So we’ve just returned from a couple of days in Paris. Despite staying in perhaps the worst hotel imaginable (paper thin walls with strange goings on in the night, a swastika etched into the doorframe and decor that hasn’t been changed in the last 30 years) hence no sleep for the past nights it was by and large an interesting trip.
We couldn’t resist a trip to Le Bon Marche to check out their epic lingerie department. Just from the amount of dedicated floor space you know that the French take their underwear seriously. The floor was heaving with shoppers browsing the eclectic selection of brands from La Perla to completely unknown labels. After seeing Chantal Thomas’s offering she is definitely on our radar for next season. Eres also had a particularly strong showing, their use of color this season is truly striking.
Next a meeting with Fifi and her employee Olivia at the eponymous boutique, Fifi Chachnil, located in a picturesque courtyard. Their spring summer collection is wonderful, a riot of color, playfulness, and pure Fifi pin-up style. They are producing larger cup sizes in some of their styles for next season which is great news for our customers.
We had only one day to fully devote to the trade show, Mode City and with so many stands it can be overwhelming. It seems each country has it’s own lingerie aesthetic. Italy full on in your face sexy, France classic and fairly conservative, England much more fashion inspired with a quirky and sometimes directional feel and the US concentrating on well designed functional pieces.
Color features heavily for Spring/Summer especially in hot fuchsia pinks, bright greens and corals. Jenny Packham already renowned for her bold use of color in her ready to wear, wowed with some vibrant prints from her loungewear collection which she exhibited r for the first time this year. The lace kimono, in nude and black, is a piece of pure, unadulterated beauty.
The trend for big knickers also showed little sign of abating. With hardly a thong in sight it seems that our tastes have been well and truly converted. Nevertheless the full on granny knicker is not for everyone so for those a little less adventurous the boy short will certainly suffice.
Notable stands included; Andreas Sardas definitely a hot designer with a great swimwear offering, Simone Perele for their classic, understated appeal, we loved their Coral fashion colors for next season and Bordelle for blurring the lines between high fashion and lingerie. Damaris also unveiled their next season offering which is as stunning as ever and of course Mimi Holliday for achieving great design at a competitive price point.
However, despite there being so much choice we couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed with Mode City’s offering. After visiting the Lingerie Collective a couple of weeks back and discovering lots of great, interesting designers this show felt a little staid and predictable and geared towards a more commercial buyer. Nevertheless it was great to catch up with our designers and we hope they all did well.