Friday, 10 October 2014

3D, Royalty and Pregnancy - a week of lingerie news

We’ve seen the future of lingerie - and it’s printed

Remember that a few weeks ago, we reported on a strict new ruling about lingerie that insists that in Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, nothing lacy could be sold. The theory was to stop retailers selling poor-quality synthetic underwear that could harm women’s reproductive health. Well, a German lingerie brand, Lascana, has just developed a new lingerie line that is definitely synthetic but will escape the ban. Why? Because it’s not woven or sewn - it’s printed on a 3D printer! The clamshell lingerie set was inspired by Botticell’s ‘Birth of Venus’ and features a clamshell bra and panties.

The Russian lingerie market is around £3 billion in value, which means that any company that can find a way to get its sexy undies to Russia legally is likely to make an absolute killing. It’s not even out of people’s price range, although you might have to save up for it - the bra and knicker set will probably retail at around £60.

A future royal in Britney’s knickers?

No, not a scandal about her love life, rather, a bit of astute marketing. When Britney Spears was in London last week to launch her new underwear collection, she is reported to have said that she would love to see Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, in her designs, and to that end she’s going to send every single item in the new lingerie line to the Duchess. Kate, who’s currently expecting her second child and wrestling with terrible morning sickness, just as she did when carrying Prince George, hasn’t commented on the offer and we don’t expect to see any underwear selfies of the Duchess in Britney’s scanties any time soon!

Oddly, Britney chose to comment on the role of men in her life when she was interviewed in Denmark, suggesting that women don’t necessarily need a man - just a good bath and some nice underwear! Of course she’s got to sell her line, but it’s a bit of an odd approach, we think. Perhaps she’s just a bit jet lagged.

Perfect underwear for pregnant women

Dita von Teese has been pondering the pregnant form and its underwear needs too, apparently. She has designed some undies that work for expectant women, based on the experience of friends of hers who wanted sexy but comfortable lingerie. Of course every woman wants to look good when she’s expecting, and many men find this an alluring and appealing stage of a woman’s life, But finding underwear that works can be difficult. Our recommendation for an investment lingerie item that will take you from your first weeks to beyond childbirth is the Lise Charmel Splendeur Inca robe which rides magnificently over any size of bump and has a rich pattern that flatters any shape or size.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Lingerie controversy - undies in the news this week!

Ladies in lingerie

It’s been a week of hot heads and high words around women’s underwear this week!  Perhaps the hottest - and least controversial - story is the one that featured Lindsay Lohan out partying with E.L. James of Fifty Shades of Grey fame. Yes, one of the wildest ladies on the planet was out and about with the leading erotica writer … not only that, Lindsay was wearing black lace lingerie and E.L. sported a mask. Can we be totally honest? We think our Princesse Suabi mask is prettier by far than the one E.L. wore … the delicate touches of gold in our design are really flattering and the lace detailing is more feminine and mysterious than a solid mask, which, when worn in public can give off more of a Zorro vibe than a sensual one!

As for Lindsay, her cute underwear was part of a London Fashion Week jaunt, not a failure to remember to put her outwear on. One of the most intriguing rumours emerging earlier this year was the Lindsay might be asking E.L. James to write her memoir - we can’t imagine anybody better to bring us the scandals and excitements of Lindsay’s life so far!

Lingerie is not a crime

Franchise brand Tezenis came under fire on Twitter this week, after an Oxford Street shop window displayed a pair of Tezenis knickers with the message ‘crime scene’ printed on them, as if they were draped with yellow police tape. The backlash was fast and furious, with many people taking to social media to comment on the connotations of rape that the panties suggested, and also saying that they found the underwear ‘gross’ and ‘sexist’.  Many commentators highlighted the way that sexual violence appeared to be condoned by the slogan.

While the company has refused to talk about the garment, in a statement it released soon after the uproar began it said that the item had been removed from the store and would not be available to purchase online.

Hi jinks on high!

Good old VietJet are at it again. A ‘test’ advertising campaign featured Vietnamese beauty queens in yellow and red bikinis, thigh highs and red high heels, acting as cabin crew. Stills leaked from the ad caused an outcry, not least because of last year’s VietJet stunt which led to a £100,000 fine for the airline. On that occasion a bunch of bikini sporting beauty queens promenaded down the aisle of a packed plane - in the air - and handing out teddies to delighted looking male passengers.

One reason for the kerfuffle was the the song to which the beauty queens were strutting had the lyric ‘I’m crazy for banana’ which is suggestive to say the least, more seriously, there were concerns about whether safety regulations had been breached. Whatever else you say about VietJet, they’re really good at gaining publicity - and choosing underwear!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Women and men and underwear - our week of weird and wonderful lingerie stories

Saudi lingerie swoop

Months ago we reported on a story about lingerie shops being forced to hire Saudi female shop assistants. This week, 27 (yes, 27!) lingerie shops were closed in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia because they had failed to employ local women.

The regulations, brought in at the beginning of the year, state that only Saudi women can sell women’s items and that a failure to replace male staff with female in lingerie shops could mean both shutting the shops and taking action against the men working in them. As a result of a series of raids, twenty shops in Jeddah were also shut down for violating the ‘ladies only’ lingerie rule. The new legislation is designed to try and ensure employment for local graduates and particularly for women, so as to reduce dependence on foreign workers.

Man pants not hero wear!

No, it’s not just an excuse to show you Dwayne Johnson in his pants - we don’t need any excuse to do that, we just do it anyway! So, back to the point. The UK advertising watchdog has stopped an underwear brand from running an advert, despite the hi tech pants having the backing of Sir Richard Branson. Wireless Armour says its ‘mesh of pure silver’ encases the wearer in a ‘cage of metal’ that apparently protects male fertility by blocking electromagnetic radiation from wireless devices carried in the male pocket.

The brand was called ‘underpants for superhereos’ by Sir Richard (hence Dwayne, who is currently  in cinemas as Hercules, a super hero - see, there is a reason for that picture!) but the ASA says the cited research doesn’t back up the claim that mobile phone radiation can negatively impact male fertility. Therefore, it says, the campaign must be withdrawn until adequate evidence is produced to substantiate the claims Wireless Armour make.

Bearded lady underwear

That warbling Eurovision winner, Conchita Wurst, has debuted in the underwear industry in a big way! She began by taking the catwalk with Jean Paul Gaultier in the summer, and now the 25 year old has appeared in a shoot with Karl Lagerfeld and Ashleigh Good, who is currently pregnant.

The shots show that Conchita has no problem getting into racy undies and, in one shot, is entwined with Lagerfeld himself who describes the singer as 'really hav[ing] a voice…’ he also said, ‘She has done something that's never been done before. We have all heard of "bearded ladies" but no one has ever seen a bearded man posing as a lady. This brings new meaning to the term “drag”’

And if you’re loving the Conchita look, we recommend the fabulous Magic Instinct body by Antinea … sleek, svelte and with beautiful lace panel inserts, this body is a real winner - a bit like Conchita herself!

Friday, 22 August 2014

Sue, Sue and blue - lingerie in the news!


The underwear designers and manufacturers, Zephyrs, expected to be famous for their ground-breaking (or rather boob-shaping) kidney shaped bra inserts, shaped to increase volume and cleavage in a natural fashion. Instead they are suing their law firm, McDermott, Will & Emery for approximately $6 million! years of design on the part of Zephyrs founder Debra MacKinnon led to a patent application in 2008, but according to the claim, when the actual patent was granted in 2012, serious flaws were found in the claim document, allowing giants like Amazon and Victorias Secret to create similar systems without breaking patent law. As a result, Zephyrs has been fighting a rearguard action to protect intellectual property and bring their lawyers to book by claiming damages because they havent been able to collect royalties on their design. A ruling isnt expected before the end of the year.


Whatever your view of Lingerie Football, Im sure you assumed that the players were getting well paid for their skills - and for wearing a little less than the average footballer whilst playing! But it seems thats not necessarily the case - a  former Las Vegas Sin player, Robin Johnson, is suing the Lingerie Football League for which she played. Her claim is that the league, now known as the Legends Football League, failed to pay the necessary  minimum wage and overtime to hundreds of its employees.

Johnson played for the league for two years and says that she and many other employees were classified as independent contractors who werent entitled to minimum wage payments and overtime, which she claims is hard to believe, given that players must both play as part of a team and obey team and league rulings, which denies their independent status. The Lingerie League began as a half time skit but is now a ten team USA league, a five team Australian one and a four team league in Canada. Minimum should apply to clothing, not pay, says Robin Johnson!

Blue is the new black!

At least for intimate apparel. From regularly kingfisher-haired Nicole Richies revelations (she spends around £15,000 on underwear every year) to Bar Refaelis most recent photos, revealed as part of Top Model, being filmed in Warsaw, Poland, every shade of blue is turning up in underwear.

Wearing blue lingerie can be complex - its a cool colour which can drain the life from a warm complexion and is prone to bring out blue elsewhere, so if you have blue eyes (or hair) it can be a sophisticated look - although its not great if you have leg veins youd rather not draw attention to.

Blue undies arent impossible though. Blue works well with peach and white, as seen in the Reve de PeintureAntinea nightie by Lise Charmel, and this is a particularly good choice for warm-toned skins and for blondes and redheads. If you want to conceal leg veins, made more obvious by blue undies, a pair of flirty fishnets like our LegAvenue lace-topped stockings will do the job perfectly, whilst ramping up your sex appeal!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Power Lingerie and lingerie power … our week in underwear!

Looking good over thirty, forty, fifty … and beyond, the secret of dressing for success according to Angela Bassett

If you’re one of of those people who findings lingerie ads intimidating and believes there’s no room for women of different shapes, sizes, colours or ages, the last few years have given a refreshing glimpse into how great women can look, whatever their age, colour or shape.  The latest contestant for this list of cuties is Angela Bassett, fifty-five years gorgeous!

Currently starring in American Horror Story, the stunning Bassett has also just completed a photoshoot for Violet Grey. She’s seen wearing black undies that highlight her superb body and while we can imagine that she has been primped, polished and posed by a team of experts, she also says (can this be true?) that it only tens her ten minutes to get ready to go out and face the cameras!

Her secret, she says, is that she decides what feeling she wishes her appearance to transmit, focusing on such words as flirty, sensual or powerful and then choses an outfit that matches the feeling. It’s a fascinating view into how this truly passionate actress has navigated the years that some of us find particularly troubling, and perhaps there’s a technique there we could use ourselves? Rather than asking ourselves ‘do I look good in this?’ or ‘is this too young for me?’ we could pose the question ‘does this choice support the emotion or mood I’m trying to express’ and whether that’s ‘cuddly’ or ‘dominating’, ‘sweet’ or ‘self-confident’ and then we could choose lingerie that matched the feeling we’d like to project. On that basis, we recommend something from the brand ‘Fearless and Fun’ this week! Isn’t ‘fearless and fun’ what most of us what to project? Of course it is, so we’ve picked out this fabulous skin-tight, wet-look mini dress as our highlighted lingerie of the week. It’s not what you might think of as classic lingerie, which is why we’re focusing on it, because we know that impactful dressing is something that needs to be a conscious choice for empowered women and while you might not choose to wear this dress clubbing (maybe not the first time you put it on, anyway!) owning and wearing something as dramatic and sexy as this projects a sense of a woman who’s in charge of her own destiny, and that’s a great place to start your journey into ‘mood dressing’.

Bra Banks and investment dressing

And while we’re talking about empowering women - get rid of that bra! No, not the one you’re wearing, but the one you never wear… the impulse purchase that turned out to be less comfortable than you thought or the (heaven forbid), gift bra from your lover that just isn’t you …

The average British woman has 16 bras but only wears four or five of them regularly and that means there’s a pile of unworn lingerie in many drawers that could be benefiting women elsewhere. Against Breast Cancer has a campaign that will re-home unwanted bras with women in parts of Africa where bra ownership is expensive. For many women in the developing world, it can require between 10-30 working hours to earn the money to buy a bra, which means they just don’t ever get enough spare cash to make the investment. So why not recycle something you don’t wear - or maybe even get a bra bank for your workplace? Then you can invest in a new bra that really does work for you, knowing that your unwanted underwear is making another woman happy or helping fight breast cancer by funding research into cures.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Sexy fruit, confusing underwear and caring for your scanties - our week in lingerie

In advance of the Qixi Festival in China, which is an event dedicated to fruitfulness and young love, one grocer in Nanjing has discovered a way to make his fruit more attractive. He’s dressing them in sheer panties! It’s a double joke, because the grocer is based in a region of China known for underwear production. The price is as ripe as the peaches, at 60 Euros for nine (admittedly the lingerie clad fruit arrive in a satin lined box) but it’s not winning over many fans - potential buyers seem unimpressed, maybe because they prefer a bargain or maybe because they can’t work out what to do with nine pairs of tiny pants when they've eaten the contents.

If you’d like to look a peach in some sheer undies, here are our top tips for perfect presentation:

1.    Exfoliate! The nether regions are very erogenous but also benefit from good maintenance. Buffing your butt with a sisal glove, or using some sugar scrub will remove any dry skin and improve the circulation
2.    Moisturise. Once your skin is peachy smooth, a good moisturiser keeps it that way. There are many treatments on the market that aim to reduce cellulite or improve appearance, and while the jury is still out on their effectiveness (the action of massaging the product in may be as effective as the product itself) you can’t go wrong with something that smooths and softens the skin and smells great
3.    Sheer or not? Not everybody likes to sheer look - if you don’t, consider wearing a tiny sparkly g-string under your sheer panties. It offers the best of both worlds and is a sexy way of highlighting the semitransparent nature of the sheer garment. Our Roza Genezis Shortybriefs, matched with the Venus G-string by Lola Luna are a perfect pairing for this kind of treatment.

Victoria’s Secret slapped

No, it’s not a spanking story! Lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret has been walloped in the courts by Thomas Pink, bespoke shirt maker of London town. The undie seller started a range of retail outlets called Pink in 2012, and has now been told it must rename them across the UK. It seems that the staff of Thomas Pink have been turning away annoyed customers seeking sexy lingerie whilst furious shirt seekers have berated the staff of Victoria’s Secret for not having well tailored shirting to sell!

Caring for your naughty nighties

Or, for that matter, any other kind of lingerie. How do we look after such precious garments? First, hand wash them, even High Street brassieres should be kept out of the washing machine and even more, away from the tumble dryer. Anything will elastic will last longer if hand washed.

Of course we don’t want stinky undies, so it’s important to undertake the hand washing process properly:

   fill a bowl with lukewarm water and a little hand washing liquid
   fasten hooks and eyes or press studs, so that they don’t tear lace or other fragile materials
   check your garments - if you have sweat marks, lipstick stains (we won’t ask why!) etc, dampen those areas with cold water and rub with a little stain removing product or neat hand wash
   insert your undies and ensure they are fully under the water - this can take a while if you have padded items
   leave for 15 minutes to soak
   swirl around in the water for a couple of minutes - no need to scrub
   rinse in cold water and lay on a clean towel for half an hour to absorb much of the water, then line dry if your sexy secrets are safe to hang outdoors! If not, leave them on the towel but lay it over a radiator on a low heat.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

World Cup lingerie tips from Mario Götze’s girlfriend!

One of the most shared photographs of the World Cup (remember that? It seems a long time ago, doesn’t it?) was of Mario Götze scoring that winning goal and running over to smooch his partner, model Ann Kathrin Brommel. The twenty-three year old is an established glamour model, pop artist  and blogger and super selfie taker. So we’ve got five tips on how to look good in lingerie, drawn from Ann Kathrin’s extensive selfie portfolio.

1.    The most important part of any selfie is the angle - before you begin your selfie session, take your phone and an hour of free time to selfie yourself from every angle. Hold the phone high, and low, photograph your right and left profile. Look up, look down. Then take another hour to look at the photos and rank them in order of attractiveness. At the end you’ll know two things - your best angle and your worst! Make sure all your selfies are taken from your best angle … look at Ann Kathrin’s selfies - almost every one is taken from the same angle because she know’s what works for her.
2.    Next, check your background. While you can’t control the background in spontaneous selfies, you can in posed shots. Find an uncluttered background. It doesn’t have to be plain - lingerie can look fabulous set against brocade wallpaper or with you curled up on an embroidered throw. What you don’t want is a lamp growing out of your head or a pile of paperwork lurking in the corner of the shot.
3.    Learn to breathe and relax. It’s a good idea to take a nice deep in-breath and hold it as you take your selfie - it elevates the breasts which can be important to a lingerie selfie! Also, it helps you to stay still. The way glamour models do this is to breathe in, then breathe out, looking away from the camera and as they breathe in again, look back at the camera, imagining somebody really special has just walked into the room. That gives you that all-important wide-eyed and expectant look!
4.    Take loads of shots - finding just the right one might take ten or twenty shutter-clicks but what’s your hurry? Photography is an art, and it requires patience …
5.    Finally, wear something you love. Ann Kathrin can get way with the toughest outfits, but if you’re starting your selfie career we’d recommend (a) a bikini and (b) something with a pattern. The Coffee Land bikini is ideal, as it’s sexy, flattering to all skin tones, and has removable padding for added va va voom! Ann Kathrin also rocks the slicked-back hair look in her selfie, but most women prefer a tousled beach hair look, and if you’re one of them, simply tip your head down and rub your fingers over your scalp to get that mussed up vibe going!

La Senza woes continue

For the second time in two years, underwear specialist La Senza has gone into receivership. Nearly half their stores have already closed and while their locations are being fought over by mobile phone companies and other retailers wanting those prime locations, no substantial offers have been made for the chain which was rescued by an Arabian consortium in 2012. It’s rumoured that former owner Theo Paphitis, now the owner of Boux Avenue, was interested in the shops, but not the business. The shops that have closed have had their sale stock sell out in a matter of hours, suggesting that the lingerie brand still has some life in it yet!