Intimate Intelligence

An Intimate Canvas

Lingerie designers turning to art world for inspiration

By Richard Vincente

“I have always liked painters. It seems to me that we are in the same trade.”
 French fashion designer Paul Poiret

Art and fashion have been inseparable ever since the first caveman decided to decorate his animal-hide wrap with a few charcoal stick figures.

But even the French couturier Poiret — whose affinity for artists and illustrators of the early 20th Century is well known — probably couldn’t have envisioned the way art (and artists) are influencing contemporary lingerie design.

In case you hadn’t noticed, artistic inspirations are showing up with increasing regularity in lingerie collections these days. Just what you need to feel like a living masterpiece.

Some established brands have been long admired for a painterly flourish that elevates their designs above boilerplate printmaking. I’m thinking of Natori’s exotic couture robes; the exquisite slips … ...Read more

Learning to Embrace the Transgender Experience

by Richard Vincente

A year ago, a Toronto family made international headlines for their decision to not reveal the gender of their new baby to anyone outside the immediate family — in effect, raising a ‘genderless’ child.

It wasn’t a publicity stunt or provocation. The parents were highly educated and caring people who simply wanted their child to develop (at least in its early years) free from the gender-based behaviors, social codes and expectations that are imprinted on us from the moment we are given our first pink or blue booties.

As you might imagine, their story ignited howls of condemnation from around the globe. Nothing threatens the security of our social order more than people who mess around with gender, those two pigeon-holes we are all slotted into at birth.

Chrysalis Lingerie, a new brand that will be North America's first fashion lingerie label for transgender women when it launches this spring.

I thought about that a lot this week when I published a feature … ...Read more

How to protect yourself from hackers and cyber-thieves.
by Richard Vincente

Elizabeth Taylor in 1956 - only known nude photo of her (as seen at Lingerie Briefs)
The picture above is believed to be the only nude photo of the late screen star Elizabeth Taylor, and you were never meant to see it.

Shot by a friend in 1956 when she was 24, the picture was an intimate engagement gift from Liz to her third husband, Mike Todd. When Todd died in a plane crash a year after their wedding, a devastated Liz is believed to have given the photo to her assistant for safekeeping.

A collector somehow acquired the picture in 1980 and kept it private for more than 30 years. Then, last year when Liz Taylor died at age 79, the collector inexplicably released the image as a kind of tribute to the star and a gift to her grieving fans.

We can only guess what Liz would have thought about this … ...Read more

by Richard Vincente

Censorship is a weapon that works best when it’s used sparingly, if at all. It’s the cultural equivalent of a nuclear deterrent.

Most people in marketing, advertising and programming understand this and play by the rules. But the shadowy group of individuals and quasi-legitimate authorities who monitor and enforce community standards have itchy trigger fingers. For them, censorship isn’t just a deterrent, it’s a way of defining what’s acceptable by shooting down anyone who strays outside the fuzzy, fluid lines of public morality.

Today, censorship battles seem like a thing of the past — a relic of the 1970s or 1930s or maybe Victorian England. But they’re not. Skirmishes are still common and, with the emergence of the Internet, the battlefield has changed dramatically.So too have the censors, who keep finding new offenses to shield us from (and, in turn, justify their own existence). Just ask M.I.A., ...Read more

Undressing For Success

by Richard Vincente


 Lana Del Rey had barely started her new life as the pop music world’s new ‘It Girl’ when she made a curious career move: posing in a What Katie Did bullet bra for I-D magazine and, soon afterwards, a Prada bodysuit for V magazine.

Both photos were published a month before the release of Lana’s first album and her sleepy, much-discussed performance on Saturday Night Live. Even though many people still didn’t know who she was (or whether she could sing), we had already seen her half-undressed.

Sounds a bit calculating, doesn’t it? But it shouldn’t come as a surprise. The lingerie photo shoot has become an essential stepping stone on the path to success for young starlets, especially pop singers, whether they like it or not.

A year before Lana started undressing in public, Nicki Minaj (top) was doing the same in a memorable … ...Read more

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