ‘A Match of Tennis’ and featuring several other playful and hard-to-categorize pieces from this most amusing of designers.
If you’re still setting sexy fashion trends at an age when most people are contemplating retirement, some people are going to question your judgment (while secretly seething with envy).
Madonna gets a lot of that, parading around in public like a woman a third her age wearing little more than her latest designer skivvies. Good for her.
Madge’s latest poke in the eye of fashion convention came last week at the Billboard Music Awards, where she hauled in three statues for the worldwide success of her MDNA tour.
She also raised eyebrows and set off a predictable tweetstorm of tsk-tsking after showing up in a daring-doesn’t-begin-to-describe-it fishnet ensemble. Yes, fishnet — the go-to costume cliché of strippers and burlesque stars everywhere.
Of course, Madonna’s wasn’t just any ordinary streetwalker ensemble. The bespoke creation from Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci included a see-through fishnet skirt, black high-waisted briefs, a fishnet bodysuit with full sleeves, garter and stockings and plenty of gold-chain bling to weigh it all down. In a word, spectacular.
Still, it’s going to take more than a shout-out from Madonna to bring fishnet out of the fashion dungeon, since it really seems to fit in anywhere except at roller derby competitions or Rocky Horror revival nights.
UK designer Kriss Soonik is up to that challenge, though: her Spring 2013 collection of lingerie and layering pieces is an all-fishnet assortment that gives the much-maligned hosiery fabric a seriously sexy makeover.
“My fascination with fishnet is not a new thing,” the Estonia native writes in her blog. “I produced the first samples about 4 years ago. But then I failed to find the right fabric. … Finding a good-looking fishnet is a difficult task. The fabric has received a tacky reputation and most of the sample materials I saw were exactly that.”
Eventually, she found a soft, high-quality fishnet in the most unlikely place — a French lace manufacturer.
The resulting collection is dramatically daring and very fashionable. (To our knowledge, only The Lake and Stars have tried using similar fabrics in some of their ensembles).
Soonik’s spin on fishnet presents several possibilities: as layering garments perfect for summer festivals; as bold beach cover-ups; as attention-grabbing clubwear; and, finally, as ridiculously provocative lingerie that leaves nothing to the imagination.
Soonik repurposes several of her most popular signature loungerie styles — such as her the Inge wrap (above), the Kristel suspender top and the Susan Motion open-back bodysuit — as fishnet pieces in this collection, and the transformation is often startling. Finally, someone has brought fishnet back to the bedroom, where it belongs. Someone alert Madonna!
Here’s a gallery showing some of what’s available in this range, which will almost certainly be one of the coolest and most inventive lingerie collections of the year. You can find them all in Kriss Soonik’s online boutique.
The only thing missing in Kriss Soonik‘s Titanic-inspired photo and video campaign is that unforgettable movie moment when Kate Winslet‘s hand reaches up and smears the steamy car window in a moment of ecstasy. But if you follow the sequence of images below, it’s not hard to imagine that‘s what comes next. (more…)
The way she’s going, Kriss Soonik is going to have to come with a new word to describe her utterly unrivaled, offbeat undergarments.
It’s not just lingerie, and it’s grown beyond the loungerie label that Soonik has been using to define her collections.
What would you call lacey lounging pieces that don’t look out of place on a beach, paired with rubber boots?
The London-based designer traveled to her native Estonia in April to shoot this highly original campaign called On The Beach, which showcases her all-navy range for S/S 2012.
If there’s a message in this campaign, it’s that Soonik’s creations fit in anywhere. And if her open-backed, hooded Inge wrap or the popular Diana Wings robe aren’t enough to leave a lasting impression, the big plastic blow-up whale or the fresh fish certainly will.
This label has been expanding its catalogue gradually, refining popular styles and adding new ones sparingly. There are some new additions on the KS webshop these days, including the beautiful Lotta lace-and-mesh suspender top that evolved from last season’s Kristel top.
And here’s something worth waiting for: Soonik’s not-to-be-missed bridal collection, which will debut later this week. As always with this terrific label, expect the unexpected.