Swimwear ~ A Hot Intimate Opportunity

July 22, 2014


Hot! That’s the best word to describe my weekend in Florida attending the Miami Swim Show in South Beach.  Everything about the experience helped me to define this mega market; the half-naked people, pulsating street music, gorgeous white sand beaches, lush tropical greenery, color drenched architecture and bold, powerful swimwear that filled four convention rooms and many off  site locations. Not to mention the invitation only runway shows that run throughout the evenings for 4 straight days.  Compare that to the subtle sensuality that drives the Lingerie business and it can be hard to believe that there is a synthesis. But Intimate stores who have recognized this synergy are building volume and margin year round.




I had the privilege of shadowing, Jennifer Cermak, our Swim blogger; industry veteran and owner of the highly successful Nani Nalu located in Minnesota.  For a first encounter with an unfamiliar market, there is nothing better than working with a pro.  As swimwear continues to gain momentum with Intimate brands, it presents itself as a viable upside for many Lingerie Boutiques.  I decided to immerse myself in this category so related to Lingerie and yet, so I learned, very different.  The similarities: fit matters above all else, fabric technology and construction are critical for success and everything is about the female form. But the execution is very different; from dynamic visceral palettes, to a dearth of product destined for fuller bust women (F cups and up). While intimates are a woman’s wardrobe secret, swimwear is all about exposure.  This simple reality makes all the difference.  But the challenge of building feminine self-esteem crosses all boundaries.




I did not stay the full 4 days as work beckoned elsewhere. Jenn and her team are still there churning through the endless booths of potential and past performance winners. But it does not take too long to get the scent of a product.  It was a great deal of fun to scope out a new market.  There is design inspiration everywhere. Here are some highlights and I am sure Jennifer will share more detail in her bi-weekly Swim Briefs column.















“What Woman Doesn’t Want To Feel Comfortable In A Swimsuit? It’s Incredibly Empowering” ~Sara Rue




Artistry Reborn ~ Only Hearts

July 18, 2014


One of my favorite shopping haunts are museum gift shops; in particular, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Several years back I purchased a tote bag designed with this William Morris print.  I carried it for a while until my daughter kidnapped it to use as a book bag in college.  Her affinity for textiles and the intricate weaving and dying technique developed by Morris was right in line with her studies at the Glasgow School of Art where Morris’ contribution to the Arts and Crafts Movement was paramount.  But more than its history is the extraordinary complexity of his interpretations of form and nature and the body of work he created.  Focused on the artistry of hand craftsmanship, he changed the landscape of Decorative Arts.


Imagine my reaction, then, when last week at the Only Hearts showroom, I saw the Compton Wallpaper collection inspired by Morris’ works.  I knew in a heartbeat where the idea had come.  This sheer silk georgette camisole and tap pant exemplifies the sophistication of the Only Hearts studio, adapting classical art themes for modern use.  Available in S-L, it is their erudite hand that evokes such a feminine effect. Like Morris, Only Hearts have been innovators in their medium, developing sensual and pretty lingerie as well as apparel that blend together as both inner and outerwear.  And, like Morris, the breadth of their workmanship can fill entire stores.

“What Moves Men Of Genius, Or Rather What Inspires Their Work,
Is Not New Ideas, But Their Obsession With The Idea That What Has Already Been Said
Is Still Not Enough.” ~Eugene Delacroix




Sleek Luxury ~ LOU Lingerie

July 15, 2014

This weekend, I had to go to the mall; not my favorite pastime.  Thus, I commandeered my husband for morale support.  Patient as he was, I thought I owed him some reprieve so when he pulled me into the Tesla auto showroom to assuage his male car lust, I acquiesced.  I figured I would wait for him to work through his fantasy and then move on.  What I didn’t expect was to be seduced by this sleek road machine whose opening cost is $70,000. The revolutionary electric technology housed in a sexy aluminum frame is a testament to sophisticated simplicity.  Intrigued by the story behind the product, I decided to learn more. Appearing very basic in its construction, it is the car’s foundation that illuminates some of the world’s most advanced auto engineering.  Meant to perform as well as empower, the Tesla, despite her price, is a worthy contender for excellence in innovation.


I knew I wanted to highlight Lou’s strapless bra from their Light Sensation collection after my introduction to Tesla’s hot new sports car.  This style appears to be a basic strapless, yet hidden in its construction are tiny pockets allowing for a 360° positioning of the removable straps.  Available in 32-38, A-E cups, it is unique in the market forging a whole new way to wear convertible bras.  A lingerie advancement leading the category to a new standard of intimate intelligence, it is Lou’s number one selling design. Very affordable, it is a far more practical way to satisfy a luxurious dream.

‘There Is Only One Thing Stronger Than All The Armies Of The World:
And That Is An Idea Whose Time Has Come” ~Victor Hugo




Corsets, Creativity and Femininity

July 14, 2014

Nothing says Lingerie, old or new, quite like a Corset.  And nothing says Lingerie Briefs quite like an artistic and historical interpretation of this age old intimate underpinning.  Today we are very proud to headline two of our writers. First, Michelle Metens creator and owner of Dollhouse Bettie, who takes over the Lingerie That Lingers blog with her introductory column “Everything Old Is New Again”. Here she details corset design from vintage to modern day.

Next, Marina Rybak, a 30+ year lingerie design veteran, highlights the extraordinary artistry of Tamar Stone in her longstanding commentary An Intimate Vision. As she delves into the “Literary Corset and Stone’s Artistic Books” that bring it to life, she uncovers an ingenious rendering of an iconic feminine undergarment and brings a brand new perception to its purpose.





Tried, True & New ~ Wacoal Halo Lace

July 11, 2014


Last night I watched a short documentary about Highclere Castle, the real life location of my current TV watching binge, Downton Abbey.  Since 1679, this has remained a family home, morphing through the decades both physically and functionally.  It has sustained its iconic character as an aristocrat’s lair, a military hospital, a war refugee’s haven and now the infamous setting of an award winning television series.  Structurally it has been transformed twice, once from a country home to a Georgian Mansion and later to the impressive Elizabethan castle known to many Downton fans.  Surviving the demise of many old English estates, Highclere’s destiny has been steered by a family rich in personality and curiosity.  The maintenance and upgrading of the interior as well as exterior, along with its TV fame, has made it a magnet for serious travelers; reinforcing its reputation as an icon of the English character.

This is, in Lingerie language, exactly what Wacoal has achieved with their iconic Halo underwire bra. Doing what this brand does best; respecting its tried and true designs, as they renovate them to accommodate current trends, the Halo underwire has been updated with a modern lace and expanded sizes.  Now available with a j-hook to increase wardrobe flexibility, it fits 32-38, B-G cups.  This Wacoal classic has a brand new focus as it moves into the future. Just as Highclere continues to draw worldwide attention, the Halo underwire bra is building its consumer fan base daily.  Sales of the new incarnation are proving its longevity is assured.

“It’s Not Good Because It’s Old, It’s Old Because It’s Good” ~ Anonymous




Simply Perfect ~ Antigel by Lise Charmel

July 8, 2014


Being a veteran New Yorker, I have the privilege of expansive exposure to great restaurants, some with very distinct character worthy of note. But to be honest, I am not a foodie, dislike dressing up and find that unless the guests are truly interesting, the whole process feels like a task.  When I was invited to attend my cousin’s 50th surprise anniversary party held last Sunday at The River Café in Brooklyn, NY, I accepted for familial reasons. Otherwise, frankly I was indifferent, expecting the same old party routine. So when I arrived at this gorgeous venue on a perfect summer day, I was more than surprised.  A 180° view of the east river stoked on either side by the Statue of Liberty and the legendary Brooklyn Bridge certainly enhanced the scenery. Exquisite table settings anchored by luscious centerpieces and the extraordinary garden atmosphere added to the magic.  The food was a tribute to culinary grace and the company was fascinating. There was not much more one could have added to this class act. The afternoon was simply perfect.


Enamored as I am with Antigel’s Simply Perfect Loungewear collection, it enabled an easy analogy to this impeccable gathering.  A multifaceted assortment of sleep to street styles, these pieces fit my personal formula for the expanding category of Easy Wear in the Lingerie repertoire. Designed with a very feminine sway, they are an ideal balance of modern practicality and sensual fashion. Pictured here: the modal knit lace tipped nightdress as well as  the leggings and camisole wrapped in a velvety polar fleece jacket. All are available in 6 colors for sizes S-XXXL,  I don’t think you could find a finer loungewear quotient.  They are Simply Perfect!

“Perfection Is Achieved, Not When There Is Nothing More To Add,
But When There Is Nothing Left To Take Away”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


Patriotic Salute to Lingerie & Swimwear

July 3, 2014

Happy Independence Day from All of Us at Lingerie Briefs!

independence2Showcasing Lingerie Briefs’ Spotlight Partners – Wacoal, Panache, Montelle, Freya, Coobie, LOU, Hanky Panky, Jane Woolrich, Chantelle, Elomi and LeMystere.


























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