Saturday 24 June 2017

Fashion: Body Heat in beautiful lingerie

Bra, €54, Passionata; pyjama bottoms (part of set), €330, Olivia von Halle; earrings, €75, Kenneth Jay Lane. Photo: Eilish McCormick
Bra, €54, Passionata; pyjama bottoms (part of set), €330, Olivia von Halle; earrings, €75, Kenneth Jay Lane. Photo: Eilish McCormick

Constance Harris

When was the last time you went out and treated yourself to a beautiful lingerie set? If the answer is last week, then I salute you.

But did you get fitted again, too?

Silk chemise, €350, Gilda & Pearl. Photo: Eilish McCormick
Silk chemise, €350, Gilda & Pearl. Photo: Eilish McCormick

Our bodies change constantly; tissue softens or gets toned, we go up, we go down, and most of the time we expect our bras to keep up in doing a good job.

Let me remind you that bras, like trainers, apparently are of little support after six months' wear. Think of that the next time you jog in an old sports bra.

Bra, €75; matching briefs, €39, both Simone Perele; earrings, €295, Marni; ring, €75, Kenneth Jay Lane. Photo: Eilish McCormick
Bra, €75; matching briefs, €39, both Simone Perele; earrings, €295, Marni; ring, €75, Kenneth Jay Lane. Photo: Eilish McCormick

I spoke to Roslyn Ellis, group buyer for lingerie, swimwear and hosiery at Brown Thomas, who explained to me that she now buys a whopping 78 different sizes in bras (from 28AA to 40JJ).

"When I hear someone saying, 'The first thing I do when I get home is take off my bra' - I know they are not wearing the right size or the right shape," Roslyn says. "You should actually forget what bra you are wearing. I am standing here now and I have to think what am I wearing . . . it's Simone Perele. That is what a good fit should feel like - it is about comfort."

Top-and-shorts set, €55, Bluebella; bra, €56; matching briefs, €33, both L'Agent by Agent Provocateur; earrings, €295, Marni. Photo: Eilish McCormick
Top-and-shorts set, €55, Bluebella; bra, €56; matching briefs, €33, both L'Agent by Agent Provocateur; earrings, €295, Marni. Photo: Eilish McCormick

Another miracle of the correctly sized bra, apart from comfort, is that it can take stones off your appearance.

At this time of year, our lingerie sensibilities favour the rich berry and jewel tones of winter, luxurious gold and mysterious black. In Brown Thomas, ranges from Maison Lejaby Elixir, Calvin Klein and Heidi Klum Intimates, to L'Agent by Agent Provocateur, Myla, and Stella McCartney Lingerie, are deeply sumptuous in colour and shape. Briefs are back, as are suspender belts, while the bralet (a bra without wire or padding) is growing in favour.

Chemise, €138; Bra, €70; matching thong, €35, all L'Agent by Agent Provocateur; ring (not in shot), €135, Kenneth Jay Lane. Photo: Eilish McCormick
Chemise, €138; Bra, €70; matching thong, €35, all L'Agent by Agent Provocateur; ring (not in shot), €135, Kenneth Jay Lane. Photo: Eilish McCormick

"Some girls are wearing them to sleep in, to get that bit of support," Roslyn explains.

After bras, control wear is uppermost in women's minds. Control wear is no longer a case of an all-over squishing of our body - thus losing our luscious shape - to get a smooth finish. Rather, it is about selecting garments, or hosiery, with control in the areas you want it.

Chemise, €135, NK iMode; earrings, €330, Marni. Photo: Eilish McCormick.
Chemise, €135, NK iMode; earrings, €330, Marni. Photo: Eilish McCormick.

"It is about embracing your own natural body shape," Roslyn explains. "It is about deliberate control in areas where you want it."

The trend I am most excited about in the Brown Thomas lingerie department is their rediscovery of boudoir dressing.

Think playful, feather-trimmed, silk babydolls and wraps by the evocative Gilda & Pearl; modernist, silk-satin pyjamas by Olivia von Halle, and Yolke; or the most demure of nightgowns in the finest white voile (which I have been told can be even more erotic to a lover than silk and lace) co-designed by actress Robin Wright and Karen Fowler under the label Pour les Femmes, which generates work and support for women in developing regions around the world.

Yet another good reason to buy good lingerie - as if we need one.

All lingerie and accessories are available  from Brown Thomas, 88-95 Grafton St, D2,  tel: (01) 605-6666,  and online, see brownthomas.com

Photography by Eilish McCormick

Assisted by Dean Ryan McDaid

Styling by Sinead Keenan,

Assisted by Katie Grogan

Make-up by Warren Dowdall,  Brown Thomas personal beauty stylist

Hair by Michael Leong

Model: Mariana Salaru,

Premier Model Management

Fashion edited by  Constance Harris

Furniture courtesy of 20th Century Furniture,  see 20thcenturyfurniture.ie

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