As a lot of y’all know by now, I LOVE going to cover the upcoming lingerie seasons at CurveNY. It’s both a fun time to connect with designers, teachers, writers, bloggers, retailers, and PR reps that I haven’t seen in a while (or have only previously met online), and it’s an incredible opportunity to take a look at movements in the market, get a sense of trends, hear from industry professionals about their experiences in retail and wholesale, get insight into different designers’ processes, and discover new and up-and-coming brands as they break into the industry. The Spring/Summer shows, which feature swimwear more heavily than the Fall/Winter shows, tend to feel a little more vibrant and bustling, and this year was no exception.
I once again had the pleasure of covering the full-bust brands with my good lingerie friend Miss Underpinnings, and we’ve partnered on this post to bring you our overview of what the Spring/Summer 2015 collections have in store. You can see our trend report for the Fall/Winter 2014 season here.
Note: Eveden (parent company of Elomi, Freya, Fantasie, Goddess, and Huit) wasn’t giving any press appointments, and when Cecily did manage to get an appointment some of the samples were MIA, so unfortunately our coverage of those popular brands is a little thin. I’ve tried to snap pics of my lookbooks where possible.
Without a doubt, yellow is the standout color of full-bust lingerie for Spring/Summer 2015. We saw it EVERYWHERE. Even if it wasn’t the most common color story we noticed, it’s such an unusual color that it makes its cheerful presence felt. Panache has brought out Tango and Andorra in bright, chipper lemon shades, Cleo offers a delightful yellow polka dot bikini, Sunday Intimates created a lovely yellow watercolor chiffon lingerie-and-robe collection, and Tutti Rouge went for a full blast of cheer with both Liliana and Tallulah Sunshine. A unanimous Miss Underpinnings/Sweet Nothings favorite was Curvy Kate’s new Lemon Fizz color for Dreamcatcher; it’s guaranteed to put you in a good mood! For more petite busts, check out Gossard’s pretty Romance bra and Huit’s lovely Melisande, back in beautiful Bouton D’Or. The only yellow that didn’t charm us was Freya’s unfortunate zest/zebra colorway for Deco. While we’re sure this combination will have its fans, we are united in our loathing.
Mint/Pistachio/Pale Green/Ice Blue
While the whole season is rife with pretty, pale, feminine colors, I (Sweets) have a major soft spot for mint and other pale green/blue colors. I don’t know where this love comes from, as I don’t wear these colors terribly well, yet here we are, with a season full of soft, fresh shades that I adored. I particularly admired Fortnight’s gorgeous Mira longline bra and slip in an amazing Celadon colorway, Freya’s brought out a beautiful sheer embroidered collection called Starlet in Peppermint that reminded us of former Fauve (RIP) styles, and I (Sweets again) fell head over heels for Mimi Holliday’s delightful Hummingbird range, with sheer dotted icy blue mesh and sweet pink trim.
Miss Underpinnings hates it. We’ve agreed to disagree. Some of the big brands have also brought out lighter shades for their most popular collections: Elomi’s Betty is in Pistachio, Fantasie’s Rebecca is in Sea Mist, and Panache’s new Rhapsody as well as firm favorite Envy come in a lovely crisp Mint.
While not exactly new, you really can’t escape pink for Spring/Summer, especially in full-bust land. While there are certainly some pretty baby pinks out there, like Sunday Intimates’ beautiful Janine collection, featuring a lace bra and brief with coordinating sheer lace romper, Freya’s Icon in Milkshake or Rapture in Bubblegum, for the most part we saw some pretty loud, screamy pinks.
We’ve talked with each other a lot this week about how our tastes have evolved both as we get a little older and as we spend more time in the industry, and this color trend really gets a big shrug from both of us. Parfait introduces new style Elena in Raspberry that’s so dark and shiny and we found it a little cheesy. Fantasy brings out Susanna in Fuchsia, Rebecca in Honeysuckle and a totally wan Rosewood color for Ivana that’s particularly disappointing after the striking turquoise for F/W14. Mimi Holliday’s Flambeau collection in dark pink/coral also gets a “pass” from us, and we were equally unmoved by the new floral for Panache’s Jasmine and the Sherbet color for both Clara and Porcelain Grace. Panache also added pink or coral to the Sports bra and two Sculptresse styles (Flirtini and Pure Lace). Curvy Kate’s Cerise color for Daisie and Princess struck us as a little “Barbie”, but we both liked the coral Poppy Print for new style Madagascar. The exception to our general pink indifference? Claudette’s vibrant Strawberry Crush and Raspberryade colorways for Dessous and Paloma, both of which feel rich, zingy, and fun.
Another of Sweets’ favorites! We’ve seen a lot of brands playing around with navy, royal blue, and cobalt in the past few seasons, and while I’ll happily wear blue lingerie any day of the week, these softer shades feel really fresh for Spring. We spotted them at Claudette (Dessous and Paloma in Periwinkle), in the stretch lace trim for Freya’s bold new Minx with a keyhole gore and cage back (more below), at Elomi in the new Chambray colorway for Caitlyn, and at Panache in a few styles: Cleo’s popular Minnie collection returns in an unpadded bra and a padded longline (WHY PADDED, AGAIN, moans Sweets), and we LOVED the gorgeous Deep Lilac color for Sculptresse’s new Liberty collection.
Finally, Parfait has once again knocked it out of the park with new a new Icy Blue colorway for Charlotte (as well as their Casey collection).
Neon is an ever-popular story in lingerie, particularly in full-bust land. Of the afore-mentioned Freya Deco in zest we shall speak no more, but Claudette? We’ll happily wear Dessous in Orange Soda, Gia Red, and Raspberryade, along with Fishnet in Gia Red/Peacoat, any day of the week. Miss Mandalay made her first appearance at CurveNY this season, and she delighted us: in addition to classics like Paris in Pink and Fuchsia, the fantastically cool and sexy halter bikinis are super striking in fluoro yellow and hot pinks and purples. Cleo’s Marcie returns as a new basic style (beige and black), but the fashion color gets an update with super-bright Magenta/Orange. Finally, you can’t talk about neons without talking about Mimi Holliday. As usual, the brand offers a huge new collection packed with new shapes and styles. While we particularly loved Toco Toucan and Parakeet, with their small hits of neon dots against black or white bases, other collections are less shy: some of the pretty Hummingbird pieces have neon pink lace trim, Cockatoo is a vibrant fluorescent pink, and Tree Nymph is a striking neon lime with soft, ballet pink ribbon trim. This season sees three collections featuring oversized lip-shaped embroidery in bold neon: Kittiwake (orange/pink contrast), Flamingo (pink), and Citrus Swallowtail (lime green). While we liked some of the trims and one of the shapes (the Flamingo all-pink bodysuit), in general these styles left us cold, especially in the face of some of Mimi’s other beautiful, subtler collections.
Miss Underpinnings wouldn’t even talk to Sweets about this one, that’s how over it she is, so everyone buy her a drink as a reward for completing this particular photo collage. She earned it. We get it: purple is popular for a reason. It’s a livelier alternative to black, it works well with a variety of skin tones, and it’s a change of pace from the beige/black/white/red rut that a lot of brands get stuck in. Nevertheless, it was everywhere for Fall/Winter 2014, and it will be everywhere again for Spring/Summer 2015. Curvy Kate brings us Smoothie and Jewel in a princessy pale purple Topaz, with sheer K-cup babydoll Bardot featuring purple embroidery, and Panache introduces softer lilac shades for their popular Andorra and Fern styles. Masquerade cut the Loire style last season, but Panache Black brings it back in royal purple. Our beloved Miss Mandalay will unveil a vibrant ultra violet Amelie as well as a neon fuschia for Paris. Great news for purple lovers, but we’re feeling a little fatigue.
Our favorite color story by far, we saw an incredible number of collections in pale peach, ballet pink (more below), dusty rose, and blush tones, and we couldn’t get enough of them. This color is a lingerie classic that immediately calls to mind retro, classic pieces from the early part of the 20th century, it works beautifully with a range of styles, from bridal to boudoir to pin-up, and some skin tones can even wear the color as a neutral under white tops. We fell head over heels for Miss Mandalay’s new powder color for Amelie, saw it from Freya for both a new longline collection and a new style for Deco, and loved the blush color (and unusual stitching on the briefs) for Panache Black’s strapless Lucia style (Sweets would like to register her sorrow that the coordinating basque was, naturally, canceled).
Panache Black will also introduce their first-ever K-cup style with Eclipse, featuring pale pink cups and contrasting black ribbon trim. We also adored Mimi Holliday’s take on the color trend, particularly the adorable Puffin range with its beautiful floral-button-like embroidery, Lovebird with an elegant champagne and blush silk color scheme, and the lovely Golden Helicon collection with gold dots and pretty broderie trim. Curvy Kate is bringing out a simple, sheer, slightly lower priced new style called Florence in a soft dusty blush that we both loved, and Panache will introduce new style Olivia in apricot with matching high-waist knickers that our rep called “more mature/granny-style” that we called “adorable/beautiful/we want it”.
I had to ask Miss Underpinnings to check me on this, but no, I wasn’t imagining it: we saw way, way more bridal collections this go-around than we’d seen in years past. I am the first person to yell “not all white lingerie is bridal!!”, but I have to admit, these styles will be really helpful for those of you who want special lingerie for a wedding. Expect to see a lovely range of shapes and styles from The Intimate Britney Spears (pictures were embargoed, unfortunately). Freya’s super-popular Deco is the foundation for a brand-new bridal range from Freya, including a strapless bra and Freya’s first-ever babydoll. Parfait gets in on the action with a flirty little babydoll and a frankly gorgeous sheer lace longline bra that I (Sweets) am itching to get my hands on. Tutti Rouge’s Liliana is available in both a lovely Creme shade with a sweet neutral bow and in a bright white-on-white that feels really fresh and pretty, as well as the lovely Beatrice in ivory satin. We loved Mimi Holliday’s white collections, particularly Pelican with its beautiful white star-patterned lace and Skylark with its beautiful heart-patterned mesh. We even found that a white background made us like Panache’s Floris style for the first season ever.
Ballet-Inspired Design Elements
As we mentioned above with the blush pink trend, we saw many, many brands that made reference to classic ballet design elements in their collections. Sunday Intimates’ whole SS15 collection looks like it walked straight out of a Degas painting, Angela Friedman’s collection is unabashedly girly with beautiful sheer white tutu/petticoats, and Dollhouse Bettie created a charmingly whimsical flower-petal style tutu.
We are heavily divided on animal prints in general. Sweets abhors them in any shape or form (on HER, not on other people), while Cecily likes them as long as they are the colors nature intended (e.g., not purple). So we may not be the target audience for some of these, but nevertheless: they were there and they exist and here are pictures. Freya’s Minx has grown on us (well, at least on Sweets), on account of the periwinkle lace, keyhole at the center gore, and brand new cage-back construction (we heard glowing reviews from the full-bust women who’d tried it, although take note: the keyhole and cage back disappear in sizes over a G-cup). Miss Mandalay offers a sizzling take with the Leopard Ruffle bikini, Mimi puts their own spin on it with a sweet pastel Tiger Butterfly, Sculptresse brings out a cheetah/rose/black lace design for Chi Chi, Panache Black offers a wan animal print on their black molded Odette, and Cleo brings the color with a return of Maya. I was a little surprised to see that Panache had dropped leopard prints from the Jasmine line-up, and Parfait has no new animal print after last season– maybe we’re not the only ones with animal fatigue?
Last season saw the rise of the full-bust bodysuit, and this season it’s here to stay, and then some. Freya’s Ooh La La bodysuit is part of the continuity range, and while Panache is retiring the Envy bodysuit (it’s likely to be a Fall/Winter style, just not Spring/Summer), we saw plenty of brands branching out to try new shapes. Both Parfait and Freya offer beautiful white babydolls as part of expanded bridal offerings, Sunday Intimates created a beautiful collection of incredible soft all-lace rompers, and more and more brands are offering lounge pieces like camisoles, chemises, robes, and even tees (like Claudette) to complement their lingerie offerings. Mimi Holliday will offer a huge assortment of slips, bodysuits, robes, and even a sheer black full-length catsuit!
Bond Girl Swimwear
FINALLY, full bust women are getting a break from the omnipresent pinup swimwear stylings (or the truly boring tropical florals) with swimwear that’s bolder, more athletic, and sexy without being cutesy. Curvy Kate’s best swim collection was the striking color-blocked Ocean Drive, Miss Mandalay enters the American market with the sexy Los Angeles in black, magenta, and fluoro yellow, Panache offers a great mix-and-match striped collection (Anya Stripe), and Freya’s aptly named “Bondi” is one of the best full-bust swim collections we’ve seen in ages. Don’t get us wrong, we still love cute: Cleo’s yellow polka dot bikini, navy collection with white heart polka dots, and dramatic floral longline bikini earned full marks from us, but we are SO pleased that full-bust swim designers offering designs that are a little more grown-up and sophisticated.
What do you think of the season overall? See any styles that make it to your wishlist? I’ll touch on some of my favorite pieces in more detail in future posts, but overall it felt like a very pretty, albeit maybe a little safe, Spring season.
[Note: I know that some text in the post is automatically showing up as a shopping link, and I know it’s annoying (at least it is to me). It’s a quirk of the new site, and hopefully I’ll get it fixed soon!]