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CURVEXPO Lingerie Discovery

February 27, 2015

Having just spent three sub-freezing days in NYC attending the Fall 2015 CURVEXPO Lingerie show, I am back momentarily from the market in the process of debriefing.There were some interesting messages at the show and certainly some new discoveries and I will share some of them with you here. Suffice it to say, though, that there are many more stories to tell as I delve deeper into the market for information and inspiration in the coming weeks. So stay tuned.

Prints are Prevalent: Digital, Asian Influences and Graphic

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Bondage Inspiration

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Modern Laces and Embroideries are Graphic and Airy

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Whispery Fabrics Warm and Cool

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Silk Saturated Color

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Loungewear Crosses Over

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Plus Sizes Prevail

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Maternity Gains Momentum

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Girls Just Like to Have Fun

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Men Come Out

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Brands on the Horizon

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“The Seeker Embarks On A Journey To Find What He Wants And Discovers, Along The Way, What He Needs” ~Wally Lamb

 

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Fall 2015 Emerging Lingerie Trends

February 20, 2015

This week is the semiannual Curvexpo, the premiere Intimate Apparel show in North America. For those of you who attend, or even if you do not, the highlights of the design messages proffered by the market are critical for both merchandising and fashion vision. Certainly, I touched upon the 2015 Lingerie trends when I reported live from the Salon International de La Lingerie in Paris. However, certain points are particularly viable for the USA and Canada.  Using input from the renowned and exclusive lingerie trend service, Concepts Paris, we focus here on 10 emerging directions that will impact how and what you buy. It’s the element that turns Lingerie into an Art.

Colors that Matter: Blue obsessions, Green seduction, Grey beyond boring, the perfect Red, White makes a statement.

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Gorgeous and Functional:  Intimate details spice up the T-shirt Bra

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A New Bra Generation: the softer and more natural silhouette. Non-padded, triangles, non-wires grow in importance.  Cut and Sew bras make their presence known

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About Beauty: Tatoo effects, Delicate Embroidery, Flocking, Touch of Sparkle

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Sustainable Wardrobes: Investing in garments that have lasting value, less throw away items. Collectors’ items

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Casual Attitudes: Loungewear rules especially the PJ, but every detail counts. Crossover wear

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Feminine Sport: The Sports Bra beyond the gym

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Covered Seduction: Bondage, Optical effects and Light Coverage: Bodysuits make a comeback

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Romantic and Innovative: The importance of fragile, heirloom and Japanese effect. Bridal Power

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Cute and Happy: Plaids, A Bit of Heidi, Coziness

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“I Don’t Set Trends. I Just Find Out What They Are And Exploit Them” ~Dick Clark

 

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Tried, True & New ~ Pure Luxe by Natori

February 17, 2015

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There are a plethora of t-shirt bras out there. The category itself is an American lingerie phenomenon; similar to blue jeans in apparel. In fact, it is most likely from the denim and t-shirt uniform that so completely defines the American culture that this foundation essential was birthed. The concept of smooth coverage here in the USA sent shock waves through our European lingerie brethren anxious to make their presence known on our shores. Since the classification consumes way over 60% of the national bra business, I have decided to focus a bit; somewhat the same way I am often on a panty quest for the best everyday underwear on the market.  So, undertaking this mission leads me today to Natori’s  recently launched Pure Luxe underwire contour bra (732080), a new take on an old favorite, Body Doubles.  Understated lace strap detail combined with an ultra-light stretch microfiber elevates an established style while continuing to highlight this brand’s comfortable and elegant appeal. This incarnation has also been re-invented to fit 32-38, B-G cups.  The epitome of the quintessential t-shirt bra and based on excellent fit history,  Pure Luxe promises to become an American Classic

 “The More You Leave Out, The More You Highlight What You Leave In” ~Henry Green

 

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Hot Off The Press ~ Maison Close

February 13, 2015

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This week-end is a critical showdown in the world of lingerie. Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and tonight marks the premiere of the much anticipated movie “Fifty Shades of Grey”. Sexual tension will probably rise to unprecedented degrees. This holiday is already a super nova for intimate sales. Now coupled with the release of the film version of this carnal tome, I expect the lingerie business will benefit greatly. Personally, I have not read this book. Its premise does not speak to me, but I would never deny the influence it has had. My definition of sexy comes from another place. “Sexy is the ability to provoke desire without demanding it.”  It is a visual encounter that includes soft beauty, strong intellect and a powerful presence. Maybe that’s why I have such a love affair with horses. And maybe that is why I was so drawn to Maison Close’s La Cavaliѐre collection debuting in North America next week at Curve. Fortunate enough to have seen it in Paris, the designs evoke the brand identity: classy sensuality. It is the combination of elegance and bravado that brings these designs to a level of erotic fantasy. The story told is seductive leaving just enough mystery to whet the appetite for more. There is something left to the imagination.

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Untitled-1c“Love Is The Irresistible Desire To Be Irresistibly Desired” ~Robert Frost

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“Read My Hips” ~ Hipstripes Underwear

February 10, 2015

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The Hipstripes panty concept has taken quite an odyssey to get my attention: travelling from NYC to Mexico and back again to Connecticut. Founders Jean Fox and Eyal Unger went to such great lengths to get them to me that I was really, really glad that when received; I felt they deserved a call out. I gave them to my daughter whose assessment of comfort and quality convinced me that they were not only a wearable novelty but also a functional style. Shipped in their signature stripe box, Hipstripes are a flirty little gift item, worthy of the entrepreneurial spirit that birthed them.

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“Always Deliver More Than Expected” ~Larry Page

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Marquis Mystique ~ Wacoal Lingerie

February 6, 2015

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Tuesday evening I attended the 2015 Femmy Awards, the Lingerie industry’s marquis event. Presented annually by the Underfashion Club, whose entire mission is to raise scholarship money for aspiring FIT Intimate Apparel students, this party is a class act.  Expertly and elegantly orchestrated with top of the line florists, musicians and caterers, the entire production always promises an evening of glamour and sophistication. For a few hours we all dress up, socialize with friends and colleagues and relinquish the apparatus of our everyday work lives.  The anticipation and success of this stellar gala contributes to the balance of function and fabulous that is the underpinning of the Lingerie business. This year did not disappoint as the gorgeous Vivica Fox, the embodiment of feminine allure put her charismatic stamp on the event by warmly praising the hard work of the six student finalists.

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The Femmy focuses on prestigious honorees and many brands contribute to the end result. However, reflecting on the parallel this special occasion has on our market product, I was reminded of Wacoal’s newest initiative, the launch of their European Design Collection.  Maybe this was because of the introduction this month of the Marquis classic underwire bra, part of an aspirational group of exquisite styles culled from the French market.  Taking the everyday functionality and fit of the Wacoal brand to a new level of fashion excellence, these bras and panties are a collaboration of the Wacoal engineering expertise and the finest trims available to the lingerie market. Available in 32-38, B-DDD cups, this style is designed with exclusive stretch Calais Leavers lace, satin straps, metallic touches and all the hidden construction attributes that define the brand’s ethos. Just as Vivica’s dress was a dazzling showstopper, this luxurious addition to the Wacoal arsenal promises to make an impression on women in search of beauty anywhere. Perhaps in future years, these aspiring design students will create a bra and panty set worthy of this Marquis mystique.

“There Has Always Been An Elegance To The Application Of Excellence” ~Richard Diaz

 

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Show Some Love ~ Tallulah Love

February 3, 2015

 

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A little gem of a brand discovered in Paris, Tallulah Love is a five year old English line whose kitschy edge is the modicum of British design. In particular, I fell in love with these terrific gift boxes that anchor the collection. Perfect for Valentine’s Day (or any other gift giving time) they are a good representation of creator Michelle Taylor’s personal touch. The panties, or should I say Knickers, are available in XS – XL sizes, each color claiming its own embroidered motif. They caught my eye so I thought perhaps, they were worthy of a share.

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“All You Need Is Love” ~ The Beatles

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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