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Fashion Illustrations by Tina Wilson ~ “Love Child”

May 29, 2017

By TINA WILSON

Tina Wilson Fashion Illustrations on Lingerie Briefs

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.

Tina Wilson Fashion Illustrations on Lingerie Briefs

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!

Tina Wilson Fashion Illustrations on Lingerie Briefs

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.

Wolford tube dressing sketched by Tina Wilson on Lingerie Briefs

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.

Tina Wilson Fashion Illustrations on Lingerie Briefs

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.

Free People Slip, Hue Seamless shapping & Spanx Hi waisted mid thigh short sketched by Tina Wilson on Lingerie Briefs

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!

 

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WE WANT ANOTHER REVOLUTION

May 14, 2017

By TINA WILSON

WE WANT ANOTHER REVOLUTION

R-E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N-A-R-Y……say the word out loud. How does it make you feel?  It gives me goosebumps because it describes people who are fearless, radical, avant-garde, inspirational and on the forefront of a movement to make things better for all of us, whether it be political or creative.  I went to the Brooklyn Museum to see the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit, and happened upon another exhibit entitled “WE WANT A REVOLUTION”, about Black women artists in the 60’s and 70’s and it made me wonder if I’d ever been a part of a revolution or is my time yet to come.

Original Art by Tina Wilson on Lingerie Briefs

Revolutionaries are often forgotten or never acknowledged for their contributions, but their impact is nonetheless felt. When we think of shapewear we think of Spanx, but few remember that it was Donna Karan that invented many of the attributes of controlling a woman’s body so tight as to conceal her unwanted flesh…….long before Spanx.  I know because I was there, and to see Donna slip her body into a 10” tube and show you that she can still breath and move is to see passion, obsession and genius at work.

Original Art by Tina Wilson on Lingerie Briefs

Calvin Klein, a contemporary and a friend of Donna Karan, revolutionized gender based underwear. There are many imitators but it is undisputed that Calvin and his men’s and women’s underwear was and still is…a revolution.  You can debate all day long about whether his early ads with Brooke Shields and Mark Wahlberg or the infamous logo waistband was the genius behind the brand, but I can tell you I will never forget seeing those early photos pinned to his office wall, listening to him as he studied them and planned his empire.

Original Fashion Sketches by Tina Wilson on Lingerie Briefs

Sometimes a revolution is an idea brought forth by a community of talent, such as the mission  statement behind the success of Wacoal and many of its still standing bras designed years ago….
-To create the highest quality best fitting garment for the American consumer.
-To provide a level of customer service to assure that the consumer gets the correct 
style and size.
-To market and sell this merchandise at regular price every day.

Many of iconic bras by Wacoal were conceptualized by Alan Fisher and his staff of designers, some of the most talented people in our industry. The Awareness and Body by Wacoal Collections in particular have defied time and are still going strong….. an effective revolution never ends.

Original Art by Tina Wilson on Lingerie Briefs

A revolution can be started by a retail phenomenon like Victoria’s Secret or a star that wears her underwear on stage like Madonna or creating an iconic thong from lace like Hanky Panky does so masterfully. LaPerla has revolutionized extravagant beauty, and if you doubt me just stop by their store and view the 10K bra made of gold threads. Fashion Forms with Anne Deal at the helm has revolutionized how we hold up and shape our breasts without a bra. And let us not forget Commando.

Time will bear witness to whether online stars like Adore Me or ‘period panty’ innovators like THINX and Skin with their clean aesthetic will be remembered as revolutionary, I sincerely hope they do. I believe we are in urgent need of another revolution…..are you ready to participate or to start your own?

 

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Watch! Met Gala Gowns Illustrated In Real Time

May 3, 2017

By TINA WILSON

See More Tina Wilson fashion illustrations such as her recent ‘Summer Undressing’!

 

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Summer UnDressing

April 30, 2017

By TINA WILSON

Tina Wilson Fashion Illustrations on Lingerie Briefs

I get so revved up about the beach that I start packing long before the first summer weekend begins on Fire Island.  Sharing a beach house with numerous people requires a wee bit of discretion with regard to how much of yourself you let “hang out”, even among the dearest of friends.

Packing for the beach house is a dilemma as I must pack for the summer and leave whatever has been chosen in the house for the duration.  There are different moments at the beach as there are in the city and cooking, lounging, exercising, and socializing require well thought out undergarments. Ultimately beach life is about comfort for the body and soul, so shapewear as we know it is forbidden.

Tina Wilson Fashion Illustrations on Lingerie Briefs

My predominant roles in the beach house are chef and instigator of political discourse. I love to prepare meals for large groups and go wild with the ingredients and experiment with salty, sweet and savory.  This summer my focus will be on composed salads like Fried Eggplant, Tomato & Peach Salad with Preserved Lemon or Fresh Corn Cakes with Crab Tomato Salad from Food52.  While cooking I like to wear something loose that allows the breeze to touch my skin, as it gets hot in the kitchen even when you aren’t using the oven. Underneath my thousand-year-old T-dress I might wear a bralet. Hanky Panky’s Retro style or b.tempt’d’s Lace Kiss Bandeau both come to mind to retain some semblance of dignity while moving about the kitchen; and along with said bralet, Hanky Panky’s infamous thong.  For the hotter mid-August days, even that might be too much and OnGossamer’s Mesh thong and a camisole like Fleur’ts Lace Shelf or OnGossamer’s Cabana Cotton Shelf Cami with a loose pair of shorts is about as bare as anyone should get while cooking…The other must have while cooking is music, I’m prone to being all over the place but a little Smiths mixed in with some Sade works for me…. and I have not gotten sick of the soundtrack to “Big Little Lives” yet!

Tina Wilson Fashion Illustrations on Lingerie Briefs

We have a custom of going to watch the sunset at the town dock before dinner, all the locals come out with cocktails in plastic cups and we fraternize until the sun goes down and we oooohhhh and ahhhhh like we’ve never seen a sunset. This moment in time is your best shot at getting “dressed up” for the weekend, the lipstick comes out and so do the ta-tas.  “Show off” bras like Chantelle’s Merci Underwire Push Up or the be.inspired Underwire Push UP  by b.tempt’d look sexy coming or going respectively; particularly layered with a white shirt or low back tank.  Personally, an underwire is out of the question so Montelle’s Wire Free bra is the better option for me.  This is also where shapewear might appear if at all, and I choose a bike short, which works perfectly under a wispy skirt that might any minute get caught by the wind.  Something in a fun color that won’t look like or feel like shapewear such as Yummie’s Everyday Shaping Shortie is ideal.

Tina Wilson Fashion Illustrations on Lingerie Briefs

In the mornings we must put in the exercise to offset the martini consumption that came the night before and a low impact sport bra for the brisk walks is a must.  Again it’s all about comfort and I have discovered the Evolution bra by Knixwear, it’s in the mail on its way to me and it had better live up to all its promises, in the meantime I will humor myself and pretend a more vigorous activity other than bike riding is a possibility and go for something a bit more supportive during low impact moments like b.tempt’d’s Active Underwire Sports Bra. The beach crowd is not the most athletic crowd but we do have our runners and for them I would suggest Curvy Couture’s Ultimate Fit High Impact.

Tina Wilson Fashion Illustrations on Lingerie Briefs

Whatever I end up packing, be assured it will be a glorious summer filled with a little politics, a little sunning, a lot of wine and some mind blowing salads!

 

 

 

 

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Big Little Lies

April 5, 2017

Illustrations and Text By TINA WILSON

Fashion Illustration by Tina Wilson of Nicole Kidman in Big Little Lies

I wasn’t prepared for the impact of Big Little Lives on my Sunday evenings. I was even less prepared for its departure, leaving an entertainment void I don’t know how to fill. I’m not one to gravitate to films or TV shows centered around entitled people with problems most of us would be happy to have, yet I was captivated for 7 weeks.  I was captivated by the acting, mesmerized by the California coastline, horrified by the secrets, obsessed with the soundtrack (do your soul a favor and download the soundtrack on Spotify) and envious of the wardrobe, the underpinnings in particular and how they helped to define these women.

Being a human mannequin, Nicole Kidman received the most opulent of the intimate apparel, as well as the most airtime wearing them.  Her bras, panties, slip dresses and robes should have received their own credits.  It was as if the director wanted us to see her at her most vulnerable while she was being physically assaulted by her Nordic godlike husband. Stripping her of her daytime armor and replacing it with silk and lace was all too effective; the scene with her sprawled and sobbing on the bathroom floor wearing a minimal black bra and bikini in the final episode broke my heart.

Fashion Illustrations by Tina Wilson on Lingerie Briefs

Zoe Kravitz, the peaceful “warrior” of the group was the subject of my envy for her Boho wardrobe and her hippy vibe, it spoke to me, as did her house. While all the other women lived in minimalist mansions by the ocean with views most people live and die never having seen, she and her slightly annoying, hot husband were nestled in a woodsy canyon. Living in a cluttered beauty of a home dripping in ferns, dreamcatchers and wind chimes, she ruled it with way cool compassion and understanding for all who entered.  Her vintage kimonos and camisoles with yoga pants were the only “real life” ensembles in my humble opinion. And spoiler alert*, as my mother always said “Don’t mistake kindness for weakness”, Zoe may have had less airtime than I would have preferred but she stole the finale.

Shailene Woodley’s sporty attire outshone her underpinnings as a topic of discussion.  Her character’s “jogging on the beach” scenes, were great self-reflective moments and oddly my favorite scene of the mini-series is of her dancing violently by herself to “Dance This Mess Around” by the B’52’s, try it, I did and it felt like I had shed a layer of skin, stress and worry, it was sooooo good! There is nothing more cathartic than wearing a tank top (and no bra) and leggings and yes…. dancing like no one is watching.

Fashion Illustrations by Tina Wilson on Lingerie Briefs

I save my final commentary for my favorite character played by Reese Witherspoon. Her house was my favorite dwelling, the kitchen being the “star” of the family meal gatherings and if you watched the show, you know why. Never have I had love for and a desire to know such a gossipy, meddling, woman until now, I wanted her to be my new best friend.  What made you love her instead of wanting to climb through the screen and strangling her was her character’s genuine desire to empower the women around her even while she conspired against them in defense of another. It was fitting that she sometimes wore pajamas, the button front kind that take a little time and effort to remove. She seemed to want the layer of protection from the loving, devoted, funny and nearly perfect husband she took for granted.

There was irony, detail, and layers in just about every minute of the series. I absolutely loved the precocious kids and their musical choices especially little buzz cut Ziggy, I wanted to take him home and buy him every piece of candy and every toy he ever wanted, his lip syncing of “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” gave me chills.  I must give props to Laura Dern, she is an acting goddess, but she dared not show us her undergarments, so just let me say, I haven’t enjoyed such a bitch this much since Elizabeth Perkins as Celia in Weeds.

I will be reviewing each episode over the summer in hopes of unearthing more and more, I need to savor it and make it last…..

Fashion Illustrations by Tina Wilson on Lingerie Briefs

 

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Tie Them Up, Tie Them Down

March 16, 2017

By TINA WILSON

Fashion Illustrations by Tina Wilson on Lingerie Briefs

Last November I fell victim to my obsession with director Pedro Almodovar films, and signed up for nightly tickets to his film retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art.  I love his depiction of women, his attention to the detail of their struggles and the men who worship them.  One of his more popular films is “Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down”, I’ve seen it a half dozen times and it isn’t even my all-time favorite of his films.  It is about a beautiful actress abducted and tied up by a young obsessed Antonio Banderas and not to give anything away but how their “relationship” evolves. While the title suggests bondage and sadistic behavior, that would be too simplistic, and ultimately the film is about this woman’s strength and her choices, not her abductor’s.

Fashion Illustrations by Tina Wilson on Lingerie Briefs

While walking the Salon De La Lingerie in January I came upon two intimate apparel brands that I was unfamiliar with. They were strangely beautiful and well-crafted. The various bodysuits, panties, bras, corsets and harnesses were made from chains, forged metals, and leather. One brand was Madame “O” and the other was Maze and rather than exude a desire for bondage they appeared to me more like the modern woman’s armor.  I imagined today’s “warriors” wearing these brands.  They could be worn indoors and in private or out in the world over your t-shirt and your jeans.  I left the show with photos and the desire to write about these brands but did not know in what context until I attended Curve NY last month and met Jane Woolrich.

Fashion Illustrations by Tina Wilson on Lingerie Briefs

I was introduced to Jane Woolrich at Curve NY by Ellen Lewis last month.  I have been a fan of Jane’s workmanship for years.  Her corsets are works of art and her genius combinations of tulle, satin, boning and lacing are innumerable.  Jane was gracious enough to have her model try them on for us and as I watched Jane gently but firmly lace her up I was again reminded of armor, a softer more feminine armor but armor nonetheless. The model had already gotten dressed when we entered the booth and rather than have her disrobe, she put the corsets on over her shirt and jeans, and it worked, they were just as striking with clothing as they would have been without.

Fashion Illustrations by Tina Wilson on Lingerie Briefs

There has been a lot talk and action about women fighting back and being warriors in this political climate, and I believe our choices of clothing will reflect that with each passing day, starting with what lies beneath……You may ask what the film has to do with the subject matter of lingerie… not much really, I just love the movie’s title and I love watching films as much as I love designing and illustrating fashion!

 

 

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FASHION ILLUSTRATIONS

TINA WILSON

 

 
Tina Wilson began her career in intimate apparel graduating from Parsons School of Design after receiving a full scholarship. While in her first design job at Christian Dior Lingerie she was personally selected by as Head Designer to work on the launch of Calvin Klein Underwear, the legendary minimalist brand he created. Tina was and remains the only designer ever hired by Calvin Klein personally for this position.
 
Following 4 successful years at Calvin Klein, Tina joined the Josie Natori Company, where she became the designer for the new contemporary division.  After 5 years with Natori, the opportunity arose to be Design Director for the launch of Donna Karan Intimates. Tina was selected by Donna Karan and worked for the licensee Wacoal America for the next 12 years, where she worked intimately with Donna conceiving, fitting, and merchandising her iconic bras, underwear, shape wear, yogawear and sleepwear.
 
She was the creator of Wacoal’s “Controlfreak”, a new concept of shapewear, designed and fit according to a woman’s body type. It is a patented concept committed to everyday comfort and is the first “custom fit” shapewear brand.
 
Since leaving Donna Karan Intimates at Wacoal, Tina has worked for the largest privately owned intimate apparel company in America, Komar/Carole Hochman designing many of their intimate brands, among them, Ralph Lauren, On Gossamer, Ellen Tracey, Donna Karan, Betsey Johnson, Oscar De La Renta and Lucky Brand. She is currently an independent consultant and partner in the company Marronage, specializing in fashion design and illustration.
 
Tina Wilson is a board member of the Underfashion Club, a non profit organization dedicated to awarding scholarships to FIT students in the intimate apparel field. She is known for her personal vision and her commitment to education in fashion.
 
VISIT TINA WILSON’S WEBSITE FOR MORE…
 
 
 

THE MARDINEY GROUP
 
 
tina@marronage.com
917 488-4888