Pip & Pantalaimon Lingerie: The Perfect Blend of Vintage and Modern
By ESTELLE PULESTON
Launched in 2015 by De Montfort graduate Philippa Smith, Pip & Pantalaimon is a fun, heavily retro-inspired lingerie brand made for the modern-day pinup. Contemporary shapewear fabrics come together with iconic vintage silhouettes such as girdles, corselettes and deep garter belts (always with 6 straps!) to create lingerie that has a retro look plus all the benefits of newer fabric technologies.
You’ll also find fan-laced corsets, horizontally seamed bras (for that perky, retro look), and high-waist or lower-rise briefs to suit your preference. All of this started with a single black Y-strap garter belt, which rapidly sold out and led to the creation of more colors and styles. Today, the collection has grown to encompass designs both for those who prefer a more authentic vintage appearance, such as the peachy satin of the Clematis range, and for those who like to mix retro silhouettes with bolder colors, prints, and even sequins.
What is it about vintage lingerie design in particular that caught Smith’s interest? “There’s more going on,” she explains, “…The fabrics can be fairly modest in decoration, but there are interesting and intricate details to be noticed when you take a closer look.”
On Pip & Pantalaimon garments, one such detail is the spiral stitching that gives simple, solid-colored fabrics beautiful texture and dimension. Another is the authentically Mid-Century curved zig-zag stitch that reinforces every single seam, made possible because she goes one step further than many other brands specializing in vintage-reproduction or vintage-inspired lingerie do, sewing everything on genuine 1950s machinery.
She sews every single piece herself, something that she fully intends to keep on doing. “Sewing is my favorite thing to do,” she told me, “It’s good for the soul. It clears my mind and I get huge satisfaction from seeing pieces come together.”
Since one person can only make so many items in a day, this means that most items are made to order, which also avoids waste and allows for easy customization (something she doesn’t charge for). Bras, for example, can have padding added to the lower cup if you prefer a little more structure, and custom fabrics are also an option.
Her fabrics are sourced from the sample rooms of large, nearby textile manufacturers. Snapping up the surplus rolls left over from overproduction allows access to premium-quality materials despite her brand’s smaller size; if you buy a Pip & Pantalaimon garment, its fabric may originally have been intended for lingerie by the likes of Wacoal or Marks and Spencer! Whatever’s left over after she has used it is donated to a company that gets it into places such as school classrooms, truly keeping waste to an absolute minimum.
Sewing to order rather than keeping stock also means one person can cater to an inclusive size range. Pip & Pantalaimon lingerie is available in US sizes 4-18 in every style, and up to a US I cup on 30-36 band sizes. Prices run from £24 to £150, approximately $30 to $190.