New York City was the place to be last weekend for lingerie lovers. Between LingerieFW, the USA debut of the Lingerie Collective, and CurveNY, I’m still having trouble processing everything I saw and learned. I was absolutely stunned by the enthusiasm, creativity, kindness, and brilliance of all of the designers and brands I met and saw. From what I understand, bloggers attending Curve as Press is still a very new thing, yet most of the brand representatives I met with were at the very least polite and more usually were eager and interested in speaking to me. I got to preview the styles that will be available in stores beginning in the Fall of 2013 through Winter 2013, ask questions, handle samples, and view them on the models.
I met at least three of my readers, and they WERE NOT MY FAMILY MEMBERS. Repeat: they were new people. Oh, it was so wonderful. Laura came and found me at the Eveden fit event to show off her red Urkye dress, and she looked stunning. The ladies from Helen of Troy Bras joined me at the fit event and we dished about bras and shared reading recommendations. Lovely reader/new New Yorker “Ellie” emailed me Friday night and was able to join me for lunch on Saturday with Lindsay from That Je Ne Sais Quoi, Angela Friedman of, you know, Angela Friedman, Caro from The Lingerie Lesbian, Darlene from Hourglassy, and both Mister and Miss Underpinnings, where we screamed at each other about bras and brands and breast tissue and underwires, and I’m sure we were a delight to our fellow diners. Meeting other women (and men) who geek out about lingerie is seriously fun and frankly inspiring. I love the different points of view, the different backgrounds, and the different know-how each person brings to the party. We’re planning trips around the city to meet each other’s cats and bake together, and yes, we’re disgusting.
They made me get on Twitter! I didn’t want to, because it would be one more distraction at work, but I’m so glad I did. Through Twitter I met the designer of a brand-new, highly directional line (more below) and talked with her for over an hour about lingerie, the full-bust market, cup sizes, pole dancing, and self-esteem. Through Twitter I went to see Layla, creator and designer of Between the Sheets, and previewed her astoundingly gorgeous range of lingerie and loungewear. Through Twitter I visited Angela at her atelier, got fitted into a sample corset, and made her tell me about her time working in the shop at New York City Ballet.
She and I left and went to the Lingerie Collective to chat with luxury designers like the incredibly sweet and brilliant Stephanie of Dottie’s Delights (I GOT TO TRY ON THE FROOFY ROBE. Dreams do come true!), the amazing Dani of FYI by Dani Read, and Marika herself of Marika Vera, who shared that designing for the fuller-figured market is one of her goals for the near future. From there we went to a party for Maison Close that included tiny cupcakes and an adorable, sizzling burlesque dancer.
I pelted brand representatives with questions and received amazing, enthusiastic, and caring answers. There’s no way I could recap everything in detail, but I’m going to try to hit the major points in my next few posts, but for today, here are some teasers:
1. Things We Learned: I really love all the undies. I squealed over almost everything: all the pieces, all the styles, all the price points, all the colors. Not everything matched my personal style, but what was fun was seeing such an enormous range of styles to suit a great number of tastes. Miss Underpinnings has already done some great coverage of Freya, Fantasie, and Fauve, all Eveden brands, as well as Empreinte, and I really encourage you to check them out (also, she has a real camera, so her pictures might be an eeeensy bit better than mine). There have never been more sizes, styles, and new brands available than there are right now, and it’s incredibly inspiring. Women of all shapes and sizes who like to experiment with their sense of style have the opportunity to do so with abandon, and women who have found their fashion niche and want to stick to it have multiple designers to turn to.
3. Best new discovery: Kitten Kouture. More info to follow, but the line offers fun, sassy, 1960s-1970s-inspired silk, mesh and lace lingerie in popping colors, contrasting trims, and luscious silk. There are lovely retro designs like high-waisted knickers and longline bras, but other designs get a hit of modernity from unexpected colors, zingy prints, or flirty details like marabou-trimmed side-ties. Certain styles are ready to go up to an F cup, and Franceska, the designer, spoke to me extensively about her desire to launch into larger cup sizes.
4. Best new style: Shut up, like I’d pick just one. Silver glitter polka dots on the “Twinkle Bomb” style from Mimi Holliday, the spirited zig-zag patterns from Dottie’s Delights, elegant blue with gray lace “Clara” from Panache Superbra, “Oh La La” from Freya, and the new Panache Sports Bra colors all thrilled me, but if you made me name the one set I was going to purchase for sure, it would be the black “Marcie” babydoll from Cleo, hands-down. I’m also very interested to try the Deco Shape, but the first colorway is about to hit stores in April, so it wasn’t a main focus of the Eveden preview.
5. Best news: Mimi Holliday Does Maternity! In addition to launching a new completely adorable range of cotton swimwear, Mimi Holliday will release a lovely, LOVELY nursing bra in the new “Dotty L’Amour” range (sweet white dots backed with pale pink), “Dotty Noir” (deep midnight blue), and “Bon Bon Noir” (black lace), as well as their classic “Bisou Bisou” range in Rose.
The silk and lace are unbelievably luxurious yet also smooth, silky, and comfortable (I mean, seriously. I just sort of petted things before getting it together to take pictures. The sea of gorgeous, gorgeous lingerie was a bit overwhelming for a second).
Sometimes nursing bras can veer from the dull and dour to excessively “sexified”. Like, yes, pregnant and nursing women are lovely and womanly and fierce, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re eager to hop on stage and perform a striptease. Mimi strikes a gorgeous balance between pretty and practical. The initial size release is a scaled down version of Mimi’s famously vast size range (32D-FF, 34D-FF, 36D-E), but one thing I learned over and over again was that brands have to introduce new styles slowly to get the word out. If Mimi Maternity is a hit, as it should be, hopefully the size range will expand in the future.
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I feel so, so fortunate to have been able to attend CurveNY. The lingerie world is in a very exciting place right now; classic brands are expanding their size and style ranges to serve more and more customers, new brands are appearing with ever more innovative designs and artistic voices, and social media is empowering customers to keep brands and stores in the loop about their wants and needs. Having seen the astounding range of offerings for A/W 2013, I can’t wait to return to CurveNY in six months to see how these offerings change and evolve for Spring/Summer 2014. Thanks so much to all of the brand reps who took time out from meeting with buyers to speak with me, and thanks to my new blog buddies for showing me the ropes!