On Day 3 of CurveNY I arrived at the Javits Center to begin my appointments with brand representatives in earnest. I had made most of my appointments in advance, but several bloggers told me over the weekend to make time to speak with Franceska Luther, designer and creator of new line Kitten Kouture. I’d heard that the new line only went up to an F cup, so I hadn’t made it a priority (selfishly, I liked seeing the lines that carried my size for, um, personal budgeting purposes), but Caro and Lindsay both told me it would be a very, very good idea to make visiting Kitten Kouture a priority.
As the lingerie is delightful, this wasn’t exactly a hardship.
Franceska has been a major design force in the lingerie world for years now. She’s designed for By Caprice and revolutionized and revitalized beloved luxury brand Myla, and her expertise shows through the first collection beautifully. Using luscious silks and lace, she plays with expected forms of design and construction, highlighting seams that other designs try to hide and interrupting classic beige and black bras with a hit of electric color.
Franceska plans to offer a lovely variety of bra shapes. There’s an unlined mesh bra with colored external seams (above right), a molded silk-covered demi bra (above center), a two-part balconette bra with a molded bottom cup and a smooth mesh upper cup (above left), as well as a pretty, simple-yet-easily-adorned ivory mesh longline bra. Bras come in classic black lace and jaunty leopard silk, trimmed in dots, the above-mentioned highlighted seams, or even marabou puffs.
Franceska told me that she’s been working towards launching Kitten Kouture for several years now. She’s passionate about responsible production methods, sourcing European silk and English lace, and manufacturing solely in the UK.
It’s very rare for a brand-new brand to offer an enormously extensive size range, but Franceska is already working on her D+ size ranges. She and I talked quite a bit about the decision to use UK or US/European sizes. She wants to offer lingerie that will fit a very wide range of women, whether they be slim or curvy. Many of the styles are ready to launch up to a D cup, and the mesh fuller-cup style below is ready to launch up to a US F cup.
I was busy railing the other day about how a lot of full-bust lines seem to offer only womanly, almost old-fashioned embroidery or ditsy, cutesy prints. Kitten Kouture hits a fun middle place– I can see the pieces appealing greatly to pin-up models and burlesque performers, but I don’t think you need to be a pin-curl aficionado to fall in love.
I asked Franceska about her goals for Kitten Kouture. Along with hoping to be carried by well-known and reputable luxury boutiques, she envisions creating a line of beautiful, elegant shapewear for fuller busted women. No more band-aid colored spandex; she wants to create a line that is as pretty and delicate as it is functional.
She also hopes that Kitten Kouture will be able to offer G and H cups (US sizes) in two years or so. It’s very difficult for brands to expand their size ranges, as it often requires an entirely new set of patterns and grading, as well as negotiations with suppliers, factories, and workshops. For an independent designer to have her sights set so high really speaks to her commitment to the full-bust customer and her hope that many, many women will be able to enjoy beautiful, luxury lingerie.
While the stunning promotional shots feature overtly feminine styling, hair, and makeup, I think Kitten Kouture’s debut line will appeal to women with varying personal styles. The collection is at once cohesive and creatively flexible, construction is immaculate, and the materials are truly exemplary. I’m so looking forward to the day when it’s available to even more full-bust women, and I can’t wait to see what future collections will bring.
What do you think of Kitten Kouture? Do you have a favorite style you’d like to see?