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.
Ladies, is your guy man enough to be seen in a pair of powder-puff pink polka-dot boxers with a tiny heart emblem on the fly? If not, it’s time to upgrade — either the BF or his wardrobe.
The product images above and below are from the debut collection of Max Holliday, the men’s shorts line from UK designer Damaris Evans and her super-cute lingerie label Mimi Holliday. They’ll be available for purchase early next month on the Damaris webshop — just in time for stylish couples to trade Mimi-and-Max gifts for Valentine’s Day.
As a man covering the women’s lingerie market, I must confess that this is the most exciting product announcement I’ve seen in ages, and I’ll be in line on day one to grab some of these beauties.
Let’s face it, when it comes to fashionable undies, the men’s market is light years behind what’s happening in women’s intimates. It’s almost impossible to find decent boxers that don’t have a massive brand name obnoxiously imprinted on the waistband — seriously, would women tolerate that? — or stylish looks amid the ocean of blacks and grays that is the lads’ department.
There are fashion-conscious underwear options for men, but too often they are cartoonish, kitschy or aimed at the Pride Day market (sorry guys, but you know that’s true).
Max Holliday goes a long way toward rectifying that imbalance with a collection that is boyish but not juvenile, and funny without being clownish. Mostly, we just love the idea that a great women’s designer has stepped in to help elevate the men’s market and finally give all you Mimis out there the boyfriends you deserve.
Max Holliday launches with a generous collection of 12 styles with short inseams and 7 in longer legs (apparently inspired by Andre Agassi). They’re fun, frisky and more than a little feminine — all the styles bear women’s names and Damaris’s “heart” logo, and are brightened by the same pop-art color palette that Mimi Holliday uses in its women’s collections. But again I ask you: what guy out there wouldn’t benefit from just a touch more femininity to soften his hard macho edges?
Having said said, I should point out that Max undies do not feature the peek-a-book open backsides that Damaris made famous in her women’s collections!
Damaris says she started making men’s shorts for her boyfriend several years ago. He not only loved them and asked for more, but his friends started putting in requests, too.
Everything in the Max Holliday line is made from 100% cotton, and features a mix of polka dots, stripes and Liberty print in different colorways. Most unique, though, are the contrasting print linings in soft velvet ribbon. Wow!
For UK shoppers, the Max collection will be available in Harrods on Jan. 27, with prices ranging from £32 to £55. After that, the Damaris website is the next distribution point, although Damaris is hinting at a distribution deal with a a major online retailer.
It’s been just over a decade since Damaris first shook up the fashion lingerie scene with her bold designs that were as amusing as they were erotic. Will the debut of Max Holliday spark the same kind of revolution on the men’s side? We should be so lucky!
Here are a few more styles in the first Max Holliday collection. Hover over the images to see the product names.
Diabetics be warned: the fall lingerie collection from Mimi Holliday is the closest thing to a sugar rush you’re likely to find in the fashion world.
This richly diverse collection of French-inspired bonbons — more than a dozen new style ranges! — is bedroom eye candy of the highest order.
And, as if to drive home the point, Mimi Holliday designer Damaris Evans has named her new creations after the most sinfully delicious classic French pastries.
Macaroon. Éclair. Crème Brûlée. Frangipane. Mille Feuille. Meringue. Panna Cotta. And those gooey little cakes with the hidden filling, Nonnettes.
And I think the style names are more than just metaphors: there’s an equation between sexy lingerie and fancy desserts implied in the new Mimi Holliday collection that could probably fill a PhD thesis. Both can be elevated to an art form in the hands of a master. The big difference? There’s no glutton’s remorse with these sweet nothings, so go ahead and indulge without guilt.
If you can look past the clever names, the AW 2011 collection shows Mimi Holliday building on the strengths of its recent offerings and branching into some new territory as well.
You’ll find two styles that revive Mimi’s fondness for polka-dot prints, and two that feature the label’s popular leopard print (including the lovely peach Meringue line). Last season’s Bisou Bisou range is also back in two variations that offer new ways to show off its very trendy scalloped lace pattern.
And the small Panna Cotta set (top photo) features a bright lime shade called ‘electric moss'; it recalls some of Mimi’s earlier experiments with neon colors and — mark your calendar now — it foreshadows the explosion of color that we’ll see in next spring’s collection from this label (photos coming soon!).
The AW 2011 collection is also filled with new delicacies that show Damaris and her team exploring new color combos and styles. The Éclair range is a black-and-white set inspired by French maid costumes, while the Glacé set in ivory scalloped lace is certain to show up in a few bridal trousseaux.
And the most daring style (from a label that made its mark with revealing peek-a-boo bottoms)? That would be the re-imagined Fondant line, which returns as an all-black lace confection with a teasing corset made of the slimmest of ribbons.
Most of the Mimi Holliday signatures are found in abundance in this collection — lovers of fine lace and silk satin, rejoice — but there’s one change worth noting.
With its Spring-Summer collection, Mimi introduced some very stylish, and very revealing, lace bodysuits. This time around, the bodies are less plentiful, replaced by a new assortment of extremely light slips and teddies in lace and silk chiffon. All very romantic and another reason to love this label; in fact, the Meringue teddy is certain to be one of the prettiest pieces you’ll see this fall.
There’s really only one problem with the new Mimi Holliday collection: just like staring through the window of a fine French patisserie, at some point you have to stop drooling and choose. And don’t worry: these treats are great for your figure!
The gallery below shows some of our faves from the new collection. Click on the photos to learn the style names.
Are you still looking for that perfect piece of lingerie to woo your sweetie this Valentine’s Day? Luckily for you, industry darling Mimi Holliday has just released its spring/summer 2011 collection, chock-full of cheeky and flirty intimates that are perfect for any upcoming romantic rendezvous.
More good news: many of these styles are already available online at e-shops like FigLeaves.com. And a bonus: responding to oft-heard complaints that designers of cute underthings only serve stick-figured bodies, MH designer Damaris Evans has expanded this season’s size range significantly, offering 46 different sizes and bras up to GG (and as small as 28AA) in some styles. Bravo!
There’s something for everyone in the SS2011 offerings from Mimi Holliday, the younger and peppier line from the much-loved Damaris brand. So much, in fact, it’s almost impossible to take it all in at once: flipping through the MH lookbook for this collection is like spending an hour in a high-end candy store, so prepare for a sugar high!
Mimi Holliday has introduced 16 très française style ranges for spring, with some lines featuring up to eight different pieces — teddies, suspenders, high-waisted knickers, long sleek slips, and some revealing bodysuits. We’ll show you primary images from each of the 16 lines (below), just to get the sugar buzz started!
This is unquestionably Mimi Holliday’s best season yet, filled with daring new styles and an almost limitless variety of possible combinations.
Yes, the label still maintains its playful aesthetic and those devilish little details we simply adore, but this season also offers fashion-forward girls a chance to try on an assortment of creative personalities.
Want to amp up your girlish sex appeal? Then you’ll love the very Brigitte Bardot Pericolo silk-chiffon range in lipstick red with white polka dots and white lace trim. One of several retro lines in the collection, the Pericolo bra would look downright sexy on its own (especially when paired with the back-bow keyhole knicker) or paired under a vintage cardigan.
If you’re gung ho for the contemporary neon trend this spring, then you’ll undoubtedly fall for Nouveau Riche, a style range that uses a fuchsia and lime green color palette. Add an injection of bold color to your boudoir collection, or pair under a sheer blouse for a hint of sex appeal.
Looking to make more of a bold, meow-worthy statement? Look no further than Mimi’s Ménage á Trois style range consisting of white silk-satin with fierce leopard trim. That should make him purr!
Of course, for slightly more conservative tastes, Mimi Holliday offers style ranges such as Pouting, Frou Frou, Amour and Prudence, which are available in soft, muted pastel tones of violet, mushroom, peony pink and peach with dove grey. All the above styles are constructed from soft silk-chiffon with romantic lace overlay.
Individually, there are many standout pieces in the MH spring collection. Some of our faves: the Coquine teddy, with is faint peach flock heart print on sheer white silk-chiffon; the polka-dotted Joie de Vivre slip with its fluted hem and go-go girl vibe; the wildly erotic Kiss Kiss bodysuit in porcelain lace; and the chic indigo lace Pompier bra (almost certain to be MH’s biggest seller this season).
Now the big question is, can you count on your beloved to recognize sheer artistry like this? Who cares? Go ahead and treat yourself by visiting damaris.co.uk, where all Valentine orders arrive gift wrapped at your door.
Ever wonder why some lingerie designers inspire such fanatical devotion? Or why some boutique labels become this season’s must-have, while others are destined for the clearance bins?
For an answer, look no further than UK cult favorite Damaris Evans, and her newly released collection under the Mimi Holliday label. (The fall collection of the more upmarket Damaris brand should be released in the next week or so.)
Damaris’ exquisite pieces are beautifully styled, original and crafted with precision and care. But the real secret to her success is, quite literally, in the details.
Check out the images above, all taken from the new Mimi Holliday line. Tiny bows, flirty little cutouts, hand-tied ribbons, delicately understated lace trims … these are the small touches that make Damaris devotees gasp.
As one observer put it, there’s no cooler fashion statement these days than having one of Damaris’ colorful little bows “popping out of your low-slung hipsters.”
Read our take on the new Mimi Holliday fall collection here.