Lingerie Fashion Week F/W 2014 Day 2: “Ones to Watch” Presentation

"Ones to Watch" presentation by The Lingerie Journal at Lingerie Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2014

The second show of Day 2 presented a group of up-and-coming designers curated by The Lingerie Journal, featuring some brands that have been creating major buzz over the last year.

Arsenic & Vieilles Dentelles

Arsenic & Vieilles Dentelles at Lingerie Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2014

This lovely brand has some NAUGHTY pieces, y’all, and I think they’re all pretty terrific.  Arsenic & Vieilles Dentelles (“Arsenic & Old Lace”, in French) comes to us from Belgium and revels in sensuality.  The clean, delicate black-and-white color scheme allows sheer bralettes, barely-there strappy knickers, and cheeky, ruffled ouvert knickers to surprise and charm.  I particularly like almost all of the knickers, actually– nothing feels forced, or in-your-face, but the sensuality is still direct, with no coyness or apology.  The briefs featured in the presentation have a sheer back that buttons all the way up (super sexy), and I love the different scales of the polka dot pattern in the briefs and suspender belt.

Blackbird Underpinnings

Blackbird Underpinnings at Lingerie Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2014

Many of you might recall Blackbird Underpinnings‘ successful Kickstarter campaign from 2013, as well as their signature velvet knickers.  It was a treat to see a taste of this brand in person, although I’m particularly enamored of the silk charmeuse bloomers, myself.  Crushed velvet knickers will never fail to remind me of cheer uniforms, and the bloomers so perfectly capture the brand’s flirty, vintage-inspired aesthetic.

Iris London

Iris London at Lingerie Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2014

Of all of the brands I’ve seen or will be seeing this week (and oh golly, there are so many– so. much. underwear. Not complaining, mind), I was probably most looking forward to seeing Iris London.  It’s . . . I’m sorry, I’m not the best fashion writer in the world, you guys.  As much as I know about underwear, there are centuries and decades of previous influences and innovators that I’m just not familiar enough with to make truly informed, intelligent comments.  So I leave you with this: it’s super pretty.

Okay, I can say a little more than that.  There are clear influences from previous decades, from the soft, unstructured look of the 1970s to the more opulent and structured look of the 1930s-1950s.  There is lace and luxurious silk.  There are strappy elements, for those of you who like your lingerie with a bit of bondage flair.   There are even delightfully unexpected details, like a  Liberty-print cotton longline bra with detachable gold chain straps.  There are pieces that might appeal to women with wildly differing personal styles, yet the collection feels cohesive, united by a meticulous regard for shapes and details.

Lola Haze

Lola Haze at Lingerie Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2014

Lola Haze at Lingerie Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2014

This might be my favorite Lola Haze piece I’ve ever seen in my life.  Gleaming, supple silk, a wisp of sheer black, and an astral sweep of sparkle make this chemise really, really special.  The sparkle elements reminded me at some moments of mineral deposits in the earth and at other moments of constellations in the Milky Way.  The asymmetrical hemline emphasizes the organic, elemental theme– it’s like this piece was created out of the natural world, not stitched on a machine out of silk.  Just stunning.

Negative Underwear

Negative Underwear at Lingerie Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2014

Negative Underwear is the only brand in this group that’s wholly new to me, and it’s a pleasure to get to know them.  Their aesthetic (and, indeed, raison d’être) is minimalist, sleek, stylish, and effortless.  Their aim is to strip away anything unnecessary or uncomfortable from their undergarments, leaving only smooth, sleek, and well-fitting bras and knickers.  While I do love structured and heavily embellished pieces, I am really impressed with how Negative Underwear makes their collection feel clean and sleek without feeling stripped.

Nevaeh Intimates

Nevaeh Intimates at Lingerie Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2014

Y’all know how I feel about Nevaeh.  I profiled the brand in 2013 after falling in love with both of their earlier Lingerie Fashion Week presentations.  It’s the kind of lingerie I imagine the protagonist wearing in one of those Great Epic Romances that take place in Important Novels of Our Time, most likely in the first half of the 20th century.  I really love how the brand takes retro or vintage styles as inspiration but brings them well into the 21st century.  You won’t find careful recreations of vintage styles here, but you will catch echoes of timeless romance.  The Fall/Winter collection clearly builds on the “Taste of Honey” collection from the current season, reinterpreting the floral pattern in a rich, midnight blue.  I so wish I could have seen a few more pieces– one just isn’t enough!

4 Comments on Lingerie Fashion Week F/W 2014 Day 2: “Ones to Watch” Presentation

  1. Katherine
    February 23, 2014 at 8:06 pm (5 years ago)

    Would it have killed Negative Underwear to do 28-30 DD-FF+28G if they were only going to do 9 sizes? They would have been able to fit twice the number of women that way. It makes me so angry when new companies stick with the same old terrible Victoria’s Secret sizes. Especially when they make gorgeous things like that Essaouira bra.

    Reply
    • Sweets
      February 24, 2014 at 7:55 pm (5 years ago)

      Well…. to be fair, yes, it might have killed them, and there are a ton of reasons why.

      In the first place, for a new brand to succeed, it has to find buyers, and I can’t think of a single, and I do mean a SINGLE, store that would purchase a line that ONLY makes 28 and 30 backs. While those back sizes are far, far more common than people think, they’re still by no means the most common back size, so to launch with only those sizes would be absolutely foolhardy. Secondly, while a brand could conceivably survive on their own e-commerce alone, the number of women who are well-educated enough about their bra sizes, particularly in the independent fashion markets (as opposed to mass-market like Panache and Eveden), is way, way too small for that brand to turn a profit. Thirdly, making the sizes you specify requires specialized technical, design, and manufacturing skills that can be incredibly hard for indie brands to have access to, and would conceivably drive the price sky-high, further reducing the number of buyers. And lastly, Negative Underwear’s mission to streamline, lighten, and pare down their underwear would be incredibly difficult to achieve in full-bust bras, many of which (even in small band sizes) truly require seams, panels, and embellishments in order to achieve the shape the full-bust customer wants. Full-bust molded cups are similarly challenging, again for the specialized knowledge and factories required to manufacture them.

      The only brand I can think of who makes streamlined, clean, pared-down bras for similar small back/full cup sizes is Fortnight, and they are able to make many, many other sizes as well, including the “terrible Victoria’s Secret” sizes you refer to. If they didn’t make core sizes, they wouldn’t be in business. I know that many of us (myself included) erroneously wore core sizes for a long time before discovering our full-bust sizes, and wearing the right size is indeed life-changing, but there are LOTS of women who ARE properly fitted into core sizes, and who wear them well. Their sizes aren’t “terrible”, and Negative Underwear isn’t doing anything wrong by making products for them. NU has expressed a desire to expand their size ranges, but the only way that will be possible is for them to begin with sizes they know they can make well, before beginning the challenging journey of patterning and grading new sizes.

      Reply
  2. Katherine
    February 25, 2014 at 12:36 am (5 years ago)

    I apologize for referring to them as “terrible”. Someday I hope I’ll be less bitter every time I see a 36B bra and remember how easy they were to find when I thought that was my size.

    Reply
    • Sweets
      February 25, 2014 at 11:21 pm (5 years ago)

      It can definitely be frustrating! I totally understand that– sometimes I feel like I see something in core sizes and have to cross my fingers that one of the full-bust brands will offer me something similar a few seasons later, if at all. I’d love to see more creativity and diversity in the full-bust lingerie market!

      Reply

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