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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!