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When Zaha Hadid‘s winning design for the 2022 FIFA World Cup stadium in Qatar (below) was unveiled last fall, it was met with outrage, approval and a lot of amusement.

Although the legendary architect said the stadium’s curvy folds were inspired by the sails of an Arab fishing boat, most people thought it looked like the world’s biggest vulva. (more…)

Nichole De Carle’s Math Solutions
Posted by amy | September 26, 2011

Wish you could dive into the lingerie-as-outerwear trend but just can’t seem to find pieces that work well together? You’re not alone — not everyone has a stylist’s gift for mixing and matching separates for this most delicate of fashion statements.

Happily, some smart designers are making it easier for their customers by presenting stylish ways of blending fashion-forward undies with hip RTW clothing.

A great example is this set of shots from UK lingerie designer Nichole De Carle, who teamed up with the apparel label MATH Collective to create an underwear-outerwear series that showcases the upcoming spring 2012 collections from both labels.

The collab was part of NDC and MATH’s offerings for London Fashion week (which also saw Nichole open her first pop-up store).

And what an inspired pairing it is, too: Nichole specializes in bespoke-quality intimates with bold architectural lines, while MATH’s designer Shaz likewise favors graphic looks, sheer fabrics and silhouettes inspired by London architecture.

We can’t tell if these sets will be sold together, or if this collab was merely meant to show off the possibilities that both labels present. Either way, it gives you lots to think about for next spring’s wardrobe!

Nichole de Carle’s Architectural Wonders
Posted by connie | February 28, 2011

You might think that lingerie inspired by famous buildings would be cold and austere. But that’s not the case with Nichole de Carle, who takes inspirations like Westminster Abbey or the ceiling of the Louvre and creates unique, strappy lingerie that uses sharp architectural lines to accentuate a woman’s natural assets.

Modern, powerful and highly coveted, the U.K.-based luxury label has enjoyed an explosion of popularity that has seen it grow from its bespoke roots to a more widely available product line. And there’s plenty of new things coming as NDC expands its reach and builds its brand.

De Carle, who worked for Alexander McQueen, Donna Karan and Pleasure State before launching her own label in 2008, aims to distinguish NDC from other luxury names by positioning herself as a lifestyle brand and aligning herself with other high-end labels.

“We are constantly striving to project an entire way of living that is exciting and aspirational and most importantly appeals to our customers,” de Carle explains. “We do this through establishing strong luxury associations and collaborations with other companies and individuals with fresh and interesting approaches to life.” The designer cites the label’s recent collaboration with Gucci’s Aquariva (custom-built yacht!) and a glamorous Cannes campaign shoot as just two examples of this approach.

So who is the Nichole de Carle woman? Someone strong, confident and glamorous; someone who’s able to pull off daring lingerie looks; and also someone who appreciates quality craftsmanship and ethical considerations like the use of locally sourced materials. In fact, staying socially conscious is something that preoccupies de Carle as demand grows for her lingerie.

“It’s very important to me that we offer luxury with a conscience,” de Carle explains. “Our materials are sourced locally in the U.K. and this really underlines my own personal desire to build the brand in a sustainable way. Sourcing locally also allows me to really keep a strong control of standards and ensure the high quality that Nichole de Carle is synonymous with. Keeping up with the growing demand while avoiding the pitfalls of sweatshop-style labor conditions is imperative.”

For those who crave custom-tailored bespoke lingerie, Nichole de Carle delivers. If you’re in London they will even come to you for a fitting. Of course, de Carle’s new “ready to wear” collections are more accessible, although no less luxurious and unique.

Today, NDC lingerie can be purchased in North America on net-a-porter.com, which offers a small exclusive NDC collection, and at stores like Coco de Mer. For UK devotees, the label can be found at the luxury department store Selfridges as well as the NDC online shop.

Currently you can purchase pieces from Nichole de Carle’s Inamorata line, which showcases a new range of pieces four times a year — once they’ve sold out, they won’t be restocked. The line is a chance, as de Carle puts it, “to purchase something truly special and one of a kind.” Right now you can check out the limited edition Louvre collection (above), which de Carle describes as “dreamlike and whimsical [with] the colors of cotton candy and lilac.”

De Carle also offers the Onyx and Opal collections that are inspired by art and architecture.

The Onyx Last Testament balconette bra, like other de Carle products, is made of stretch silk and features underwire, a contrast lining and a split cut style. The Last Testament Body with Brief (top photo above) takes the design of the bra and turns it into a bodysuit complete with detachable briefs.

The Westminster Basque Bra is a multiway balconette with detachable straps and the Westminster Bodysuit with Brief is “inspired by Westminster Abbey’s high lines and vaulted ceilings.” Appropriate considering all eyes will be turned to Westminster when Kate weds Wills in April. The line also includes briefs with strappy braces and culottes (above).

Going forward de Carle hopes to satisfy demand for her products by having her brand more readily available to women all across the world. In the future look out for a new material (described as “luxurious and sensual”) to be added to the range as well as a new, rather hush-hush “honeymoon collection” slated for launch at the end of 2011.

“It’s going to be something so special,” de Carle says of the bride-centric new collection that’s in the works. “And that’s reflected by our partner which is an extremely renowned store. Unfortunately, I can’t disclose the name just yet but I’m very proud of this collaboration. I’m also already very excited about another one of our projects that can best be described as a wonderful winter wonderland for November 2011 — definitely one to look out for!”

A modern brand looking to connect with customers not only through their luxurious pieces, but also through their Facebook and Twitter pages, Nichole de Carle seeks to have an open dialogue with their clients. With so much growth and so many plans in the works de Carle maintains that she is constantly striving for the same thing, namely “creating something stunning and original that is now made available for more of us to feel fabulous in.” So far we’d say she’s succeeding.

Below are some of NDC’s recent campaign images; something to marvel at while we await her next creations!