Fashion Illustrations by Tina Wilson ~ Hosiery’s “Love Child”
By TINA WILSON
Seamless intimate apparel is the “lovechild” of hosiery and lingerie. It’s also the name of one of my favorite songs by the Supremes. I’ve taken note over the years how powerful lingerie companies like Spanx and Commando have entered the hosiery market. Melding the technology of hosiery machines with the design detail of lingerie has become lucrative and without the yarns and technology developed by the hosiery industry shapewear would be all seams and discomfort.
In my early days while I shopped in Europe I was a hosiery junkie, buying Fogal and Wolford hosiery every time I touched down in London or Paris. These two brands in particular were pioneers and introduced me to luxury for the legs. I love Fogal for their colors, superb quality and the packaging, I’m a sucker for beautiful design. I am making a beeline to Fogal’s new Bloomingdales 59TH street NYC shop! I see a boon for smartly colored hose and leggings in the making!
Wolford was and is on the forefront of technology and price-wise not for the faint of heart. I was in Saks recently ogling their long seamless tube dress, oh to be 6ft tall, skinny and own it in every shade. Wolford is masterful in creating hosiery hybrids to be worn as clothing and accessories, I believe there is still unchartered territory here.
We live in a time of fashion hybrids…pants have skirts attached, camisoles have bras attached, sneakers are part sock, jackets are capes, robes are coverups, pajamas are evening-wear and your pantyhose is your “girdle”…one day your hat will be your glove! No silhouette is sacred, anything goes, it’s exciting and it’s frightening, but change we must, if we as an industry are to survive.
The machines that produced hosiery are the machines that birthed the machines that produce the endless sea of seamless dressing that is now everyday wear. Though these garments are commonplace , they are not boring. American brands like Hue, and most recently Free People as well as the gazillion active wear brands are doing a fantastic job of creating leggings, slips, camisoles, and/or activewear using the Santoni technology.
There was a time not long ago when the hosiery market suffered greatly, many women stopped wearing hosiery and wearing pants became more commonplace at work. I also stopped wearing pantyhose and about 8 years ago started wearing leggings under my dresses, it made me feel more casual and allowed more shoe options. I still have a sock fetish but I want to be lured back to wearing hosiery and I look forward to the innovation some of these brands will put forth, seeing how hosiery brands evolve as our wardrobes become ever more casual is the big challenge…a challenge I believe our American brands and our European allies are up to!