Back to black
Over the course of my career, I have noticed that when the world goes crazy and when fashion goes to the street, lingerie becomes about control and the colour black. It is an enduring look because it has enduring appeal. It helped create Dolce & Gabbana's iconic, sexy-widow narrative. It is constantly used in movies, fashion editorials and advertising. We love it. And no wonder.
On a recent shoot, I put three models in various forms of what my grandmother would have called a girdle; items of underwear such as waspies, support briefs, bustiers, all of which create a smooth, sculpted silhouette. Underwear that, through the course of shaping, also gives back support and improves posture. All the models on that shoot remarked on how comfortable they had felt in the pieces. Such lingerie was the secret of the fabulous shape and posture women had in the fashions of the 1930s,1940s and 1950s.
As you can see from our pages today, there are pieces here that could have come from those eras. But ours are entirely 21st Century in technology, styling and comfort.
"There is always an element mirrored between catwalk and lingerie," says Roslyn Ellis, Brown Thomas buyer of lingerie, hosiery, swimwear and nightwear. "There are trends in fashion, such as this season's Dark Wonder, and the colour black, and they are there in lingerie, too. But this time it is all about new aesthetics, new technical innovations, such as sheer panelling, mesh and lace details, all in clean, contemporary finishes. Bras might be sumptuous-looking, but briefs have to be smoothing. Now, it is all about comfort and beauty and the body silhouette."
The ensemble on the page opposite is a perfect example of this trend. Spanx has made extraordinary headway into clothing; their leather-look, wet-look leggings and skirts are fantastic additions to our wardrobes. Other go-to brands are Simone Perele, Lejaby, Wacoal, Passionata and Calvin Klein.
"Beautiful lingerie is not necessarily for special occasions," says Roslyn. For those of you who, like me, love their lingerie colourful (contrary to evidence today!), this season abounds with rose, blush, violet, punchy bright pink, dusty coral and green, in sensual velvets and laces. Check out Love Stories, Les Girl et Boys, Tuxe, Versace and b.tempt'd.
"If you have a love of lingerie, you appreciate individuality," states Roslyn. "I am a big believer in things being ageless. It's all about attitude."
So true, especially when it comes to carrying off lingerie. Success is all in our attitude.
Photography by Eilish McCormick
Styling by Sinead Keenan
Fashion edited by Constance Harris