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Woman of Mystery ~ LOU Lingerie

October 21, 2014

morgan-le-fayThe witching hour is approaching. On October 31 witches will appear everywhere, young, old, good and bad; an affirmation of our national obsession with Halloween. Certainly, sorceresses are long time inhabitants of literature, poetry, drama and the arts. But for me, the greatest of all times was Morgan le Fay. I was only 12 when I first watched her cast her spell in the original Broadway musical Camelot. She shared my moniker (Morgan being my middle name) and I was entranced as I watched. Her evocative and tantalizing presence influenced the entire drama. How good such beauty and power be wicked?  Never mind that she was a temptress, manipulating Arthur and Guinevere into a destructive destiny.  This is just one side of history’s story. She was also educated and highly intelligent, perhaps too much of an enchantress for the macho Knights of the Round Table. Her magic is infamous and her myth so controversial that she remains forever a woman of mystery.

Envoûtante means captivating in French and when I first saw the new premium collection from Lou Lingerie, I was once again reminded of this brand’s provocative mystique. Created with a modern floral motif, the fairy light levers lace is reminiscent of an exquisite web, mesmerizing in its effect. Seen here, the full cup underwire bra, constructed to fit 32-38, B-F cups with matching bikini and garter belt are just some of the charms in this 9 piece premium collection. Both sophisticated and beguiling, its seductive elements are only matched by the charisma of the woman who wears them.

 “You Had the Power All Along, My Dear”~ Belinda the Good Witch

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Available At:214_ENVOUTANTE-030-14214-00214-77214c

Journelle: NYC, NY
The Brooklyn Fox: Brooklyn, NY
Kaori’s Closet: NYC, NY
New Vision Lingerie: Lake Placid, NY
Alla Prima: San Francisco, CA
French Theft: Santa Cruz, CA
Toujours: San Francisco, CA
Yves Fine Lingerie: Roseville, CA
Oh Baby: Portland, OR
Zovo: Seattle, WA
Underthings: Chicago, ILL
The Hope Chest: Philadelphia, PA
Suelto: Bozeman, MT
Nancy Meyer: NancyMeyer.com
BareNecessities.com
Collage Deux: Montreal, QC
Deuxieme Peau: Montreal QC
Lingerie Emma: Repentigny QC
Brava Boutique: Toronto, ON
Avec Plasir: Toronto, ON
For The Girls: Toronto, ON
Feinine Form: Langley, BC

 

 

 

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Tried, True & New ~ Cosabella Trenta Betsy Bra

October 17, 2014

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Imagine a confident woman, her tall slender figure striding effortlessly in wedged heels across the cobblestone streets of an ancient Italian city aglow with culture. She is on her way for a mid-day espresso, dressed in an understated, impeccably tailored suit. Jacket casually unbuttoned, a stunning stretch microfiber cropped push up bra with a sweetheart neckline and ¾ sleeves peeks out. She is wearing Cosabella’s Betsy bra, a creation of renowned costume designer Betsy Heimann.  Defining the quintessential modern Italian woman, this style’s success story has now been reborn in the new Lace Trenta Betsy Bra, a sultry interpretation of its original everyday chic. Sheer lace sleeves take this luxury design to a whole other vision of sexy.

“A Woman’ Dress Should Be Like A Barbed-Wire Fence:
Serving Its Purpose Without Obstructing The View” ~Sophia Loren

 

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Material Possibilities ~ Samantha Chang Lingerie

October 14, 2014

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Sunday was a beautiful day; perfect for an outdoor art show at The Bruce Museum in Greenwich Connecticut, so we decided to bring our grandson and take advantage of the fall air. It’s been a long time since I had an art infusion and this was a juried expo, so I hoped worthy of the effort. I was not at all disappointed, even though we had to take a side step to the playground across the street. You know an exhibition is a certain quality when there is a lobster truck on premises to sell snacks. There were several artists of interest, some from as far away as Israel, and I noted my favorites. But it was Susan Ullman’s Handmade Paper Collages that really intrigued me.  Not only is the paper itself a creative innovation, but her lyrical assemblage of the colors and layers are clear reminders of the extraordinary efforts to which artists go to imagine beauty in an everyday medium.

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This was mixed media, reminiscent of fabric piecing and placement in a lingerie garment, incorporating multiple elements to insure visual allure. They are an easy correlation to Samantha Chang’s micro mesh print group in stores now and selling rapidly.  Sure repeats for spring 2015, these styles interplay lace and prints architecturally for body appeal as well as comfort. The main fabric is a unique interpretation of a micro nylon knit with a silky soft hand feel.  A simple confluence of color, motif and texture brings a new interpretation of classic lingerie offering a viable alternative in the market.  Re-working everyday materials to offer originality in a market saturated with choice is a mark of excellence in both art and design.

 “You Begin With The Possibilities Of The Material” ~Robert Rauschenberg

 

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Turkish Delight ~ BLACKSPADE®

October 10, 2014

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Along my career path, I made a 10 year stop in Turkey, not the country, but a company whose base was in Istanbul.  Charged with the management of some very key Private Label accounts as well as pivotal name brands, I was focused much of the time on fabric development.  When it comes to fabric, particularly knits, Turkey is a mecca.  The speed at which we could present new fabrics to buyers was a unique asset of sourcing in this country. Every season I would travel to Europe, find samples made in interesting materials, send them to Istanbul and have counter samples back in my office in less than 6 weeks.  In our niche, we were always ahead of the market. I believe that what makes this possible is that many of the factories are involved with the product from conception; spinning, dying and knitting their own piece goods. Because they own the process, they have a proprietary connection to the finished merchandise. But, eventually, as all eyes turned east in search of greener fields, much of the Turkish production at volume levels languished.

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I was a bit wary when I was first introduced to the BLACKSPADE® brand, recently launched in the USA.   But the moment I touched the fabrics, they had my attention. This multi-faceted assortment of luxurious knitted intimates is designed and developed at the state of the art Turkish based BLACKSPADE® factories in a eco-friendly, modern environment. A collection of 24 groups; 12 for women & 12 for men, the brand is targeted at an everyday easy aesthetic. Underwear, thermal wear, yoga wear and daywear dominate the line, many styles available in sizes S-XXL; some to a 5X. Long a retail phenomenon in Europe, the combination of price and product prove this product is an incredible value. Perhaps I am experiencing a bit of déjà vu, but so what, those were very profitable times.

“It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again” ~Yogi Berra

 

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Power Performance ~ Natori Sports Bra

October 7, 2014

ec877d9ebde48a5e173bd57f111ec793Ten years ago at the ripe young age of 54 I decided to pursue a long time dream and began taking riding lessons.  My passion for the sport has only grown and today, although I will never be an equestrian superstar, I am proud to say that I am more than a beginner.  This includes understanding how to tack a horse and the necessity of quality gear to insure a safe and satisfying ride. It is standard procedure to insure that stirrups hang evenly on either side of the saddle after they are measured for correct leg length and of course I have always abided by this rule. So, when my current instructor suggested I shorten one stirrup because I was not sitting centered, I was surprised. But a slight adjustment in equipment changed everything. Feeling much more secure, my comfort level increased. All at once, everything seemed easier.

For me, the bonanza in Natori’s new Power Yogi Contour Convertible Sports Bra is the flat back elastic pockets in the straps which remind me of the stirrup holes and the fractions of inches available to insure a stable comfortable fit no matter any discrepancy in torso measurements. After taking a lesson last week in this bra I can vouch for many of its unique construction features but what makes it a winner is the soft, ultra-light, yet absolutely secure feeling as it rides the body.  Engineered with many unique aspects to insure this result, Natori has infused this style with its sleek design aesthetic fitting 32-38, B-H cups. There are some terrific sports bras on the market and I have my personal favorites, but everyone knows that when the competition heats up, the slightest details in gear can make all the difference.  I have to say, that Natori has proven that in this arena, there is a new game in town.

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“An Ounce Of Performance Is Worth Pounds Of Promises” ~ Mae West

 

 

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Tried, True & New ~ Panache Porcelain Elan

October 2, 2014

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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

 

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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…

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“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
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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