Kelsey’s Romper Roundup

Holly’s posts for her “Want of the Week” always result in some sort of impromptu online shopping binge. While it always starts out with the item that she wants, it usually ends up in me clicking the “you may also like” category at the bottom of the shopping pages (these online retailers know me too well…).

This week I ended up searching all things related to rompers. Don’t ask me how I got there from the Panache set. Regardless, searching/researching I found rompers you can wear out of the house, rompers you can dress up to become outerwear, and rompers that you really should just keep behind closed doors. Regardless, I need them all and I need them now.

Catherine Malandrino Romper- $295; Image from Bloomingdales.com

Catherine Malandrino Romper- $295; Image from Bloomingdales.com

I scoffed at this trend when it resurfaced a few years ago. But now, there’s no escaping it, and to be quite honest, I’m totally okay with it. Embrace the trend by pairing this loosely-chic romper with a fitted white blazer for a sharp day-time look. But surrrprise! It’s made from lycra and spandex so you are totally justified while falling asleep in it after a long day.

Flora Nikrooz Romper- $98

Flora Nikrooz Romper- $98

I still don’t know how I’d wear this, all I know is that I need to wear it. Clearly suitable as nightwear with it’s camisole styled top, the shorts complete the look with fun pleats. Even paired with a blazer, the shorts may be a bit too short for me to wear out. It’s not something I would rule out as outerwear, but definitely something to toy with.

Journelle Romper- $265

Journelle Romper- $265

Finally, this Journelle piece is all sorts of adorable. It has my favorite combination of black and pastel pink, very reminiscent of my days in the ballet studio. And the attached garter straps give you the opportunity to really sex it up or keep it casual.

What do you think? Are you on the romper train? Do they work with your body type? Has this post sparked a shopping spree?

Autumn/Winter 2014 Preview: My Angela Friedman Obsession Grows.

If you’ve read any of my posts, Angela Friedman is a name that pops up pretty frequently. She’s an inspiring entrepreneur, articulate designer, and like most of us–a fellow lover of all things lace. She was kind enough to let me get a peek at her Autumn/Winter 2014 Collection last week and although I’m a bit late getting my review up, I’m excited to share the fabulousness with everyone.

The collection, labeled “Muse” would create just that for anyone who slips into her newest garments. Angela describes the collection as inviting you into the world of imagination and intrigue, and as a representation of the modern woman.

As always there’s drool-worthy detailing on everything, from her structured corsets, to her dainty tap short and camisole set. The feminine colors (think dusty rose and deep purple) set a glamorous tone, and the pieces were sprinkled with sheer fabrics, ruffles, scalloped edges, lace insets, dainty bows, and of course her signature french lace. I could go on for pages about each garment I got to see but what you need to know is that Angela has absolutely perfected the art of frills while still maintaining a minimalist and purposeful vibe. It’s the perfect marriage between maturity, sensuality, and femininity.

 

Some of my favorites are pictured below, feel free to start a Christmas list now :)

Evelyn Bodysuit in black stretch mesh...and more French lace.

Evelyn Bodysuit in black stretch mesh…and more French lace.

Chloe Cami and Tap Pant set, in all french lace.

Chloe Cami and Tap Pant set, in all french lace.

The Laurel Bralet with ruched silk and stretch mesh, paired with the Adrienne High Waisted Panty, complete with keyhole closure and removable garters.

The Laurel Bralet with ruched silk and stretch mesh, paired with the Adrienne High Waisted Panty, complete with keyhole closure and removable garters.

Pièce de résistance (in my mind, at least), the Evelyn corset.

Pièce de résistance (in my mind, at least), the Evelyn corset.

The rest of the collection included other variations of cami/tap short sets, relaxed and adorable panties and bralettes, slips, waspies, corsets, and we all know how I feel about a good robe. Literally something for everyone. I felt confident and sophisticated just looking at them, so obviously I need to own everything. My life will not be complete until I do. I may be getting ahead of myself, possibly a little dramatic. But what can I say, beautiful things have that effect on me.

Make sure you check out Angela’s website, as well as her Etsy Shop where you can make these wonderful pieces all your own. Also, her Instagram (@angelafriedman) account is the perfect way to stalk some behind the scenes footage from photoshoots, corsetry, her design process, and of course her adorable cat (Holly Golightly taught me that every leading lady needs a feline backup).

 

Need a Glam Squad? Start with Harlow & Fox.

Discovering a new designer to drool over is certainly worth blogging about. Holly was kind enough to put me in contact with the mastermind behind UK brand, Harlow and Fox. Being able to visit Leanna at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan last week was definitely an experience I felt lucky to have. Her sizes range from 30-38 DD, E, F, FF, G; XS-XL. The entire collection is made in Britain, and as you’ll see made with only the best quality materials. With the debut collection launching just last November, Harlow and Fox has already made quite the impact, and we still have her newest collection to look forward to which will be available this October!

Flipping through lookbooks and browsing styles online is always fun (duh, that’s how I waste spend the majority of my time), but actually seeing garments in real life and being able to touch them is a whole other animal. First, Leanna showed me her debut line, some of my favorites I’ll highlight below. Generally, what you need to know is that this line values luxury, decadence, and certainly didn’t take any shortcuts in terms of design or construction.

Eleanor Almond Collection

Eleanor Almond Collection

The Eleanor Almond Collection was pure elegance, the bra was lined with the same silk that was shown on the outside, so literally what would be touching your skin is the same as what you’d be showing off on the outside. A garment that’s basically reversible, the bra has matching items within Eleanor Almond including the suspender and thong which I’ve shown above. Check out the rest of the Eleanor here.

Alexandra Waist Cincher (left) Bra and Classic Brief from harlowandfox.co.uk (right)

Alexandra Waist Cincher (left) Bra and Classic Brief from harlowandfox.co.uk (right)

Next I was obsessed with the Alexandra Collection which incorporated metallic foiled lace, and again everything was double lined with lace which means feeling silky soft against your skin. With lingerie always aiming to support and be beautiful, it’s rare to find something that hits both marks while also feeling luxurious so you’ll be more than happy to slip into them! Above is a photo of the waist cincher, which I took, and another shot from her website which may do a better job at portraying the beauty of it all (The Waldorf is nice, but could use better lighting). You can shop the rest of the Alexandra here.

Isabelle Bra and Brief

Isabelle Bra and Brief

The next set that I had to share was the Isabelle line from her latest collection. While these used sheer embroidery, they were still lined with a netting that really gave the illusion that it wasn’t even there, leaving just the romantic black coil-y embroidery on your skin. The straps on the bra and garter as well as the paneling on the briefs were all black silk, while the clasps were a beautiful gold. See what I meant by not taking any shortcuts?

Robes, robes, robes. Augusta Scarlet Kimono (left); Eleanor Almond Robe from harlowandfox.co.uk (right)

Robes, robes, robes. Augusta Scarlet Kimono (left); Eleanor Almond Robe from harlowandfox.co.uk (right)

I’ll finish up with robes, because everyone loves a good robe. You can wear them sauntering around your house looking like the total queen that you are, when in reality you just didn’t feel like putting on pants quite yet. And robes are flattering on everyone. Clearly I have a thing for robes. Anyway, Harlow and Fox has the Eleanor Almond Robe which is sheer and beautiful and perfect in it’s own. And then the Augusta Scarlet Robe which is another garment that’s part of the new collection. When I saw this piece I had a reaction that I honestly was not expecting. You may think I’m being dramatic because we’re really just talking about clothing here, but the total decedance and glamour that it had was hard to wrap my head around. It had double layers of silk satin and hemmed with braiding and hand-knotted fringes. And let me tell you, it was heavy! Living in New York and having winter last 9 ½ months, this was definitely something that would keep me warm and cozy while I hibernated.

While I wish everyone could meet Leanna who was just as charming as her garments, I’ll have to sign-off instead by strongly encouraging you to check her out, and keep up with the latest happenings.

Happy shopping!

Lingerie Fashion Week Part Deux: Kix’ies and “Made in the USA” Presentations

Earlier I shared some of my photos, experiences, and thoughts from Lingerie Fashion Week. I’m back to finish up the round-up of the fully packed day. Today, you’ll get to see the absolutely amazing performance put on by Kix’ies Thigh Highs, as well as a summary of the “Made in the USA” presentation featuring Clare Bare, Nais, and Sophi Reaptress.

From the Look Book

From the Look Book

First, Kix’ies. When I saw that there was going to be a brand exclusively for thigh highs, I instantly imagined a runway show. What better way to show off thigh highs than long legged models strutting down the runway? Well, turns out Kix’ies knew exactly what they were doing. They had models on blocks, models on couches, and models do an aerial performance.

This happened.

This happened.

The idea for the brand started after the founder was humiliated in her teens and a pair of bad tights. And what better revenge than success? Kix’ies was born years later, but still inspired by feeling confidence and style–the founder, Samantha aimed to dodge the dreaded muffin top from being “stuffed in tights”. I think she hit the nail on the head with the assortment of fun prints. And can we please talk about how this aerialist was flipping around for an hour and her thigh highs literally did not budge! Talk about quality.

I'll let you know if my legs can magically do that with my new pair of Kix'ies. Stay tuned.

I’ll let you know if my legs can magically do that with my new pair of Kix’ies. Stay tuned.

Following the Kix’ies presentation was three brands that followed the theme “Made in the USA”, including Clare Bare, Nais, and Sophi Reaptress.

Clare Bare

Clare Bare

Clare Bare is a sustainable brand based in L.A. which emphasizes sustainability with their eco-friendly, hand-made garments pulled from vintage and recycled fabrics. Everything had a very young and hip feel with lightweight bodysuits, and tie-dyed fabrics.

Clare Bare

Clare Bare

Nais is a brand that’s made exclusively in New York, specifically Brooklyn-based. They had a collection complete with lingerie that crossed over into loungewear, and everything was so trendy that I was already planning up ways to wear it out of the house. The setting on the 14th floor with the skyline in the background was gorgeous…but terrible lighting for trying to capture pictures. But trust me, it was fabulous.

Who wouldn't want to lounge in this?

Who wouldn’t want to lounge in this?

 

Finally, Sophi Reaptress is a brand based out of Philadelphia and was undoubtedly the edgiest collection there. Hoods, leggings, fishnet, crop tops and high waisted shorts, all pulled together with combat boots and an angst-y expression. The construction was impeccable and there was no question who would be their ideal market…but the models were almost too intimidating to take pictures of! Regardless I’m going to need a pair of those leather leggings.

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If you want to channel your inner badass...

If you want to channel your inner badass…

 

Layneau and Affinitas at Lingerie Fashion Week!

This past weekend was Lingerie Fashion Week here in New York City, and although I could only make it to one of the day’s events, it certainly was a good time. Today, I’m sharing what I saw from the Parfait/Affinitas runway show, as well as the Layneau showcase.

The entire range from Layneau

The entire range from Layneau

First up was the Layneau showcase which featured an assortment of models standing for about an hour under hot lights, but wearing even hotter lingerie. I was flipping through Layneau’s lookbook before the doors opened and was instantly intrigued by the complete luxuriousness of it all. And seeing the garments in person only made me want them more.

So dainty!

So dainty!

...And a little bolder.

…And a little bolder.

Looking at the entire collection showed a nice progression from dainty, doll-like pieces to bolder colors and designs. Another great aspect of the presentation was the diversity of models. While I didn’t ask the models their ages, it was clear that this was a line for any women, young or…not young.IMG_0257

It was hard to pick a favorite, but the floor length purple velvet robe is something I’m convinced I absolutely cannot live without, in fact I don’t even know how I’ve gone this long without owning it. Oh, and babydolls, I’ll be needing those too.

Why don't I own this??

Why don’t I own this??

 

There were some other shows in between (more for those on another post), but closing the night was the Affinitas/Parfait show. I am a huge fan of the line, they fit my body really well (I was lucky enough to review the Charlotte Bra which fit me perfectly). However, I couldn’t help but notice that the models walking the runway did not really fit into the garments correctly. I understand that Lingerie Fashion Week is a relatively new event, and designers may have limited resources in terms of who they choose to model their pieces. But it was sort of a shame to see poor-fitting bras at a lingerie show because they really do have a wonderful selection in their wide range of sizes, which are all modeled so well in their lookbook.

The Lea Underwire Babydoll

The Lea Underwire Babydoll

Now that my one, tiny complaint is out of the way, on to the good stuff. The designs themselves were adorable, as always. I’ve already got my eye on more than a few to add to my own collection! From Affinitas they had some really cute babydolls, but the Simone Bra and Hipster set is as good as mine. And they did a fabulous job styling all of the models, why have I never worn a statement necklace and heels with my lingerie?!

The Simone Padded Bra and Brief

The Simone Padded Bra and Brief

In the Parfait Collection, which goes up to a K cup, they introduced some fun prints from colored leopard, to feminine florals. Shown in my picture is the Leslie Balconette Bra, although due to my sub-par photography skills and the fact that I can never get the timing quite right, my pictures do not do them justice.

The Leslie Balconette Bra and Boyshort (runway version in blue)

The Leslie Balconette Bra and Boyshort (runway version in blue)

That was a small fraction of my Lingerie Fashion Week experience, but I definitely fell in love with Layneau’s line which screams decadence. Affinitas/Parfait remains one of my favorites for everyday wear. They’re not so much giving you wow-pieces, but more glamorous daily pieces with more than enough options to really let you express your style through your lingerie.

 

Kelsey’s List of Fabulous and Affordable Valentine’s Day Lingerie That You Can Still Wear When You’re All Alone

So, in case you weren’t aware, or haven’t read any other blogs, or haven’t received an abnormally high volume of emails from stores you’ve never been to…Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. I sometimes wish that I could be the person who says that they think the holiday is silly or that it’s just another marketing scheme for companies to stay in the black after Christmas…but at the end of the day I really really love Valentine’s Day. I’ve never been in a relationship during it, so don’t try to peg me as someone who just wants an excuse to receive gifts (although that’s not entirely untrue), but I can’t help but get excited about the idea of having an entire day dedicated to telling someone, or reminding yourself, how awesome they/you are. I guess I’m a hopeless romantic at the end of the day.
It’s also a great excuse to create a wonderful and fabulous gift guide! Because even if I’m sitting in bed watching Parks and Rec with a bottle of wine on Friday, February 14th, at least I’ll be wearing something adorable. So here it is: Kelsey’s List of Fabulous-But-Affordable-Valentine’s-Day-Lingerie-That You-Can-Still-Wear-When-You’re-All-Alone.

gift guide

1. Pour Moi Addicted Half Cup Bra ($51.85), Thong ($22.22), and Suspender ($29.63)—from ASOS
Okay, no, I probably won’t be wearing this when I’m sitting in bed alone. BUT wearing the bra and panty all day will definitely make me feel the love. Also, I look good in red.
2. BlueBella Opaque Bow Stockings ($16.00)—from Figleaves
Since New York is always at least 10 degrees below a comfortable temperature, I always choose opaque stockings since they tend to be a little thicker and warmer. The bow details on these make them a glamorous step up from my fleece lined thigh-highs I normally layer on top of my tights.
3. Marie Meili Catherine Push Up ($40.74) and Brief ($14.82)—from ASOS
I love how simple and feminine this set is. Aside from the fact that it’s super affordable, sometimes understated details like those tiny bows and a hint of lace are all I need to feel pretty without going over the top.
4. All Yours Teddy ($58.00)—from Nasty Gal
A former scoffer of rompers and teddys, I have quickly turned a new leaf on these garments. Totally comfortable for sleeping, and quite honestly, a nice change of pace from passing out in my yoga shorts.
5. Floral Bustier ($9.95)—from H&M
In addition to the cold temperatures in New York, it’s also pretty much gray skies from November to March, needless to say I have to add in color where I can. Layering this under a semi-sheer shirt adds a sexy pop of brightness , also, its UNDER $10!
6. Je t’aime PJ Set ($148.00)—from Wildfox
But let’s be honest, I’ll probably be curled up in pajamas—at least this pair is a little more glamorous than my college sweatpants.

See anything you like? I’ve shopped at all of these stores before and for anyone who has a straighter figure with a smaller bust, these sites are great and I’ve found them to run true to size.

How to Start Building Your Lingerie Budget (and still make rent on time)

One thing I’ve noticed about lingerie is it’s trickier than regular clothing to get exactly what you want. I realized this when I was toying with the idea of doing a boudoir shoot (Check out Sweet’s post of her first experience which inspired me), and then realized…welp I have nothing to wear. And yes, with boudoir I know that’s sort of the point, but I guess browsing online shops, others’ blogs, and pinterest boards all day can sometimes make me a little delusional and I have to remember that I don’t actually own any of these things. So how can you start to build a solid lingerie collection without breaking the bank? With a little bit of research on-line shopping, I found that it makes more sense to have about an 80:20 ratio of basics to elaborate garments. By building a solid foundation sprinkled with those wow-factor pieces you give yourself much more versatility, and is less overwhelming when you’re just starting.

I find that bras and panties are easier to own more of because that’s what you’re wearing most days anyway. But I can’t remember the last time I put on a garter belt and stockings for another day at the office. As much as I’d love to look that fabulous and put together everyday, most times it’s a struggle for me to get out the door in time to begin with. Look to see what you already own and buy in colors similar to that, allowing you to mix and match with pieces you already have. For me it was mostly black, red, and pink.

Untitled drawing

Two great starter pieces include this Gossard black lace garter belt, and for a pop of color, Paloma did a garter belt and matching panty set–both are under $30.

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Stockings are easy to find budget friendly options that still have decent quality. While I’d love to wear a pair of Wolford Stay-Ups like these, $165 is a pretty penny to dish out. Instead, I opted for sites like Figleaves or Asos that also do their own brand which is always more affordable. These from Figleaves have back seam detail which I think always enhances the look, and they’re just $15 for one pair. Or I can’t say no to anything with bows, and at only $14 from Modcloth, why would you?

Untitled drawing (1)

Other items you’ll want to have on hand are robes (that are not old and fleece), bodysuits, and a corset never hurt either. Robes are obviously easy to find almost anywhere, and depending on what you’re looking for, online boutiques to places like Target can have surprisingly great finds on silky and lace loungewear. For bodysuits I highly recommend American Apparel–a brand I quite honestly dislike in most other contexts. BUT they do have a ton of basics like bodysuits which come in a variety of colors and patterns. It can run you $50, but when you find yourself wearing them with your clothes during the day too, it’ll be well worth it.

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Bra/panty sets we wear pretty much every day, stockings, garter belts, bodysuits, and swanky robes I like, sure, but I can get by without them on a day to day basis. However I’ve found that once I own them, I start finding ways to wear them more frequently, and they serve as a good foundation if I ever decide to man-up and do a boudoir shoot. As someone who is usually choosing between paying rent or having a social life, I definitely understand the financial restraints that accompany this industry: stick to on-line stores, search for sales, and invest in good quality basics that will last you. If you’re worried about fit, find a store that stocks the brand and try some styles on, then bargain hunt on-line. Sometimes I think, “Yes, I’d love a vintage corset, but for now I’ll settle for an Urban Outfitters bustier.” Or other times I’m going, “Okay, no more stockings from Duane Reade, you can dish out double digits for this.” Regardless, my short-list of favorite places is listed below. Some of these have a wide price range and you can filter out what you’d like to search, and some just stock lower-end garments for pieces that I’m not ready to make a huge investment in yet.

Asos

Figleaves

Bella Bella Boutique

ModCloth

Target

Journelle

Polyvore

 

Angela Friedman Helped Me Find My Inner Superhero.

After two long months of traveling for work, I was finally able to return to New York and unpack my suitcase.  Once I settled in to my apartment, I decided it was time to get back to the goal I set for myself when I first moved in three months ago of trying to explore all the city has to offer. First stop: Angela Friedman’s studio.

photo (1)

You may remember that I was able to visit her space earlier in the year and do a little profile on her SS ’14 and Holiday ’13/’14 lines. This time around, I came with a specific interest–the process of making her infamous corsets. As someone who will use any excuse to wear lingerie out of the house, bustiers are often my go-to if I’m in the market for something new. But what exactly is the difference between a corset and a bustier? Why is one so much more expensive than the other? What technically qualifies as a corset? I came armed with a list of questions, and admittedly an ulterior motive to play dress up. Hopefully this will help shed some light on the topic for those of you with similar questions.

In front: the Margo bralet, waspie, and panty from S/S'14. Behind: the Holly silk full slip from Holiday '13/'14

In front: the Margo bralet, waspie, and panty from S/S’14.
Behind: the Holly silk full slip from Holiday ’13/’14

Structure seemed to be the biggest difference between a corset and a bustier. A corset is made with steel bones, durable non-stretch fabric, and made to enhance or create curves; while a bustier is typically a little flimsier and is made to stretch to fit to your body shape. With that distinction out of the way, Angela then specified between modern and traditional corsets. Traditional are those that are commonly used for theatrical performances, or costumes to replicate period pieces, while a modern rendition is more to be worked in as a lingerie style, or can be worn as outerwear. One thing that Angela keeps consistent whether she’s doing a custom traditional piece or a ready to wear modern version, is the durability. She makes these garments to be not only beautiful, but also to last for years to come.

Depending on the garment she will use black or white corset coutil; you can see the insides/construction of the garment much better from the inner view.

Depending on the garment she will use black or white corset coutil; you can see the insides/construction of the garment much better from the inner view.

What goes into making them so durable and of high quality is a combination of the structural components and all the fun stuff to make them just as gorgeous as they are long-lasting. There are (at least) two layers of fabric–Corset Coutil which is the inner layer, then something like silk which is what you see on the outside. But the corset coutil, which helps the garment keep its shape, is no easy purchase, it has to be imported from either England or Germany for the best quality (which means mo’ money. $$$$). You’ve probably heard of steel bones which are part of corsetry, but there are actually two different types.  First, white bones (or spring steel) which are extremely lightweight and only bend in one direction, these are usually used for the straight lines in the front and back. Then there are spiral steel bones which bend in multiple directions but are much heavier, these are used for creating strong curves which you’ll find in the bust area.

The white bone on the left is  and on the right is the spiral bone.

On the left is the white bone, and on the right is the spiral steel bone which was noticeably heavier when I picked it up.

On top of the fabric and boning, you’ll also need the busk, which is the hook and knobs that hold it together in the front. This is not to be confused with a hook and eye closure which you typically see on a bra or bustier. As you can tell from the picture, a busk is much studier. On the back of the corset you’ll find the lacing which also requires grommets, or for us common folk, known as “the little caps that make it easier to push the laces through the holes.”

Up close views of the grommets and hook/knobs. These babies mean business and will definitely keep your shape intact as long as they're fastened!

Up close views of the grommets and hook/knobs. These babies mean business and will definitely keep your shape intact as long as they’re fastened!

Then on top of all of that you add her signature french lace, embroidery, bows, or whatever else is serving as her current inspiration (read: the fun stuff). When you factor in all of the materials on top of the shipping costs, and the fact that she only buys the highest quality fastenings and fabrics, you can see quickly why a corset costs more than a bustier. But the quality and customization is in a league of it’s own.

Now. That was a lot of information. And it was really only a fraction of what she showed me. As Angela pulled out patterns, corsets in their different phases of construction, industrial looking tools to cut steel bones, I quickly learned that corsetry is a very time consuming, meticulous, and precise process. Certainly nothing like what goes into a bustier, or even those “corsets” that are made with plastic boning and side zipper closures. I’m certainly not one to turn up my nose at a department store bustier (girl’s got a budget okay?), but there is something to be said about understanding everything that goes into the cost of making a real corset. Something that Angela Friedman has undoubtedly mastered. One of the many things I respect about her and her business is that regardless of what type of corset she’s making or for whom she’s making it, the three main components she does not waiver on are it being structurally sound, being beautiful both on the inside and out, and that it fulfills it’s duty of shaping and fitting a person perfectly.

On top: Angela puts a sample in it's beginning stages on a corset form. Bottom left and right, she demonstrates the process of tightening and fastening the laces in the back.

On top: Angela puts a sample in it’s beginning stages on a corset form. Bottom left and right, she demonstrates the process of tightening and fastening the laces in the back.

She was kind enough to let me try on a gorgeous gold brocade corset from one of her first collections, as well as a waspie. The waspie I tried on first just with my bra, and then we tried it as an outerwear look which I think turned out pretty awesome.

I wasn't sure how it would look over my looser-fitting blouse, but it totally transformed my outfit.

I wasn’t sure how it would look over my looser-fitting blouse, but it totally transformed my outfit.

And as a side note, I happened to be wearing leggings and boots that day, so when paired with the corset I felt this weird/amazing vibe that I was a superhero. It was sort of a modern-day Wonder Woman get-up. One I’m not opposed to wearing again.

Here comes Kelsey in her fabulous gold brocade, ready to save the world!

Here comes Kelsey in her fabulous gold brocade, ready to save the world!

What do you think? Have you invested in a corset, was it worth it?

I Want Angela Friedman To Be My New Best Friend.

As I mentioned before, my relocating the New York came at the absolute perfect time. While the first couple days in a big city can be daunting and a little terrifying to tackle by yourself, I was lucky enough to kick off my new life with Lingerie Fashion Week. I was able to meet other absolutely fabulous bloggers, who were just as lovable in real life as they are through their own blogs (Sweet Nothings NYC, and Lingerie Lesbian, I’m talking about you!). On top of that, throw some indie designers in the mix, and within 24 hours of moving in I felt like I already had a solid group of business contacts and friends alike.

Indie designer Angela Friedman is one of the lovelies I also had the pleasure of meeting. After the last night of Lingerie Fashion Week, and the eve of Curve New York, she invited me to check out her showroom later that weekend. I jetted up to her space in midtown and instantly started drooling (not really, but I was pretty much in heaven). The clean white and posh space was perfectly accented with mannequins in corsets, waspies, and chemises. And the quality of the handmade garments was noticeably impeccable, you could definitely tell just by looking that there was thought and purpose put behind every detail.

 

In front: the Margo bralet, waspie, and panty from S/S'14. Behind: the Holly silk full slip from Holiday '13/'14

In front: the Margo bralet, waspie, and panty from S/S’14.
Behind: the Holly silk full slip from Holiday ’13/’14

Angela was nice enough to let me take a look at her Holiday and Spring/Summer ’14 collections. The Holiday items featured really decadent looks, what she describes as things that would make you feel like you were a present. And how could you not with these perfectly placed bows?

From Spring/Summer she used a lot of different fabrics in similar color patterns which I found left me with memorable variety within a cohesive style. I’m realizing is easier said than done to keep a line from either looking exactly the same, or mismatched. Instead, her creations all worked together, but also owning all the pieces wouldn’t be redundant. Aside from her infamous corset and waspie construction, the Spring/Summer variety included the Natalie mesh bralette or longline bra with matching garter belts and panties, an all lace gown in sheer pointe d’esprite netting, and silk robes, ropers, chemises, and slips. All of these had their own special touch of lace and detailing to make them even more unique.

 

Top left: Emilie silk kimono Top Right: Natalie mesh bralette, garter belt, and panty Bottom Left: Faye overbust corset Bottom Right: Margot sheer gown

Top left: Emilie silk kimono
Top Right: Natalie mesh bralette, garter belt, and panty
Bottom Left: Faye overbust corset
Bottom Right: Margot sheer gown

The details were really what grabbed me about both collections, though. From leg-elongating lace trim down the side of the Jacqueline robe, to tiny little bows accenting the bottom of the Emilie romper, there was no shortage of attention that went into this production.

On the left: the Emilie silk romper from S/S '14; On the right: the Jacqueline robe from Holiday '13/'14

On the left: the Emilie silk romper bow detail from S/S ’14; On the right: the Jacqueline robe from Holiday ’13/’14

Of course I wouldn’t expect anything less of the designer who not only studied fashion but worked with costumes specifically, meaning that the actual construction is what takes priority. And when you have such a strong foundation for building the garment, the details and extra attention just add to the already overwhelming appeal.

Angela also gave me permission to try on anything I wanted. There are some offers you just don’t turn down. So I stripped down and slipped into the Jacqueline slip which fit like a glove. It was the little black dress of lingerie, and knowing me, I’d probably end up wearing it as an outerwear dress anyway. Lindsay Mueller, from That Je Ne Sais Quoi, was another welcoming blogger who stopped by Angela’s that day as well. She tried on the bridal corset which clearly, was a home run.

Myself in the Jacqueline silk slip, and

Myself in the Jacqueline silk slip, and Lindsay in the Bridal Corset

So far I can’t complain about my first week in New York. I’ve met some of the most welcoming, intelligent, stylish, and inspiring women, and Angela Friedman is certainly no exception. Be sure to check out her latest designs at her website. Also recommended is her Instagram account, which features a healthy amount of gorgeous lingerie, charming selfies, and surprise guest appearances form her equally adorable cat.

Lingerie Fashion Week: You! Lingerie and Affinitas/Parfait

The TFFC assistant, Kelsey, has recently moved to New York! Luckily she moved in just in time to cover some of the trade show events that happened this past weekend. Today she’s starting with her day at Lingerie FW and tomorrow she’ll be writing about her visit to Angela Friedman’s studio. 

The past couple weeks of my life have been pretty frantic to say the least. After landing my first real-girl job, the euphoria quickly wore off as I tackled piles of H.R. papers, finding an apartment, and then actually packing and moving all my stuff. Of course everything worked itself out and I arrived at my new place just in time to attend the last day of Lingerie Fashion Week in Manhattan.

 

Everyone got to enjoy a cupcake from Sprinkles! What's better that baked goods and lingerie?

Everyone got to enjoy a cupcake from Sprinkles! What’s better that baked goods and lingerie?

 

Saturday, August 3rd included a runway show from You! Lingerie, which featured maternity lingerie. I had never seen maternity pieces modeled before, so I was interested to see how it would work on the runway. Let me just say, these ladies rocked it. I mean it takes guts to walk down a runway in your underwear with people flashing pictures with every step, not to mention some of these women were in their third trimester. One model’s due date was actually that day!

 

That baby is technically already modeling.

That baby is technically already modeling.

I thought that the brand did a really great job of showcasing not just different looks, but how they fit women all throughout their pregnancy, some models were in the early stages, and like I said, some were about to pop. The line included everything from practical, to sexy, to loungewear, because even though you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you should be restricted to one style. My favorites were a tie between the polka dot Charlotte Babydoll, and Anastasia set which closed the show. What I found most impressive was how they were able to make each look memorable and stand out from one another, making full use of the term runway show and not just sending their catalogue down the aisle with no further thought. The music and attitude of the models just made me want to high-five them all and tell them that they’re going to be the coolest moms, like ever.

On the right: the Charlotte Babydoll; On the left: the Anastasia set

On the right: the Charlotte Babydoll; On the left: the Anastasia set

 

Next was the Affinitas and Parfait show. I am a huge fan of both the Affinitas line and the Parfait line, and was super excited to see what each had for Spring/Summer ’14. As expected, when looking at the E-Catalogue, I loved all of the garments and the designs–feminine pastels, bows wherever possible, and lace trim with delicate prints. The actual runway production, however, was a bit sub-par. The show itself was pretty lengthy, I don’t think it was necessary to send every single look down the runway as it ended up being a disservice to the brand when everything started blurring together. I say this with a day or two of hindsight being able to look back on it. While watching, I loved seeing every piece, but You! Lingerie still has individual looks engrained in my memory, where Affinitas and Parfait were a bit of an overload making it harder to remember.

Another aspect I noticed was the difference in how Affinitas and Parfait were presented. I know that they are two separate lines, so you’ll want to have a different feel, but the fuller busted line, Parfait used notably older models than for Affinitas. Where Affinitas used young, blonde, and dainty women, Parfait was a couple years older, and had more of a severe stylistic approach–trade out loose waves for a tight gelled back ballet-bun. Both sets of models were gorgeous and all modeled the pieces fabulously, but it sort of added to the idea that only older women are fuller busted, and younger women are small busted. Which not only doesn’t make sense, but isn’t true.

 

On the left: Louisa Wire Bra and Hipster Panty; On the right: Sienna Wire Bra and Hipster Panty

On the left: Louisa Wire Bra and Hipster Panty from Parfait; On the right: Sienna Wire Bra and Hipster Panty from Affinitas

Despite a few critiques on presentation factors, both Affinitas/Parfait and You! Lingerie put their best high heeled foot forward for Spring/Summer ’14, and I’ll be very excited to see them hit stores, and hopefully my own closet in a couple months. What do you think about runway shows? Can the presentation change how you feel about the product?