Alter Perception

IMG00090-20100919-1433Sometimes, when I need a little creative jump start, I like to wander around a museum, no particular destination in mind, allowing myself the spontaneity of discovery.  Last Sunday, while visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art with my daughter, Kate, we ventured up to the roof garden to view Mike and Doug Starn’s evolutionary installation, Big Bambu: You Can’t, You Don’t And You Won’t Stop. It turned out that this was no mere viewing, but rather, an experience of artistic persuasion that was provocative and transforming in a very essential and chimerical way.  Shaped to represent a rising wave against the New York Skyline, this dazzling construction of 5000 bamboo poles, lashed together by 50 miles of nylon cord in 20 colors, rises 50 feet in the air.  Bamboo, one of the lightest, yet strongest of nature’s mediums, forms an enormous organic jungle that seems alive with a sensual energy of its own.  From every perspective, perception is altered as light and color change.  Standing small within this organic architectural chaos, I felt softly restrained but totally emancipated.

The moment I experienced this shape changing sculpture, I thought of what Adrienne McGill, founder of Adrienne Clarisse Lingerie in Libertyville, Illinois, recently told me about the incredible success of Cosabella’s Smooth Shapewear in her store.   Her explanation as to why sales were growing: “They are breathable offering a soft compression that insures comfort and gentle shaping to the wearer”.  Aptly named the Breathe Collection, these bodyshapers are constructed from eco- friendly bamboo fibers engineered to provide firm support and subtle lift without the feeling of constraint.  Antibacterial and anti-static properties elevate the garment’s natural appeal.    The fabric’s unique ability to absorb moisture protects against odor and helps to lower body temperature by several degrees.  Fresh, soft, light and uplifting, these shapes are offered in up to 8 colors and 5 sizes.  According to Adrienne, the customer often starts by buying the best-selling Tall Shorts (E0812) and quickly returns to layer on other items in the collection.  Seam free with an innovative silicone gripper that holds the garment under the bust and prevents it from rolling, this style is a favorite for formal wear but also a great introduction to an evolving shapewear wardrobe.

“Individually, we are not as big as we think”…. Doug Starn


BreatheLongShort_Nude 1

wholesale inquiries:

Available At:

Adrienne Clarisse Lingerie:  Libertyville, Illinois

Regina’s Unique Boutique: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Vert and Vogue: Durham, North Carolina

Knickers of Hyde Park: Cincinnati, Ohio

Larks and Nightingales:  New London, New Hampshire

Wendy Wheeler:  Osterville, Massachusetts

Downtown Emporium:  Bellingham, Washington

Linger: Spring Lake, New Jersey

Charmelle 28:  Palo Alto, California

Fred Segal Rocks:  Santa Monica, California

Treasure Lingerie:  Los Angeles, California

Personal Touch Lingerie:  Monterey Park, California

Zappos:  On Line


Note:  If you have an item selling well in your store or you have personally found a terrific lingerie style, please let me know.  Perhaps we can blog about it.


Discussion about this post

  1. Shelly says:

    Hi Ellen,
    I agree with Adrienne, the Smooth shape is great. I also do extremely well with Dreamsacks bamboo Cleo short gown, which fits a range of women. I cant keep it stock, I carry all the 5 colors along with their matching robes. BAMBOO has really been hot for us.

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