Perfect Gifts ~ 8knots

December 19, 2014


Whenever I think of design perfection I think of my old friend and colleague Marcia Bayard with whom I worked for many years, first at Macy’s and later on at the Turkish based NAP, NY where we launched the Crabtree & Evelyn Sleepwear line together.  Our symbiotic relationship consisted as me, the merchandiser challenging design viability and cost and Marcia, the designer whose vision often outreached the current trends.  We spent many hours together working through collections; me challenging her need to create museum quality pieces and she pushing back in defense of the details. We were on the same wave length, often perceived as eccentric but generally well received for originality. Left to our own devices, we found ideas in uncommon places and curated a brand known for its quality, function and feminine appeal.


Yesterday, culling through my mail, I happened upon Marcia’s newest project,her brand, 8knots. Embracing a coastal lifestyle, this is a very succinct collection of unique products including beautiful bath accessories anchored in the Turkish towel tradition.  The execution of each item from fabric and color to the stunning packaging embodies Marcia’s appreciation for artistry anywhere she ventures. From my perspective, they are not only perfect for holiday gifting, they also are an easy add on sale in any store that sells swimwear or homewear. I can only imagine how these styles would complement any space they occupy.

“What’s Better, A Poetic Intuition or An Intellectual Work?
I Think They Complement Each Other” ~Mauuel Puig




Always Splendid®

December 16, 2014

3105SW_741aI was rummaging through my daughter’s dresser drawers recently when I happened upon a bralette whose touch was so creamy smooth that I picked it up and asked her if this was the sample we had discovered a few years ago when sample shopping in Paris. But she said no; that it was, in fact, from Splendid®.  She’s a real Splendid® RTW fan, often lauding their amazing fabrics, mostly modal blends that seem to possess a secret formula for softness. Launched in 2013, I initially shied away from the brand waiting for them to establish footing in the Lingerie market. But I could not ignore this personal affirmation from a 30 something woman who would be very happy wearing luxury intimates imported from Europe if her pocketbook would permit it, which, it does not. Claiming comfort with perfect fit, she was just as enthusiastic about the panties: this from a girl whose only purchase while backpacking around Europe was expensive underwear purchased in Italy. Although reviews of lingerie products are not the main mission of this blog, how could I ignore such a stellar endorsement; so I did some research? Kate’s Splendid® love, featured here is from the Essential Always collection and currently one of their top selling styles. Apparently, the crème really does rise to the top.


“The Only Thing To Do With Good Advice Is To Pass It On” ~Oscar Wilde




Say It With Passion ~ Jane Woolrich

December 12, 2014


When I met Jane Woolrich some years ago, I was instantly drawn to her warmth, her vitality and particularly the sparkle in her eyes. I knew that I was in the presence of an enriched woman. Deeply passionate, Jane has always focused on productivity in lieu of publicity defining her character as well as her work ethic. Her lingerie designs are an excellent reflection of the trichotomy of the British nature: romantic, refined and quietly erotic. Think D.H. Lawrence.  Hand sewn in her private atelier, located in the English country side, her sleepwear collections are recognized globally for their exquisite workmanship, leavers laces and fine fabrics that float across the body forming a graceful landscape of feminine form.  But it is Jane’s corsetry, a provocative combination of delicate details and dramatic shapes, that provide the underlying sexual tension that defines her style and relegates her work to artistry.


“Be Still When You Have Nothing To Say: When Genuine Passion Moves You,
Say What You’ve Got To Say, And Say It Hot” ~D.H. Lawrence




Visionary Lingerie ~ La Perla

December 9, 2014


Sometimes I see lingerie that reminds me why I began this blog and the reason I opted to remain in this business many career years ago when I had the opportunity to move into other merchandising venues. It is because exquisite intimate designs are truly works of art.  The cost is not the issue; the collector invests in the value the piece promises for the future. The creator changes the course of perception and is often emulated, bringing the message beyond the constraints of gallery walls. Many are now privy to visionary genius. In the world of lingerie, La Perla has always resided at the forefront of this province. Everything about this couture collection begs to be viewed, appreciated, interpreted and remembered.


“An Artist Is Not Paid For His Labor But For His Vision” ~ James Whistler




Into The Night ~ Blush Lingerie

December 5, 2014

page-one1aEnsconced here in sunny Mexico, veteran north-easterner that I am, it is sometimes difficult for me to remember that the holidays are upon us. That’s not to say that there are no festivities, because of course there are. But one doesn’t really witness it from every direction quite like in North America.  However, a sure fact is the transformation that occurs nightly in Cabo San Lucas as the town becomes a hive of parties and revelers are very prevalent.  Girls are all dressed up, going to bars and clubs and dancing into the early morning hours. I am guessing that Christmas week into New Years; the scene will be revved up a notch. Even though I don’t imbibe, I am way more into the laid back Cabo of early sunrise and pink flooded sunsets, I must admit that warm weather nightlife here is very conducive to crossover lingerie. Seems like a perfect venue for Blush’s sexy intimates. Aptly named Victory, the style featured here made the front page of WWD.  Sized XS-XL and fitting 32-38, B-D cups, this convertible strapless lace and point d’esprit bustier could turn a gentle evening sojourn into a seductive affair. I know that celebrations are upon us worldwide and “tis the season” of super nova soirees. Why not indulge yourself or for that matter, someone else in this year’s lingerie provocateur, a corset with multiple promises wherever you are seen. And you can make the Blush Social your first stop on the party circuit

“It Is Easy To Decide On What Is Wrong To Wear To A Party. . . . . .
But Deciding What’s Right Is Much Trickier.” ~ Lemony Snicket




Intimate Gems ~ Vannina Vesperini

December 3, 2014


A few nights ago, I was coasting through the Netflix menu looking for an appropriate babysitter for my 21 month old grandson, Jude, when I happened upon an exquisite marine documentary, “Under the Sea”.  Filmed for IMAX, the close up slow motion photography was mesmerizing. I was completely seduced. The collage of colors and shapes undulating beneath a shimmering light was exquisite. Even Jude was transfixed as we watched this treasure trove unfold. The photography was extraordinary, revealing rare details about a hidden world that few have ever had the opportunity to witness before.


Watching it, I recalled the first time I came across the Vannina Vesperini intimates collection at the Paris show.  I remembered how the gorgeous range of hues that saturated the sexy silk designs on display coaxed me into the booth.  I had to know who was behind this “Visible Lingerie”.  I am privy to some superior silk brands, serving many different consumer needs, but this collection provides a unique perspective on the essence of luxury lingerie.  Using Calais leavers laces and 19mm silk, each piece is an individual gem, meant to be worn close to the body and worthy of being viewed by all.  Already reaching global status, Vannina Vesperini has recently launched in the United States selling to sophisticated women who seek beauty everywhere.

“Beauty Is Bought By Judgement Of The Eye” ~William Shakespeare




Lilly Pulitzer® & Hanky Panky Unite

November 30, 2014


When I was a teenager, the preppy trend was huge and the hot item for the “cool” girls was the Lilly Pulitzer® shift dress made famous by the Oprah of the day, Jackie Kennedy. The 60’s were a trans-formative fashion era as the prissy 50’s relaxed into the audacious 70’s. Rebellious color combinations were emerging and the designer at its roots was Lilly Pulitzer®. Recognized for her free spirit, she was, in her day, a fulcrum of feminism, stepping out of the status quo to offer the unexpected. Influenced by the world in which she lived, Palm Beach, Florida; she created a kaleidoscope of unique prints that defined her style and made Lilly collectors of her devoted followers. She was a free spirit who was not afraid to make a bold statement. Her designs became a mantle of unabashed feminine expression.


In the Hanky Panky showroom several months ago, when they asked me to look at a new collection that would be launching this week, it was not very difficult to identify the source. Printed directly on Hanky Panky’s signature lace were two vintage prints revived from the Lilly Pulitzer® archives: “Checking In and Luscious”.  It was quite clear that a collaboration was in progress.  What a vibrant partnership, the brand renowned for storied artwork and the company who originated the color plenty thong.  Certainly, Hanky Panky has always embraced the fashionably eclectic.  They continue to push lingerie boundaries, successfully liberating trends in shape, color, prints and seminal design partnerships. This one with Lilly Pulitzer® is so copacetic, I believe it will join the trove of Hanky Panky trophies.

“Style Isn’t Just About What You Wear, It’s About How You Live” ~Lilly Pulitzer


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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