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Color Wins ~ Chantelle Lingerie

April 24, 2015

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Here in Mexico, I find myself attracted to colors that I would never consider for my wardrobe back in New York. Color seems to dominate the culture. Last week my friend Kelly took me to a boutique in San Jose de Cabo that caters to women looking for true Mexican design rather than flee market souvenirs. I, who rarely enjoys shopping (except for work); found myself mesmerized by the vibrant silk scarf collection offered at Pineda Covalin. It occurred to me that a multitude of these luscious prints would be a great way to inspire my basic black and black and black wardrobe. That’s when Kelly admitted to me she had a collection in her closet that I had to see. When I put them together, the story was an impressive collage of an everyday accessory. I could understand her desire to own more than one.

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Earlier this season I was in the Chantelle showroom looking through the 2015 spring line. Reviewing product to root out a new story, it dawned on me that the color extensions offered throughout the entire collection was a tale unto itself.  Chantelle has positioned itself as a stronghold of technically adept basics that serve a growing range of women. But, as I extracted the fashion colors delivering for the entire season in some of their tried and true styles, I realized that there was another message worthy of communication. The color assortment available in these bras is a mélange of vital hues, each providing a spark to a woman’s daily wardrobe. I could easily imagine any of them slightly exposed for review. Collecting the colors in a favorite style over time would provide a boost to any underwear drawer. I know that many brands do this, but for some reason it was at Chantelle were the message was so acutely revealed. Maybe it’s my affinity for French art.

“Color Is The Overpowering Of Black; White-The Final Victory Over Black” ~Dejan Stojanovic

 

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Mix & Match Panties ~ Marie Jo L’Aventure

April 21, 2015

Untitled-1xSome time ago I was at a Canyon Ranch Spa with my friend Adrienne who owned a better bra fitting boutique in the Midwest. When she saw me wearing a Prima Donna bra with (I won’t admit what brand) cotton panties, she almost had a heart attack. Dismayed, she could not believe that I, a proponent of upscale intimates would not be wearing matching underpants. This conundrum has confronted me multiple times when generous vendors offer to send me a “set” and I turn them down. There is a very simple answer and I will admit that cost enters the decision. But the real reason is that I find that the matching panties don’t fit me the way I would prefer. You see, I like the feeling of wearing nothing and the knowledge that I am, in fact, covered. I suppose this is a very “American” lingerie perspective because my European and Canadian peers disagree completely. It’s not that I don’t want to be coordinated, but for me, comfort trumps all. I know that a few panty experts have figured out the “solve” to this challenge for lingerie boutiques offering an extensive range of colors in their best-selling styles.

Now, following suit, and taking it one step further, Marie Jo L’Aventure has taken this concept to another level with the launch of “Nicky Slips”.  Dyed to exactly match their Marie Jo and Marie Jo L’Aventure collections, Nicky slips (short for Knickers) are available in 6 colors, in 5 styles and sized XS-XXXL.  Stitchless and Seamless, the edge of these panties are finished with special glue developed exclusively through the company’s renowned R&D department. Once on the body, the edge softens preventing any kickback while remaining supple and soft. What I like about them most is that they are an item unto themselves, promising multiple sale’s potential and that means profit.

“Mixing Up Your Accessories Adds Interest To An Outfit,
And Can Make You Look Much More Modern And Polished” ~ Stacy London

 

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Undertreats ~ Tutti Rouge Lingerie

April 17, 2015

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I was first introduced to the Tutti Rouge label last year at Curve.  I had heard about the brand from a retailer who asked me to check them out. The Tutti Rouge collection is a candy land of delicious intimates in multiple colors that satisfy a taste for fun, fanciful and frilly underwear. They are a perfect solution for the curvy girl who craves color and froth in her underwear drawer but cannot find her size in the usual venues. Pictured here is the bestselling Liliana style available in 5 colors from 28-44, D-J (UK) sizes.  What really peaked my interest while researching the line was the credibility that Creative Director Jessica Prebble brings to the table. With a 19 year history in the foundations business grounded in factory production for companies like Marks & Spencer and Bravissimo, Jessica has experience in bringing a garment from concept through delivery. It’s not easy to break into the foundations market in the USA,  but Tutti Rouge has a pretty impressive formula: great design that fills a need, fit that really is functional, production know how that insures continuity and pricing that is easy to swallow. I would say that Tutti Rouge is an unexpected treat with the potential to satisfy a buyer’s hunger for profit.

“Life Is Uncertain. Eat Dessert First” ~ Ernestine Ulmer
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Why Paris Matters ~ The Salon International de la Lingerie & Swimwear Spring-Summer 2016 Challenges the Status Quo

April 12, 2015

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After a 40 + year career in merchandising, you can imagine that I have been to more trade shows than I care to count.  Both internationally and here in the USA, I have attended these expositions in the role of retailer, product developer and as a manufacturer presenting product. There have been times that I arrived at the purview wondering why I came: overwhelmed with projects back home, wallet tight, trends seemingly irrelevant to my particular goals. So why do I continue to return? Simple answer: by the end of my first day, creative juices are turning on, ideas are bubbling to the surface and away from the daily drone, I find my imagination rejuvenated. I am outside the big white bread box of price driven reality and just for a few hours, I can allow myself to be inspired. It is very true that all this input will have to be put into perspective upon my return. But still, here is a place where innovation in our industry will emerge.

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That is why this summer; I have decided to attend Mode City: The Salon International de la Lingerie and Swimwear in Paris. Previously, I skipped this event in lieu of other trade shows focused on swim and intimates.  But this July 4,5,6 at the Porte de Versailles, Eurovet,  international trade show experts governing the fair, have transformed the traditional Intimates and Swim venue by creating a new layout that gives visitors a panoramic overview of the wide range of exhibitors both at  Salon and Interfiliѐre.   At its core, will be the Limited Edition section for young designers, the Trends forum created with Trend Union and a personalized consulting service to lead 15,200 visitors from 40 countries through the 450 brands available to review. Using a cutting-edge blue line architecture to enhance navigation buyers will move seamlessly through a refreshing  arena of Intimates, lingerie, corsetry, swimwear, menswear, beach accessories, loungewear, and homewear.

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Beyond the obligatory appointments and serious review of merchandise offers, the aspect that I believe will make this trip not only a source of inspiration, but also a “true measure of the market” are the many added features that set Mode City apart from any other trade shows I have previously visited. These include the aforementioned Trends Forum powered by personalized trend coaches, archetypal store windows providing new insight, daily round table discussions with consumers, retailers and bloggers and an on-site photo studio where collateral for stores can be created. And, the piece de resistance: The Beach Lounge. This carefully curated Summer Shop is replete with exotic jewelry and accessories , limited edition French designs, and summer trinkets culled from international travels, all available for sale to exhibitors and buyers. Shopping in Paris: its a requisite venture and one need never leave the building.

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In case you do want to leave the building, Mode City will provide mini-guides to help visitors negotiate the Paris landscape with exclusive tours of key tourist sites, and special offers for restaurants and shows. And to top it off, everyone will be welcome to a special July 5 event hosted by Eurovet to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Interfiliѐre. Stay tuned for the surprise location and entertainment.

No one can really define the source of a new idea. Ideas are everywhere if you open your eyes, and your ears and your mind. But sometimes we become complacent, spinning our wheels just to get it all done. We stay isolated when interaction is truly a more stimulating recipe for success. It’s a fact that getting away from it all and interfacing with new people informs creative vision. Paris for the July 4th weekend: what a great way to celebrate this holiday. You might not see fireworks, but you will certainly feel them.

“The Power Of Human Interaction Is The Core Of Business Development
and Industry Innovation” ~ Eurovet Network

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Back to the Future ~ Cosabella Lusso

April 10, 2015

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Sometimes the past reconvenes to redirect the future. One might say that the essence of luxury is founded in the underpinnings of history. I have always believed that in the study of art, no other source better defines sophistication than the Renaissance.  The epicenter of this era of intense creativity was Italy.  Italian artisans are the founders of artful elegance and in the world of Lingerie, Cosabella’s heritage speaks to this message: classy designs with a chic allure that are sexy and beautiful without apparent effort. That is why Cosabella has decided to reclaim their Italian fashion estate with the introduction of the a Lusso Collection, a modern nod to a brand legacy.

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“You Have To Stay True To Your Heritage; That’s What Your Brand Is About” ~Alice Temperley

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The Mother Lode ~ Cake, Belabumbum & Cache Coeur Maternity Lingerie

April 8, 2015

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Last week a new colt was born at the stables in Cabo where I ride. This is the 3rd one this year joining a herd of 50 horses. It is an extraordinary feeling to arrive in the morning and discover a tiny foal nuzzled next to her mother. The bond between this 1000 lb powerhouse and her baby is one of nature’s maternal snapshots. If you have ever given birth or witnessed another female in the birthing process, you probably have a visceral understanding of the essence of femaleness: endurance, strength, sacrifice and compassion.  The changes in the woman’s body as she grows through pregnancy, breastfeeds (if she does) and often struggles to recover her former self, not only take an emotional toll, but also have a physical impact on a woman’s self-esteem.  Keeping up appearances during this life changing journey can be a challenge. It got me thinking about the correlation between pregnancy, new mothers and intimate apparel.

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Every season I discover another brand offering maternity bras. But, there are certain brands that are completely focused on this market niche. Companies such as Cake Lingerie, Belabumbum and Cache Coeur have a mission born of their owner’s personal experience: to sustain a woman’s confidence as she takes this journey. These are collections that have rallied the status quo in maternity intimates and created product that embodies both the sensual and functional needs that a woman seeks during this particular phase of her life. Cake’s assortment of bras bridges every aspect of a woman’s wardrobe: t-shirt dressing, pretty underthings, and now serious sports support. Belabumbum has built its equity with luxurious soft cotton lounge pieces comfortable enough for casual dressing and fashionable enough for outer wear.  Cache Coeur, my French maternity discovery continues its inroads here in the USA with its unique fabrics, patented technical details and proven fit.

Let Us Make Pregnancy An Occasion When We Appreciate Our Female Bodies”  
~Merete Leonhardt-Lupa

 

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Tradition With A Twist ~ Splendid Intimates

April 3, 2015

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Today is a very traditional day in the Judeo-Christian world.  And this year the convergence of Good Friday and the first night of Passover proffer a whole other spin on the meaning of kinship. Many academics claim that the Last Supper and the Seder were one of the same.   As a child growing up in a family bridging the spectrum of Jewish doctrine from Reformed to Orthodox and filtered through a contributing Catholic perspective, these holidays were often celebrated with a twist.  We honored the practice, but always had fun in the process; one part serious, one part educational and two parts party.

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Believe it or not, this is what I thought of when searching my files. I came upon Splendid’s short PJ set. This shape has been a part of the Intimates market repertoire for as long as I remember: a piped one pocket button front short sleeve shirt with matching boxer shorts. However, the Splendid take on this style is unique and caught my attention. It is the soft rayon voile fabric in vivid solids as well as kitschy prints that render an interesting retro interpretation to this classic pajama. There are many great versions of this basic sleepwear body in the market.  This one respects its essential intimate heritage and enhances it with a dose of novelty

“Serve The Dinner Backward, Do Anything – But For Goodness Sake, Do Something Weird” ~Elsa Maxwell

 

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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