Other titles I thought of for this post:
Curve NY Trend Report: Everyone’s Blue Period
CurveNY Trend Report: A Case of the Blues
CurveNY Trend Report: Singing the Blues
etc., etc., because DAYUM, y’all, did you all read the same trend report? Was this planned? Is there some strange designer mind-meld in the works? Is the color Blue secretly our overlord, and Stage 1 of Blue World Domination is taking over the lingerie industry?
Look, I LOVE BLUE. It is one of my favorite colors to wear. I love blue lingerie. I think there are shades of blue that look good on almost everyone (unlike, say, yellow, no permutation of which has ever NOT made me look dead). So as excited as I was to see it turn up in collections from my favorite brands (and don’t get me wrong, I’m gonna buy me some blue underwear), after a while it began to feel…really, really odd. Blue is a soothing, flattering, safe color, and it kind of feels like the industry took a look at a still-unstable retail environment and decided to duck and cover.
[Note: All styles featured here will begin to ship to retailers beginning in July 2015 and going through November/December 2015. Obviously this report can’t cover the whole show and every single brand, because lo, I am but one woman. There’s an emphasis on full bust and full figure lingerie, but I always try to seek out other brands at various price points with other size ranges to mix things up. I’m looking forward to reading other bloggers’ coverage, because we all tend to pick up on different trends.]
Again, don’t misunderstand me: I love blue, and I love blue in my lingerie drawer. But just LOOK at how many blue bras there are!
Tutti Rouge brings us Nichole in a charming cornflower blue with a leopard bow, and Curvy Kate offers a Sapphire recolor of classic Portia as well as a navy mix for Arizona. Panache recolors a TON of their classic styles in blue: Tango, Hepburn, Olivia, and Panache Black Eclipse all go up to a K-cup, and molded bras Porcelain Elan and Ardour also get new blue colorways. New style Bunny from Sculptresse has a shape that reminds me of Cleo’s Marcie and comes in a pretty blue with a seashell motif. Joining the blue party from the Eveden group are Fantasie’s GORGEOUS Allegra, Freya’s ever-popular Deco, and Elomi’s Bijou. From Affinitas/Parfait we get Carolie and Greta in blue, Claudette brings us new lace style Darling in New Wave and Dessous in Gothic Grape/New Wave, and Maison Lejaby offers three beautiful blue colorways for Attrape-Coeur, La Gourmande, and Roxane.
Blue and Black
That’s right, there was so much blue I could break it down into sub-categories. While this brings me joy, because I think blue + black is such a chic and striking combination, still: lots of blue, guys. Also I accidentally repeated some in the collages above, because there was lots of blue and I’m easily confused, apparently, and also too impatient to re-edit the collages.
Sculptresse recolors Chi Chi in a blue/black animal print, and Panache does the same with a teal-black animal print for Jasmine. I love (and will probably buy) new style Hettie from Cleo, and from Eveden we get a blue/black Deco Vibe, blue/black Siren, a striking cobalt for Elodie, Grand Soir and En Cavale from Huit, and elegant new Fantasie style Francesca, available in three shapes, including a longline. Mimi Holliday gets in on the action with Deadly Nightshade’s star lace and elegant Rubinette’s sweeping lace zigzags.
The blue/black love even sweeps through the luxury category. Layneau (who didn’t show at Curve, but whose full collection can be seen at The Lingerie Journal) offers 6 pieces in their Alla collection in a stunning mortar/cobalt colorway, and Edge O’Beyond has a beautiful Alexina collection (in stores now!) in a lovely rich blue with black lace appliques. My personal favorites? Angela Friedman and Harlow & Fox, and not just because I’ve written about them extensively before. I tend to look to Angela for ballet-hued pastels or classic black and white silk, and so this deep, rich blue feels fresh and new in her designs and gives a lovely sense of elegance. Harlow & Fox offers new colors for Viola, Eleanor, and Augusta, and somehow the indigo, teal, and black updates complete change the feel and mood of the styles. Eleanor Indigo, in particular, feels incredibly vibrant and modern, a fashionable and chic take on a classic shape.
While a smaller color story, the greens we saw in full-bust bras are striking and cheerful.
Tutti Rouge offers a lovely Emerald shade for both Nichole and Beatrice, while Curvy Kate presents a new Jade take on Madagascar and new style Cascade. One of my absolute favorite bras that I cannot wear is Huit’s Nouvel Emoi, with its little lace sleeves, which returns for F/W 2015 in an emerald shade called “Fanfare”. Panache’s Clara gets a lovely Navy/Jade recolor, and, finally, Freya presents a new Jade fashion color for ever-popular Rio.
Now that I’m fully on board the red-lingerie-for-holidays train, here are some of my favorite holiday reds!
Curvy Kate will offer Tease in a wonderful Cranberry/Champagne colorway (including a babydoll with a ruffled, flyaway front, which I love), and Tutti Rouge’s Fifi returns in a lovely Scarlet, which, let’s be real, I’m 100% going to buy. Panache’s gorgeous Clara style shows up in Steel (gray)/Claret, new spacer bra Cari arrives in Cranberry, and Sculptresse offers the fabulous Kitty in a lovely red star mesh (and new 34 band sizes). Mimi Holliday brings us beautiful Oleander and Poison Ivy, while from Eveden we get Huit’s Envoutante, Fantasie’s Eclipse and Lois, and Freya’s Idol. Finally, Maison Lejaby offers a striking recolor of Theodora, a bra I own and think is just wonderful. Tia Lynn’s Core collection also gets a holiday updated in lovely red and cream shades.
In a nice change from the onslaught of royal purple and violet, this Fall/Winter will bring us more shades in plums, berries, and, of course, the “color of the year” marsala. These are shades I love– they feel warm and rich, especially as the days get darker and colder in the Northern Hemisphere.
Panache’s new style Brooke comes in a lovely Claret, while Marcie and Maddie from Cleo get one of my favorite color updates ever, a lovely Burgundy. One of the standout styles from the season is Parfait’s new Destiny, a glamorous new take on the popular Charlotte, which swaps pin-up stripes for Cassis-colored satin, lace, and corset lacing at the center gore. Parfait’s sister brand Affinitas gets in on the act with the pretty Molly in Plum. I love the color-clash Magenta/Scarlet colorway for Tutti Rouge’s Liliana, while from Eveden we get Fantasie’s Mariana and Rebecca and Freya’s Hero.
While bright colors and prints will always show up in full-bust styles, I was really attracted to styles that featured the classic color combination of black with a blush or neutral base. Easy to style with black accessories and less harsh than all-black, these collections feel both fresh and timeless.
Tutti Rouge introduces Jessica, the world’s first non-padded plunge bra up to an HH cup that includes removable cookies for a major cleavage boost. The set also features a lovely suspender belt that gives it a delightfully retro high-waist look. While I tend to think of Curvy Kate for bright colors, this season brings us pretty new style Ellace, along with re-colors for Dita, Ritzy, and Temptress (a new-and-improved take on old style Tempt Me). Mimi Holliday revisits their Blossom Noir collection with new blush-and-black Wisteria, and Panache Black brings us new styles Aria (to an H-cup) and Esme (to a K-cup). For 34+ band sizes I thought Goddess’ Yvette and Elomi’s Raquel were absolute standouts, both sexy and elegant.
Quirky/Custom Mesh and Lace
While the last few seasons saw experiments with straps and colorblocking, this season it was all about that lace. Many brands featured custom or quirky laces or mesh that add unique and occasionally witty touches to their collections.
Jessica from Tutti Rouge uses lace with a heart pattern that echoes their signature heart-shaped strap adjusters, and Sculptresse introduces two new styles with patterned mesh or embroidery: Bunny (seashells) and Kitty (stars). Curvy Kate’s Smoothie Prowl features stretch lace with an animal pattern, and Huit’s Enchantee features a bold, graphic daisy mesh. The standout, though, has to be Mimi Holliday, whose whole season feels built around texture and pattern. Poison Ivy, a striking red collection, uses lace with large transparent heart details, Delphinium features a lovely textured pink sheer lace, Deadly Nightshade features that AMAZING star lace, and Oleander and Rubinette use the same pretty patterned lace to offset base silks of raspeberry or dark teal. My favorite has to be the white Absinthe and black Narcissus, both of which feature a sweet cat’s face, hand-drawn by designer Damaris.
Size Expansions, New Styles, and Other Standouts
Several full-bust brands are quietly offering size expansions, and it surprised me that I only learned about some of them after consulting my line sheets once the show was over. Elomi has a great new plunge style called Carmen, which features a stretch lace upper cup, that will go up to an HH cup and which begins in a 32 band. I also noticed that they’ve expanded the cup sizes on their half-cup shape, taking it up to an H-cup in both the bra and babydoll in the Anushka collection. Long-standing style Caitlyn is beginning to be phased out, to be replaced with Cate, which will offer the same great shape and support with some slight fit tweaks and a new range of basic shades. Speaking of basics, Parfait’s Jeannie is adding a non-padded wire bra as well as new continuity color Java. Freya has added a non-wired version of their Active Crop Top sports bra style, and Goddess has a new sports bra available up to a G-cup. Sculptresse adds 34 bands to new style Kitty and popular shape Flirtini, Cleo continues to offer B and/or C cups in several styles, including the sure-to-be-popular new Breeze longline bra, and, most exciting to me: the wired Panache Sports bra will be available to a J-cup in band sizes 32 and 34 and an HH-cup in band size 36. This is a wonderful, long-awaited development!
Several collections may not have fit neatly into the groupings above but nevertheless caught my attention.
I adore Panache’s new style Georgia in a soft pink/gray colorway (up to a K-cup), while Fantasie’s black and white continuity collection Mae, with its lovely textured velvet trim, is a stunner and very reminiscent of departed sister brand Fauve. Deco Spotlight’s colorway gets flipped to black with ivory dots, which feels really, really right for the style, and Minx gets two new animal prints, with bold Tabasco winning me over in a way that animal prints usually do not. Speaking of Freya, new style Vixen (based on Arabella and Ooh La La) is an absolute stunner: sheer black mesh with a metallic houndstooth/leopard embroidery. Claudette presented a more tightly curated collection than some past seasons, but the range of neutrals (Blondie, Sunkissed, Allure, Alter Ego, Barefoot, New Classic) they offer is really wonderful, as is the gorgeous Rouge Noir colorway for Fishnet, which turned out to be one of my favorite sets of the season. Finally, I can’t get enough of Scantilly from Curvy Kate. The full-bust market has long been dominated by sweet, cute, kitschy, or matronly for so long, and I just love Scantilly’s unabashedly sexy initial collection. The peek-a-boo sheer collection, with cut-out gore, completely sheer cups, and ourvert knicker, is a particular favorite and already on my wishlist!
There was a bit of a weird vibe in the air at the Javitz Center this season. On the one hand, several brands were actively pursuing elegance and sophistication. Mimi Holliday has pulled several Damaris classic styles, like the lace twist bra and cage-back knicker, into the more accessibly-priced Mimi collections. Elomi, Goddess, Elila, and Sculptresse continue to grow from strength to strength, offering the long-underserved full-figure customer increasingly nuanced, fasionable, and appealing designs. Tutti Rouge looks poised to arrive in American boutiques soon, and Huit’s color stories were some of the best and most unique of the season (check out the fabulous Citronelle for the De L’Air collection in the collage above). I was so excited to get to visit Dear Bowie (y’all know I love a good robe), who are introducing some great new shapes as well as slightly lower retail prices for A/W ’15. Speaking of robes, Meng? Amazing. Breathtaking. Extraordinary silk kimonos in carefully detailed prints. They are absolutely gorgeous.
On the other hand, several brands seem to be treading water, both design-wise and business-wise. I asked to see a few collections at one of the major French brands, but was told not to take pictures of certain styles, since “boutiques don’t think anyone wants those.” I was baffled: there I was, a consumer, really excited about a style: wouldn’t both brand and retailer want to know that? Furthermore, the blue avalanche remains really, really weird to me. For some brands it absolutely made sense: the new Harlow & Fox colors are dazzling and present a bold new direction for the brand (seriously, my pictures are dreadful, just go look at them in their glory over at The Lingerie Addict), and I love the star lace at Mimi Holliday and the gorgeous Roxane bra from Maison Lejaby. On the other hand, blue is a traditionally sure bet: it’s widely flattering, it’s soothing, it’s safe. The never-ending parade of blue bras feels a little like panic, like brands are looking for a sure-fire seller. Trouble is, when everyone picks the same safe choice, will they cancel each other out?
Did you attend Curve or one of the other international trade shows? Which styles caught your eye? And did you notice the blue takeover too?