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Warrior Chic: Lascivious + Úna Burke
Posted by richard | July 31, 2014
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The inspired collaboration between Lascivious and leather wizard Úna Burke — the latest in a long string of collabs between the edgy UK lingerie brand and avante garde artisans — answers a question we’ve wondered about for years: is there a place for Burke’s mind-boggling body armour pieces in the mainstream fashion market?

Lascivious, of course, isn’t anybody’s idea of “mainstream”, but at least it has a strong presence in fashion-forward retail boutiques and customers with real paycheques. Those two things should give Burke the exposure she’s so richly deserved since she exploded onto the art and fashion scenes nearly five years ago.

The award-winning Irish designer creates complex exoskeletal forms from overlapping strips of vegetable-tanned leather and brass grommets. Inspired by such things as medical braces and prosthetics, Burke’s pieces are at once futuristic and medieval — imagine Game of Thrones directed by David Cronenberg and you’ll get the basic aesthetic.

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Her early works, after graduating from the London College of Fashion in 2009, attracted constant attention from magazine stylists and earned Burke a following among celebrities and style icons like Rihanna and Lady Gaga.

But to pay the bills at her London studio, where everything is hand-made, she’s had to transform her extreme visions into marketable commodities like belts, handbags, cuffs and harnesses.

Lascivious doesn’t so much adapt Burke’s work as give it a context within the spectrum of wearable lingerie and boudoir accessories. And, as the images above and below reveal, it’s a perfect match: Burke’s warrior-chic belts add a fearsome accent to Lascivious’s modern Supergirl ensembles.

Lascivious offers three colored versions of Burke’s Lady Hips belt, one of her most popular styles, as well as two finger gloves.

The Lascivious Autumn-Winter 2014 collection also sees a return of the brand’s collab with latex designer William Wilde (below), who has contributed more shiny open bras and ouvert briefs to Lascivious’s fetish-friendly catalogue.

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The fall collection was inspired by the shiny, armoured exoskeletons of beetles — yes, bugs! — which more than anything should give you a good indication of how far fashion lingerie has evolved in the past few years.

Below is the rest of the fall lookbook which, as always, is as good as any lingerie photo campaign you’re likely to see this season. The product placement of Betony Vernon‘s Boudoir Bible is especially appropriate, but the symbolism of the Snoopy dog is, alas, inexplicable.

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It’s not a job, not even an internship, and you probably won’t get any royalties even if your submission becomes a bestseller.

But the new design competition announced by Lascivious this week might be your best chance to get your fashion portfolio in front of one of the world’s most influential lingerie brands — and the international media that follows its every move.

The trendsetting UK label is inviting fashion students, fans, designers and “like-minded creatives” to submit illustrations for a mini-range of 4-6 pieces that could become part of a future Lascivious collection.

The winning entry in the brand’s ‘Black Bra Project’ will receive a cash prize of £250 and its designer may see their work included in the official A/W 2015 collection that Lascivious will release in August of next year. Entries must be received by July 25, 2014.

All designs must be in black only, and although the contest is called the ‘Black Bra Project’, you’ll need to submit drawings for at least four pieces — a bodysuit, a couple of brief options, a suspender or anything else that would partner well with your bra design.

“Quite simply it’s titled the ‘Black Bra Project’ because, as a general rule, when we think about the design of a new lingerie set, we tend to start with the bra and then develop other pieces that work around this,” a Lascivious spokesperson told Lingerie Talk.

Designers are asked to submit only drawings, not samples or prototypes. Illustrations can be computer-aided technical drawings or hand-drawn, and must show both front and back views. Entrants are also welcome (though not required) to submit moodboards and other supporting materials that show how their collection was conceived and where their inspiration came from.

A contest like this will cause a buzz of excitement among young design students, especially in England where this year’s class of lingerie design graduates are finalizing their grad collections and shopping their resumes around for internships and starter jobs in the industry.

It also helps fill the gap created last year when lingerie giant Triumph suspended its hugely popular international student design competition, the Triumph Inspiration Awards.

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But anyone considering entering the ‘Black Bra Project’ should be mindful of what’s involved here: Lascivious is asking you to do a LOT of work, and they want to see your design process as much as the finished work itself.

“The items you design must convey luxury, innovation and be flattering to the body,” the company says in its project announcement.

Contest entrants are asked to review the “key branded shapes” in the Lascivious catalogue and take into account “shape, form, texture, opacity and detail” to ensure that their entries “will sit happily within the ranges created by Lascivious.” That means paying attention to fabric choices, trimmings and decorative elements, hardware fastenings and the kind of graphic, multi-functional silhouettes that Lascivious is known for.

The company also advises entrants to study up on fashion trends for the A/W 2015 season, and to visit museums, art galleries and exhibitions for research and inspiration.

Lascivious, which last year was named to the annual list of the UK’s ‘Cool Brands’, has a long and diverse history of collaborations with other boundary-pushing designers working in jewelry, leather, latex (above), hosiery, corsetry and even womenswear.

The ‘Black Bra Project’ is a logical extension of the brand’s enthusiasm for collaboration, so it’s hard to fault them for trying to swap spit, creatively speaking, with talented newcomers. But contests such as this skirt some ethical and legal grey areas, too, whether intentionally or otherwise.

(Just imagine if E.L. James asked readers to submit plot ideas for her next ’50 Shades’ zillion-seller or if Adele invited fans to send her melodies and lyrics for her next mega-hit album, with no other reward than an acknowledgement and a paltry cash ‘prize’.)

Students entering the Lascivious contest should realize they are potentially surrendering their design copyright or future patent rights, and would be wise to consider whether they want to give their best ideas to someone else for the chance at a £250 prize.

Of course, no one will enter this contest just for the money, and teachers and mentors would likely advise fashion students to leap at a rare opportunity to get noticed by a respected industry leader like Lascivious.

Chances are, if you’ve got what it takes to win this contest, you’ve got a bright future in fashion design.

More contest details can be found here.

A Polaroid Throwback From Lascivious
Posted by richard | February 17, 2014
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Do not adjust your browser, your iPad or your phone settings. The images you see here are meant to look this way — washed out, underexposed and with colors bleeding like a stack of long-forgotten Polaroids found at a garage sale.

The always-interesting UK luxury brand Lascivious hired photographer Wendy Bevan — who works almost exclusively (and uniquely) with Polaroid film — to create an authentic retro vibe for its spring lingerie collection.

The resulting campaign doesn’t just evoke the 1960s, but a specific artifact from those times — the familiar Playboy magazine photoshoot, with its titillating mix of modesty and soft-core rebellion that help define the pre-flower power era.

For middle-class baby boomers who grew up in this era, the new Lascivious campaign has many details that will make you shudder with recognition: the panelled rec room walls, the shag carpet, the leatherette furniture, the op-art wallpaper.

The only thing that spoils this very artfully crafted illusion is the new Lascivious pieces themselves. Let’s face it: nothing in the underwear of the 1960s was quite this stimulating or interesting.

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For Lascivious, this is a cleverly understated way of showcasing the erotic power of contemporary lingerie fashion. The Playboy era’s superficial, airbrushed beauties might have been enticing for their time, but they aren’t nearly as provocative as a modern woman in a latex pencil skirt and mesh peekaboo bra. Yes, you’ve come a long way, ladies.

The new campaign also marks some new directions for the award-winning brand, and a dramatic about-face in how it presents itself to the world.

In 2013, Lascivious delivered the year’s most sexually charged marketing campaign by partnering with photographer Szymon Brodziak for an R-rated video and photo project that left no doubts about the intentions of anyone wearing Lascivious‘ racy ensembles. In comparison, the new campaign has a nostalgic less-is-more tone, offering a whisper of sexual promise instead of a shout.

You can see the contrast in the new collection, too. It ranges from updates to the signature Lascivious look of geometric cutouts and intriguing points of entry, to the very demure and retro-inspired Jessica babydoll, which you could imagine being worn by Natalie Wood 50 years ago.

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Most interesting, though, are a couple of fabulous collaborations from a brand that creates some of its most memorable pieces when working with others.

This time there’s a three-piece collabo with uber-trendy UK latex designer William Wilde (including the must-have bolero shown above) and an elegant silk dress with an impossibly deep V-neck from the provocative Mexican designer Marika Vera. Marika has a rare appreciation of feminine contours and how to drape them in unusual and revealing ways, and the pairing of her talents with those of Lascivious founder Chloe Hamblen is a match made in fashion heaven.

Here’s the rest of Lascivious‘ newest promo campaign which, for a change, is just barely NSFW. We’ve left out one image, which shows bare breasts, in order to keep the Google gestapo and Facebook trolls from spanking us in the not-fun way.

You can see all the new pieces on the Lascivious website, but be sure to check out their blog while you’re there. That way, if your boss or parents barge in and ask you what you’re doing looking at Lascivious, you can say you only read it for the articles.

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Lascivious Hits A (VERY) Hot Button
Posted by richard | July 25, 2013
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Chloe Hamblen probably wasn’t thinking about politics when she was putting together the latest hyper-erotic collection for her UK lingerie brand Lascivious.

But her sizzling new marketing campaign, launched only days after British Prime Minister David Cameron‘s pledge to clean up the Internet, comes as a timely, topical rebuke of anyone‘s attempt to meddle in people’s private sex lives.

Lascivious‘s new campaign is undoubtedly the raunchiest — and most controversial — thing you’ll see all year in lingerie marketing. The black-and-white photos and accompanying video depict a wide range of behaviors: girl-girl, bondage and fetish play, group sex, public sex and a slightly sinister scene in a parking garage.

The most dramatic images showcase Lascivious‘s new line of men’s boxers (below), whose waistbands are imprinted with the unambiguous slogan, “Blow Me”. (Trust me, these will fly off the shelves.)

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Stunningly composed and shot by fashion photographer Szymon Brodziak, who specializes in this sort of material, the Lascivious campaign is meant to be a celebration of the erotic imagination, inviting viewers to consider the possibilities of opening up to new kinds of erotic fun.

It’s more suggestive than explicit and, in fact, explores some of the same territory that Agent Provocateur and other button-pushing brands have been frolicking in for years. Still, those with a puritanical streak will see this as porn; you can almost hear the UK advertising censors twitching and the chat-show moralists squirming for a chance to take on Lascivious and the rest of the UK’s booming fetish-focused lingerie community.

Yet, apart from its considerable artistic merits, the Lascivious fall campaign wouldn’t be all that remarkable were it not for its timing.

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister made headlines around the world by promising new laws that will require citizens to “opt in” before adult web content can be shown on their personal computers. Almost immediately, legislators in other countries (including Canada and the U.S.) started musing aloud about finding similar ways to curb the proliferation of Internet porn.

David Cameron’s proposal is intended to protect children from unwanted exposure to pornography (and to give parents a way to control their kids’ online activities), but it also has troubling implications for civil liberties. To be blunt, anyone who chooses to see any kind of “adult” content will have to declare their tastes to their Internet service provider before porn filters are removed.

In Cameron’s proposed nanny state, millions of Brits will be shamed into looking away rather than debating the “opt-in” issue with their spouse or families … or risk having their names show up one day on a national database of porn-watchers.



The Lascivious campaign was probably not meant as a rebuttal to Cameron’s proposals, but it helps to illustrate Britain’s conflicting public and private attitudes about sex, which have been a distinctive feature of the national character for centuries. Thus, it’s not unreasonable to speculate that while Cameron might view NSFW lingerie marketing as contrary to the national interest, his smart, stylish wife Sam may be checking out the Lascivious spread in GQ magazine today and thinking, “Ooooo, I liiiike this!“.

(Another timely irony: the Lascivious shoot includes several openly lesbian scenes and comes on the heels of Cameron’s controversial comment this week that Britain is “the best place in Europe to be gay” and that he wants to “export” the country’s tolerant approach to gay marriage.)

Would Cameron’s war on porn affect material like this from Lascivious or other fashion campaigns that veer into suggestive, erotic territory? That’s hard to know yet, but the country’s fashion marketers (especially those involving lingerie) already face the wrath of official censors on a regular basis. It’s hard not to conclude that anti-porn laws, or any attempt to regulate imagery depicting sexuality, are a “wedge” issue that potentially threaten the freedoms of both the lingerie industry and its customers.

Lascivious probably didn’t know it was going to hit such a huge hot button when it launched its new campaign this week, but in the fight for greater freedom of sexual expression, they’ve just launched the latest volley. Bring it on!

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Movies about amateur superheroes are all the rage these days, whether it’s Kick-Ass or Super or several indie imitators. And the genre will get a full workup this summer with the release of Kick-Ass 2, which looks at the consequences when hordes of average citizens decide they, too, want to dress up in goofy outfits and patrol the mean streets in search of heads to bang.

This raises an obvious dilemma: what are all these wannabe crimefighters going to wear?

Lascivious, the UK fashion lingerie brand, is quick off the mark (as usual) with a futuristic new look that will be this season’s must-have for all the aspiring Supergirls and Wonder Women out there.

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Lascivious teamed up with directional leatherwear artist Tamzin Lillywhite (right) to create this fabulous leather-and-mesh ensemble that works as underwear, outerwear or superhero costume, depending on your needs.

It combines retro 90s styling with fashion-forward attitude and just a touch of bondage chic for the fetishist in you.

The range includes a bustier bra in gunmetal leather with bold saddlestitched seams, a high-waisted knicker, a choker collar, a studded shoulder harness and — here’s the best part — leather wrist cuffs embossed with the collaborators’ logos. After all, you’re going to need a way to restrain all those criminals you catch.

Prices range from £225 for either the bra or knicker to £65 for the cuffs. The entire five-piece ensemble will set you back £895.

Each order is hand-made to customer specfications, so allow about 10 days’ extra time for fabrication. But don’t worry: the bad boys will still be there when you’re ready to suit up.

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