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A Comfortable Haven ~ Skin Loungewear

September 23, 2014

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My life has taken a very windward course in the past few years.  Change seems to do that at times. All we can really do is to focus on the horizon and navigate to a safe harbor.  To do this, I have left most of my “stuff” behind and only held fast to the few items that help keep the waters calm.  One of these is my collection of stones, small tokens picked up on beaches through time that anchor my memories: Block Island, Marathon in the Keys, Cabo San Lucas, Long Beach, NY, Southampton to name a few. I keep them on a shelf in my home, rearrange them now and then, hold them in my hands and breathe.  Of course, now, toddler in tow they are in a drawer while I wait for the currents to calm down.  Meanwhile I am spending a lot of time at home, dressed down for easy trolling and full of love for my grandson who is clearly the captain of my life.

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Thank goodness for the Skin collection, perfectly tuned to the lifestyle I inhabit; one where simplicity and necessity take precedence.  This brand is a personal favorite of mine, from the earthbound color palette to the baby soft fabrics; the pieces are collectable and interchangeable reminding me of the smooth stones that are my miniature haven. Now the organic pima cotton double layer pajama is proving the Skin aesthetic is spreading rapidly. Available in three color combinations in sizes 0 – 4, this light, easy fit loungewear, which just delivered to stores, is already a best seller. At least my PJ’s assure me a comfortable anchor.

“To Be At Peace, Does Not Mean That You Are Amiss Of Every Storm,
It Only Means That You Can Find A Calm Within The Storm”  ~Tania Elizabeth

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The Essential Source ~ Interfiliѐre New York

September 19, 2014

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I have been a part of the Intimate Apparel Industry for 30 years and worn many hats: Retailer, Merchandiser, Brand and Sale’s Director. The one lesson I have learned that trumps all is the critical importance of fabric sourcing and development when securing the integrity of the Lingerie product. Completely oblivious during my buying days; intent on fashion and margin, I did not grasp the complexity of the piece good markets until I began to research them myself.  It was then, that I started to understand what really constitutes value in a garment. And in the process I gained valuable knowledge on what makes a style sell.

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The entire design channel is dependent on the materials chosen to create a look. Finding the right materials is the key to establishing product value.  Interfiliѐre, held semi-annually in Paris, has always been a destination for Lingerie designers.  Considered the world’s most comprehensive Lingerie sourcing base this show is a must go for brands seeking the top positioning in innovation and fashion.  Now, this stellar exposition has come to America. On September 23rd, Interfiliѐre New York launches at 82 Mercer Street. Presented by world renowned intimate trade show leader, Eurovet and Invista, the makers of LYCRA®, this collaboration is focused specifically on the North American Market.  Culled down to industry leaders, 40 vendors will display their collections amidst a conclave of high power events  led by leading players in our industry; Marie-Laure Bellon-Hops, CEO of Eurovet, Pattie Ficorillu, Sr Acct Manager for Invista and NPD’s Chief Industry Analyst, Marshal Cohen. On a personal note, I am very excited about the Proexport Columbia luncheon where this emerging country will share some of its phenomenal Lingerie sourcing opportunities.  After all, exploration into new frontiers is what our American market is all about. Having access to new information only fortifies my belief that this is an exhibit worth attending

“Research Is Creating New Knowledge” ~Neil Armstrong

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Luscious Lingerie ~ Tia Lyn

September 16, 2014

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Struggling all my life with the fashion limitations confronting well-endowed women, I spent many more years than necessary frustrated by the Western profile of style defined by the “less is best” crazed media. It wasn’t until I began my college journey into the History of Art that I realized that beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.  400 years ago, Peter Paul Rubens defined feminine mystique by painting female pulchritude in all its naked allure.  His subjects, so often full figured, helped emboss this curvy artistry as a standard of style for decades; thus, the literary gift of Rubenesque to the vernacular.

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Perhaps my generation was caught in the skinny scam, but luckily what comes around goes around and style no longer has to worship on the altar of the model body blessed.  Thin does not necessarily mean in.  One look at the Tia Lyn collection of plus size lingerie (she does play fair and offer her brand to all sizes) is indicative of the growing trend for gorgeous and sexy intimates for a more zaftig body.  I have known Tia since she first started her Intimate design quest; she worked for me in her early years.  It was pretty evident, even then that her charisma and talent would bring her to a place worthy of notice.  Just as Rubens used light and color to create his masterpieces, Tia has utilized her technical design expertise and engineered delicate, sensual underpinnings that enhance a woman of any size.

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“I Didn’t Discover Curves: I Only Uncovered Them” ~Mae West

 

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Tried, True & New ~ Conturelle Provence

September 12, 2014

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I have been following Conturelles product emergence in North America ever since I was introduced to this legendary German brand 5 years ago.  Entering the US market sometime around their 125th birthday, Conturelle began its ascent here with an introduction of some of their established European styles.  One of these, Provence, a gorgeous 3 part Swiss embroidered, guipure trimmed underwire bra has played an enormous role in the company’s success in this highly competitive foundations market.  Many of the retailers, whose insight I count on for defining the growth potential of this category, are giving it 5 star reviews.   Maybe it’s my own German heritage, but I recognize the careful focus on consumer response in order to produce a well-engineered product with a classic appeal. It is part of the very detailed analysis and attention to garment construction for which this company is internationally revered. This fall, Provence a key item basic in the Conturelle collection has just strengthened its position by expanding its reach from B – I cups, 42 – 46 and adding a delicate sand color.  Not new, but updated to support an expanding brand infrastructure and customer response, Provence continues to lead the Conturelle brand forward in America.

“In The End, The Customer Doesn’t Know, Or Care, If You Are Small Or Large As An Organization.
She Or He Only Focuses On The Garment Hanging On The Rail In The Store.”
Giorgio Armani

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Casual Calm ~ PJ Salvage®

September 9, 2014

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All my life I have been a dog person.  Always had one living by my side; sometimes 3.  Cats on the other hand were an afterthought.  Somehow or another, the cats in my house were there because someone brought  a kitten home, promised to covet it for eternity and then, left the poor feline there to fend for herself in the grasp of a canine domicile.  Cats make very few demands, virtually disappearing into the chaos of a bustling home. I never really got it; why cat lovers were so possessed.  But living in an apartment for the past few years with my 15 year old kitty, Kenya, I have been enlightened.  Once the dogs were gone – may they rest in peace – out from her shell emerged this affectionate, very furry, exceptionally soft pussy cat seeking my consideration.  This 17 pound ball of fur lays atop me while I watch television or when I am sleeping purring a living warmth into my body  and creating a Zen like moment in my day.

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Perhaps it is the soft grey and white coloring of the cuddly tactile fabrics that sparked my thoughts of Kenya, but when I reviewed the PJ Salvage® Home collection delivering this month, my immediate reaction was how warm and cozy these items are. The breadth of materials used; jacquard French terry’s, modal ribs, microfiber waffles, cotton quilted and sweater knits, create a sanctuary of comfortable intimate fashion available in XS-XL.  Each piece of this loungewear moves with a quiet ease from kitchen to bedroom or outside to walk the dog.  But if you are lucky enough to have a cat, you never need to leave the couch.

“The Ideal Of Calm Exists In A Sitting Cat” ~Jules Reynard

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The Art & Science Of Intimates ~Wacoal

September 3, 2014

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Many years ago, during my tenure as a buyer at the venerable Abraham & Straus, now part of Macy’s, I was given a choice of positions, most within my comfort zone; ready to wear and accessories.  However, there was an opening in the Cosmetics Division and I decided to take that job, because I was curious about this category where merchandising was driven primarily by the vendor and marketing ruled all.  I was 28 at the time, and all cosmetics meant to me were makeup and fragrance.  The concept of “treatment” was not in my vernacular.  Lucky for me, this idea was introduced to me in my youth.  Exposed to the European approach to cosmetics, I was taught how critical daily skin care is and how the results impact a woman’s sense of self-esteem.   I learned that there are multiple steps to the process and that investing in all the basics insures long term success.

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It’s uncanny to me how the Foundations business parallels the cosmetics industry.  The way a woman feels when she wears the right bra and the breadth of basic styles she needs to insure that this is possible for any occasion mimics how cosmetics companys define beauty.  I was introduced to the Wacoal brand 25 years ago and continue to have several of their basics in my everyday bra stash. That’s why I am not surprised that their new marketing campaign, The Wacoal Woman, positions them as the go to foundation beauty brand. Focusing on the key essentials in a lingerie drawer, Wacoal boasts, for example, 7 different seamless molded bras, each shape a fit alternative in a woman’s wardrobe. The newest addition, La Femme, available 32-40, A–G cups adds the plunge element to the ubiquitous t-shirt category for which Wacoal is already renowned.  35 years later both my skin and my breasts are in a better place than they might have been because I learned early on how to treat them well.

“The Right Bra Can Change Your Whole Look As Well As Your Outlook” ~ Wacoal

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What’s “In Bloom” For Fall

August 29, 2014

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Every time I look at the In Bloom by Jonquil collection, I am amazed at the way they merchandise prints.  As somewhat of a connoisseur of curated product, I am always impressed at how this brand finds a way to mingle visually dynamic lingerie fabrics to form a composition of coordinated sleep and lounge designs. What could be chaotic is in fact a captivating collage. Renown for their molded cup babydoll,  In Bloom is a canvas of playful styles nurturing  intimate palettes across America.

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“Art, In Itself, Is An Attempt To Bring Order Out Of Chaos.” ~Stephen Sondheim

 

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Mission Statement

Lingerie Briefs is multi-faceted Lingerie and Fashion Blog for consumers and industry insiders written by Ellen Lewis and other experts from the Intimate Apparel world. Ellen created Lingerie Briefs as her virtual Lingerie boutique.”The merchandise that I feature are all products I have personally reviewed and which I would be proud to carry in my own shop. It’s an artistic and literary destination providing insight to both the Lingerie Industry and Lingerie Consumer.” …Ellen Lewis