Tried, True & New ~ Panache Porcelain Elan

October 2, 2014


Same fit, different name.  Last week I had the good fortune to try Panache’s new Porcelain Elan t-shirt bra and I have to say, even though I am already a Porcelain fan, this version is a terrific reincarnation. Incorporating constructive feedback from retailers who have done very well with this style, Panache has infused the remake with new features that increase its comfort level significantly.  Tag-free with padded hook and eyes, the seamless construction of the new lighter, lustrous fabric really does feel as luxurious as a beautiful piece of porcelain.  But its the fully adjustable straps with the flexibility of crossover back placement that position Porcelain Elan as a sure winner.  After all, Porcelain was already a Panache hit. Imagine the potential now.

“I Do Reinvent Old Hits Of Mine And Sort Of Give Them A New Life” ~Christina Aquilera




Double Take ~ Commando

September 30, 2014

Tapestry,-2013,-acrylic-on-canvas,-60-x-72-inches When my girls were very young, I used to take them to work with me and leave them with the lingerie design team in the sewing room where they were easily occupied all day. They would spend hours culling through the laces, piecing them together in collages.  My daughter Katie, who is an artist, must have found her passion there because today, her paintings are her personal interpretation of lace, both old and new and the historic influence they have had on women’s lives. Recognized for their exquisite detail as well as ethereal quality, her work has been shown at several venues including the renowned Butler Museum in Ohio.  This piece, “Tapestry” is an acrylic on canvas measuring 60” by 72”.  A phantasmagorical allegory of exquisite detail, it  takes the imagination to a place of grace. She will probably kill me for revealing it on my blog, but I believe the relationship it has to lingerie is worthy of mention. Technically astute, it remains a transparent and ethereal window into the feminine soul all-lace-cami_double-take-bikini-aWhen I saw Commando’s new Double Take collection, particularly the airy lace pattern that floats around and down the body dissolving into the gossamer stretch mesh fabric that anchors it, I immediately thought of Kate’s “Tapestry”. Commando has always been the obvious solution for sheer fashion, sleek, seamless and understated, it is the go to choice for women seeking invisible under-coverage.  Still engineered with the expertise expected from this brand, this style moves to a position, front and center. Asking to be seen, even as it disappears on the body, these designs are a delicate new statement for the Commando woman. Aptly named, it persuades the viewer to take a second look.






“I consider lace to be one of the prettiest imitations ever made of the fantasy of nature. . . . I do not think that any invention of the human spirit could have a more graceful or precise origin.” ~ Coco Chanel


A Taste of Interfiliѐre NY ~ 2015 Lingerie Trends

September 25, 2014


I thought you might be interested in a taste of what you missed if you did not attend the Interfiliѐre New York fabric show hosted by Eurovet and Invista  on Sept 23. To be brief, besides the exhibitors, there were several interesting presentations. Invista showcased their new Lycra branding initiative, Proexport Colombia discussed the potential of the Columbian textile and apparel industry and Marshal Cohen of NPD did his retail statistical thing. But for me, the highlight was Eurovet’s Fashion Trend Exposé for Intimate Apparel.  Four major stories propel the design process for Fall 2015: Wuthering Heights, Beatrix Potter, Bloomsbury and David Hockney. Here’s a teaser:


Reflections of Nordic light, Crackled, Alternative Animal Prints, Cut Velvet, Brushed Surfaces, Dark Forests, Patterns from Lyon and Como Silk Tradition, Lush Guipure and Lace Incrustations, Deep, Dark Shadowy Colors, Veined Effect, Dried Leaves and Flowers, New Meshes





Adorable & Naive

Soft Handle Fabrics, Little Fantasy World, New Treatment of Small Scale Prints, Vintage Corsetry, Girly Elements,, Focus on Trim Effects, Wintry, Cuddly Textures, Combination of Crafted and Handmade, New Proportions in Homewear, Harvest Festival, Pumpkin Colors with Beige & Grey Accents





Eccentric & Gracious

Bohemian Luxury and Cultures Mix, Border Lace Designs in Fine Denier, Delicate and Precise Flowers, Hints of Japanese & Art Deco, Fine Line Patterns and Strong Contrasts, Lighter & Finer Spacer Fabrics, Laser Embroidery on Ultra Light Grounds, Stretch Satin, Artistic 1920′s





Creativity & Optimism

Colorful Prints, 60′s Pop Art, Checks, Stripes & Dots, Blocking & Abstract Lines, Splashes of Paint, Digital Prints, Kimonos, Caftans & Tunics, Placed Designs, Simple Florals as Allovers or Placed, Super Light Embroidery.




“My Goal Is To Spread Ideas. Trends Always Start At The Top” ~Homaro Cantu



A Comfortable Haven ~ Skin Loungewear

September 23, 2014


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.


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




The Essential Source ~ Interfiliѐre New York

September 19, 2014


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.


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




Luscious Lingerie ~ Tia Lyn

September 16, 2014


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.


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.


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




Tried, True & New ~ Conturelle Provence

September 12, 2014


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


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