Designer Interview: Pink Clove Creates Affordable and Trendy Options for Plus Size Women

Image via Pink Clove

Image via Pink Clove

Pink Clove launched last weekend and I’ve already seen some of their striking images being pinned and shared all over the internet. This is a brand with a strong sense of style, so it’s no surprise that they’ve already developed a fan base. I was lucky enough to catch up with them this week by email to ask them about their new line, their launch and their plans for the future.

For those of you who haven’t run across Pink Clove yet, here are the basics: UK based Pink Clove makes super trendy and affordable plus size clothes for UK sizes 16 – 32 (which means they start at about a US 12). Their prices are comparable to ASOS and similar retailers. They ship worldwide and so far are featuring mostly jersey pieces. Want to know more? Let’s let Pink Clove explain:

Image via Pink Clove

Image via Pink Clove

Holly: How would you describe the Pink Clove style? Why do you think this aesthetic is perfect for plus size women?

PC: The Pink Clove style is catwalk inspired and fashion forward, focused on translating each season’s key trends into clothing for plus size women. We see no reason for plus size women missing out on stylish clothes like the ones they see on the catwalk, simply because of their size. The Pink Clove aesthetic is about celebrating who you are and feeling great about it.

Image via Pink Clove

Image via Pink Clove

Holly: Why is incorporating colors, prints and patterns important when designing a plus size clothing line?

PC: This is important because we want to make the clothes vibrant, interesting and fun. In the design process we spend a lot of time sourcing new and exciting prints inspired by the key prints from the latest runway collections. We have a lot of tartan and graphic prints at the moment, as they have been a hit on the catwalk. Of course, we still have our basics such as the pencil skirts and wrap dresses, but we ensure that there is always a twist to each one which makes them modern and current all of these shapes work really well in neutral and bold bright colours. For some pieces, the dresses in particular, we use optical illusion patterns which are figure-flattering and empowering curvy and womanly figures.

Image via Pink Clove

Image via Pink Clove

Holly: What makes Pink Clove different from other plus size clothing companies?

PC: Pink Clove is different from other plus size clothing companies as we successfully make clothes for plus size women who want to wear and more importantly, look good in. We find a way to recreate the current trends seen on the catwalk and street looks into clothes a plus size woman can wear and look just as good in. In fact, we have received fantastic feedback from the public about the great cut of the clothes and quality of the fabric, offered at very reasonable prices. They appreciate that are clothes are fun rather than frumpy.

Image via Pink Clove

Image via Pink Clove

Holly: What is the hardest part about starting a new clothing company? What has been the most fun part so far?
PC: The hardest part has been no doubt the pressure to successfully create a flattering and affordable fashionable clothing range that plus size women actually want to wear.

It certainly is daunting and difficult starting a new clothing company but it is also very exciting. The most fun part has probably been gathering inspiration from so many trends and putting our own spin on these. The positive reaction from the public has been amazing, so it is very rewarding to see our hard work pay off!

Image via Pink Clove

Image via Pink Clove

Holly: What’s next for Pink Clove? What sorts of pieces can we expect to see in the future?

PC: It’s onwards and upwards for Pink Clove now, we are constantly developing new lines for our website. Ideally we will introduce woven and denim materials into future collections which would feature some more tailored pieces, as well as the jersey material clothing already seen in our current collection.

Which Pink Clove pieces are your favorite? What do you think of this new company?

Indie Lingerie Designer Interview: Honey Cooler Handmade

Image via Honey Cooler Handmade

Image via Honey Cooler Handmade

Honey Cooler Handmade designs are a favorite of bloggers and lingerie lovers alike, so I’m extra excited have an interview with the designer today! Stephanie is the mastermind behind the brand, which combines Art Deco and Edwardian influences to produce one of a kind camisoles, panties and chemises. Through unusual fabric combinations and some sort of natural lingerie designer mojo, Stephanie produces absolutely magical pieces.

Image via Honey Cooler Handmade

Image via Honey Cooler Handmade

Holly:  What fascinates you about the Art Deco and Edwardian periods?

Stephanie: I’m particularly interested in the sartorial transition between the Edwardian and Art Deco periods. From the repressed Victorian lady came this new, modern woman who was at once independent and in charge, but still femme. While I love the drippy gorgeousness of Victorian fashion, it is so constricting and rigid. The stereotypical flapper wore easy, comfortable silhouettes that didn’t shy away from lace and embellishment of earlier decades. My favorite fashion history specimen is Lanvin’s 1920′s Robe de Style – it retained a somewhat feminine shape and occasionally even had panniers. The Robe de Style was worn by women who appreciated the flapper trajectory, but were unwilling to totally relinquish their feminine side – those women must have had the most beautifully stocked closets!

Image via Honey Cooler Handmade

Image via Honey Cooler Handmade

Holly: How did you come up with the combination of silk fabric and vintage lace that you use in your pieces?

Stephanie: Combining silk and lace is not a new idea – just about every lingerie designer does so at some point. My original inspiration came from visiting vintage clothing stores and examining gorgeous silk slips and step-ins from the 1910′s, 20′s and 30′s. Those garments look and feel so intensely special – the kind of thing that would instantly dress up any contemporary outfit if worn as a blouse or top.

The sad truth is that there aren’t many lace companies left that make really gorgeous motifs on Valenciennes lace anymore, and that’s why I usually turn to vintage lace when I sew my pieces. My vintage Valenciennes stash runs the gamut from elephants and sparrows to fishermen and tennis players. If the lace on your nightie has foxes all over it, it’s a pretty good bet you’re intending for it to be seen. Edwardian and Art Deco underpinnings had this sense of innocent whimsy paired with veiled flirtatiousness that you don’t find much in contemporary lingerie. When it comes to HCH, staying true to the spirit of Edwardian and Deco-era lingerie, at least in part, is important to me.

Image via Honey Cooler Handmade

Image via Honey Cooler Handmade

Holly: Your pieces balance strong graphic elements with frilly and feminine ones. How do you balance those two sides of your design aesthetic?

Stephanie: If I had my way, I’d exist wearing 1950′s cupcake dresses, heels and frou frou stuff all day, but the truth is that in order to exist in normal society (especially in a-tee-and-jeans San Francisco), I can’t dress like a confection on the regular. On the same token, I really appreciate harder, more contemporary and experimental fashion, but I would hardly call myself a risk taker, so that kind of style doesn’t quite feel like a match for me either. My line is the perfect way to marry my uber-femme side with the side that appreciates a sleek pair of leather boots and leggings. The HCH girl is both hard and soft, vampy yet sweet. And let’s face it: no matter how hard and graphic my motifs, they are still crafted in lace. A tee with a skull printed on it is all hard; An HCH Deco Cami with an entirely sheer lace skull is still hard, but with a sweeter bent.

Image via Honey Cooler Handmade

Image via Honey Cooler Handmade

Holly: What’s the best part about being a lingerie designer? What’s the hardest part?

Stephanie: The best part about being a lingerie designer, especially a self-employed one, is that I get to work whenever I want. I can sew all day and into the night if deadlines require it, but I can also take a dance class in the middle of the day or meet a friend for coffee and still be able to pull together a last-minute photo shoot. The obvious other plus side is that I get to work with gorgeous materials all day long. Stunning fabrics and beautiful old laces are just part of the everyday routine. I get to create all the time and that’s a dream come true. The hardest part of my job is not knowing when to stop working. I love what I do so much that sometimes it’s hard to put my laptop down and tuck my sewing machine away. My weekends are often full of good work-related stuff, but those things sometimes eat into my personal time and I forget to allot time to the other important aspects of my life.

Image via Honey Cooler Handmade

Image via Honey Cooler Handmade

Holly:  I know you’re a big fan of custom work. How do you make your pieces work on a wide range of body types? What is your custom design process like?

Stephanie: Custom work is so fun! In general, as long as a little extra pattern drafting is done, most HCH pieces will work for a broad range of body types. For example, I offer my Deco Cami style in two cuts – bias and straight. The bias cut looks great on everyone, but it’s especially flattering on girls with prominent curves – it’s the piece I keep making over and over for myself. The only piece that doesn’t work for a broad range of sizes is my Vaudeville Bralette, which is best for an A/B cup. I would love to expand the size range, but bras require so much support past a C cup and part of what I love about my line is the unfussy structure (Ribbon Corsets, of course, being the exception).

Collaboration on custom work is pretty easy. First off, my customer decides on what kind of piece she’d like and then we discuss fabric choices. I have a few great fabric sources in San Francisco that I love, so I’m usually able to offer a few options that span different price points. Once we nail down a fabric and desired motif, I can get a better idea of final price. Once a deposit is squared away, I can get to work. Depending on the workload I’m wrestling with at the time, it can take up to 2 weeks to make something custom. And if my customer is in the San Francisco Bay Area, we can even do in-person fittings to get the best fit possible!

Full Busted Fashion Interview: Meet Urkye!

The full busted clothing landscape has really picked up in the last year or so, but I’m excited about Urkye today since they present something genuinely missing from the market. Lots of full bust clothing companies focus on fancy dresses and fun pieces, but Urkye makes youthful casual clothing in comfortable (and washable!) fabrics. I was lucky enough to get to talk to Ula last week about the vision for her brand and her early successes in reaching a new part of the market. As a side note, this is yet another company based out of Poland that caters to full busted women worldwide! One of these days someone will do a study about why Polish companies are so ahead of everyone else. 

Image via Urkye

Holly: What motivated you to start Urkye?

Ula: I  have bigger bust than standard and I had a lot of problems with finding clothes in high street shops. Fortunately my mum tought me how to sew, then I learnt on my own how to construct clothes and finally I was able to sew clothes for myself that fit perfectly over bigger boobs and still underline waist. I noticed that I’m not alone with this problem and that shops that offer clothes for women with bigger boobs are quite expensive for polish girls or offer clothes that do not fulfill their style. My husband – Wojtek – who is an economist, noticed that creating our own brand could be an excellent adventure :) I love sewing and constructing, my husband knows how to run companies, so possibility of creating clothes for wider range of women was so thrilling that we couldn’t resist it :)

Image via Urkye

Holly:  How is Urkye different in style from other clothing companies for busty women?

Ula: We’re young and we sew what we like. We don’t follow trends in 100%, we always try to give something else, something what describes our style. Our clothes are sewn from the best quality materials by polish sewing company. Our clothes are unique, they’re not produced in huge quantities.

Our clothes are sewn in 3 (or 2) bust sizes for each waist size. What is also quite interesting about our clothes is a fact, that we also add more room around hips.

Image via Urkye

Holly: What age range is Urkye popular with?

Ula: We noticed that our clothes are generally popular with young woman and girls. But not only – we receive feedback also from older woman who are delighted with our styles :) So there is no rule – I believe that it depends more on character and personal style, not only on age :)

Image via Urkye

Holly: What have your most popular pieces been so far?

Ula: Definatelly Kieska dress. For Summer we had version with puffed sleeves, now we’ve prepared for our customers version with 3/4 sleeves. This style, due to pockets and french seam, can create an excellent proportions on each type of figure – and our customers love such magic! :)

Holly: What kinds of pieces are you planning to add to the Urkye line in the future?

Ula: Generally we’re still young company and we haven’t sewn all styles that we want to sew. Now we’re working on shirts and blazers, we have several new ideas for tops and dresses. We want to add coats, but rather it would happen within next year.  We’re also thinking of sewing maternity and nursing clothes for women with bigger boobs, because we know how hard it is to find nice fitting clothes for women in this special time. Finally, we’re also planning to sew dresses for women who have bigger difference between hips and waist.

But to be frank – we have no idea when we’ll be able to implement all these styles to our shop. But we’re optimistic and we believe that it’ll happen soon. Time will tell :))

Have you tried out any Urkye clothing yet? Which piece is your favorite?

 

Designer Interview: Bijte Creates Delicate Lingerie for Full Busted Women

Picture taken and owned by Darlene of Hourglassy

Darlene featured Bijte a few days ago on her Hourglassy blog, which was the first time I had ever heard of them. It was love at first sight when I saw the pictures. So much so, that I emailed the designer, Diana, about an interview and picked up some pieces for myself the same day.

Bijte focuses on making luxury lingerie staples for full busted women. Lots of designers are making loungewear in full busted and plus sizes these days, but finding a great babydoll or camisole is still pretty rare. When you start looking at the luxury market, your chances get even slimmer of finding something that works. All Bijte pieces are made of stretch silk charmeuse and chiffon and have that classic European feel to them.

Read on to find out more details about the construction and inspiration behind the line, as well as details on sizing (the short version: C-J cups should snap this stuff up). Bijte pieces can be purchased through their website or in person at Iris Lingerie.

Holly: How do you create support while keeping your lingerie looking delicate and feminine?

Diana: Support is created in the design of our garments.  We have non-stretch adjustable straps on all our garments and we have back panels and ties on all our babydolls.  Most of the garments have shirred cups so that the stitching allows for reinforcement to lift the breast.  The plunge cami, triangle cami and the baby dolls (except the halter) have mesh slings inside the cups to add even more support under the curve of the breast.  We like to remind our customers that they are not wearing a sports bra when they put on a Bijte garment, but they most certainly will get the lift and fit they want.  We like to say we are “pretty packaging for the girls”.  There will be no “dumping” in our garments (“dumping” is when the breast slips below the stitching of the garment).

Image via Bijte

Holly: Do you feel like full busted women have a different outlook on lingerie than other women? What common complaints/wishes do you encounter when you talk to your customers?

Diana: I believe full busted women have a totally different outlook on lingerie because they have traditionally not been able to find garments that really fit them; and the few that fit are super structured so it’s the equivalent of wearing a foundational garment (a bra).  As a result, full bust women either do not bother with lingerie or they spend their time and money looking for bras and panties instead of pretty, flirty, sexy camis and babydolls.  It’s fantastic that we have options re: bras and panties, but that’s different from sexy sleepwear and playwear.  Our goal is to offer softer flowing items that give busty women the option to wear flirty and sexy without having to fake the fit or wear a bra beneath it.

Our most common request earlier on was for a garment with the back out while still having support.  That’s why we did the halter babydoll.  Generally, most women are surprised that the garments actually fit across the bust.  We are working on the next collection to add more variety re: colors and patterns.  The complaint that we work to accommodate is always about support.  The reality is that a DD cup and above is a heavy breast and that makes it harder to have a delicate lace or silk support it while still being pretty, we are confident that Bijte garments have got a design pattern that is addressing that issue.  Now, there are a lot of bra manufacturers doing the bigger cup, but there are barely any lingerie manufacturers addressing the desire for camisoles and babydolls for busty women.

Image via Bijte

Holly:  What cup and band size range does your line cover? How and why did you choose the types of pieces that you would produce?

 Size Chart:

Bijte Size Dress Size Bust Size
Smallplus 4-6 32C-F

34C-DD

Mediumplus 8-10 32FF-J

34D-GG

36C-F

Largeplus 12-14 34DD-H

36D-G

38C-F

Diana: We choose this range because we found that this size range was where there was the most need.  Most women in this size category are not wearing their proper sizes because they are still “average” size women but because their busts are bigger (without being extraordinarily large) they don’t fit well in most lingerie, though they can fake it.  This was also the range we could realistically fit and lift in our garments.

The pieces we manufacture are essentially what we consider the staples in building a proper lingerie wardrobe.  Since most women in our size range do not own many camis and babydolls that fit them properly we thought this would be the perfect way to start them off.  The designs are flattering without being overly complicated.

Image via Bijte

Holly: What’s next for your line?

Diana: We are looking to expand our color and pattern options.  We are also working on a couple of new designs, but have done well with our current offerings, so we will definitely continue to offer them.

Designer Interview: State Of Mind Creates Perfect Plus Size Activewear

I’m fascinated by the relationship that women have with activewear and body size, especially when it comes to plus size women. Remember all those photos that came out of poor Jessica Simpson outside the gym post-baby? I saw articles featuring that set of photos all over the place –each of them picked apart some aspect of her appearance. Some seemed offended that she hadn’t lost the baby weight, while some just couldn’t believe she’d go out wearing an unflattering outfit like that. As someone who works out on a regular basis and has trouble finding flattering workout gear, I completely sympathized with Jessica Simpson. Luckily, State of Mind is trying to prove that plus size women can work out and look great doing it. I was lucky enough to be able to ask them about their unique approach to activewear as well as negative attitudes towards plus size women and exercise and how to combat them.

 

Holly: What do you think plus size women want from swimwear and activewear? How does it differ from what someone in standard sizes would want?

State of Mind: Plus size women want the same availability and variety of choice as their standard sized counterparts.  In the UK over 40% of women are size 16+ (12+ in USA) which puts them firmly into the plus size category.  It’s a sad fact that these women are not catered to by most swimwear and activewear companies where they are often told that theirs is a specialist size and only available on special order (if at all!).  Many retailers don’t design clothing with plus size women in mind, believing that simply making their clothes bigger will do the trick.  This does not meet the needs of plus size women who have their own requirements.  Our research has shown that their top design concerns are a) support for a fuller bust; b) longer top lengths, specially at the back, so they feel safely covered; c) ruching and other flattering design tricks such as double panels; d) tops that don’t cling at the tummy or hips; e) swimwear that they can feel comfortable walking around in – our skirtini is a bestseller for the simple reason that you don’t have to carry a sarong around to cover yourself up all the time.  In essence, plus size women want to feel securely tucked in, covered in all the right places and with great freedom of movement.

Holly: I love that you show your the dress size and height of your models on your website. What made you decide to do that and what has the reaction been?

State of Mind: Thanks! We are very proud to use plus size models and it’s really important to us to communicate that with our customers by showing their size and height.  The reaction has been fabulous and we get a lot of positive comments about it.  In fact, we had a facebook ‘fan’ comment to us the other day about how ‘fat’ a size 16 is.  When we pointed out that our model is a size 18 and looks absolutely fabulous, she was very quick to reply with a “OMG – really, she looks amazing!”.  It’s great to change people’s opinions like that.

Holly:  Work out clothes take a beating due to frequent washing. You advertise your activewear as being particularly long lasting. What design and fabric choices have you made to create strong long lasting pieces?

State of Mind: We worked really hard and had to be very patient while we tested a variety of fabrics for our activewear range. We initially sourced our fabric in China but we weren’t satisfied with its durability.  We now source a more expensive and long lasting Supplex© (92% polyamide 8% lycra) from Nottingham in the Uk and we are very pleased with its durability and moisture wicking performance.

Holly: As a brand, do you feel like you have to overcome the perception that plus size women don’t exercise? Do you feel like attitudes towards plus size women are changing or staying the same?

State of Mind: We created the brand State of Mind with the sole aim of empowering women to get out and get moving in the “kit to give them confidence”.  Our research showed that many plus size women see the lack of appropriate workout clothing as a barrier to exercise.  We also found that many women don’t believe that they ‘deserve’ nice work out clothing, choosing instead to wear their boyfriend’s old t-shirt until they can fit into that ‘cute little outfit’.  I think it’s a long road towards better acceptance of the idea of plus size women being fit and active and we hope to be a part of that journey by helping women believe in themselves by giving them the right activewear to meet their goals.

Designer Interview: Eliza Parker Creates Classic Dresses for Curves

I’m a huge fan of classic jewel tone clothes. I’m an even bigger fan of jersey clothing, so Eliza Parker pieces tick all the boxes on my list of favorite things. There are lots of great plus size ranges appearing lately, but Eliza Parker produces clothing from size 10 to size 28. I’m thrilled to see someone covering such a wide range of sizes, as a well a designer who is producing such classic pieces. I’m thrilled that the designer, Jessica, was able to make some time to answer my questions about the line.

 

Holly: How did you choose the size range for Eliza Parker? Many brands make the cutoff at size 14, but you go as low as size 10. What made you decide to include such a wide range of women?

Jessica: We knew there were a lot of women who were not being well served by the current market. Most mall stores base their fit on a size 4 or 6 and then scale up to the larger sizes.  As a result, curvier women in size 10 and up often find it difficult to find a good, flattering fit.  We wanted to include extended sizes in our line for women who were not satisfied by the fit provided by straight size shops.

Holly: What do you think full busted and plus size women are looking for in a clothing company? How does Eliza Parker fill a hole in the market?

Jessica: I think that curvy and plus size women want stylish clothing that fits and flatters their bodies.  We want on-trend dresses and separates that are effortless to wear and are comfortable against our skin.  Our goal at Eliza Parker is to develop a great fit first.  Then we spend a lot of time thinking about fabrics, colors, prints, and special details and trims.  We want women to wear our clothing and love it.  We develop silhouettes that flatter the curves, pick fabrics that are luxuriously comfortable, and add on-trend details.

Holly: Who is the ideal Eliza Parker woman?

Jessica: I am designing for a woman who is always on the go. Our customer needs great separates for work and party dresses to wear to weddings, cocktail events, and other occasions. She is stylish and loves clothing that fits her curves.

Holly:  What’s next for Eliza Parker? What new colors or designs will we see in upcoming seasons?

Jessica: As always, we draw a lot of inspiration from 1950s and 60s silhouettes — a time when women’s curves were really celebrated.  Customers will continue to see those themes run throughout our collections.  We have some gorgeous new dresses on the way including a sleek colorblock dress, a charming cocktail dress with a touch of lace, and a sexy cowl neck dress

Designer Interview: Curve Friendly Stockings From Erica M Legwear!

I’ve started a stockings collection in the past few months, but some of my favorite pairs come from the creative and sexy Erica M. Legwear. Their designs are innovative and their stockings are incredibly high quality. I’m a huge fan, so I was thrilled when Erica herself agreed to an interview here. On a personal note, their stockings are great for curvier women and they make a very wide size range. I highly recommend picking up a pair when you want a truly sexy stockings option.

Holly: What sets Erica M stockings apart from the rest of the luxury hosiery market? What hole in the market do you see yourself filling?

Erica: I wanted each style from the Autumn Winter 2012 collection to express a sense of versatility with the ability to be worn in various ways according to the desires of the wearer. I foundthat many luxury brands confine the designs to the upper thigh and below. By bringing the design all the way up to the top of each pair, there is always something hidden underneath the wearer’s clothing. You can choose to hide the sexy design details underneath a demure day outfit or reveal the design when paired with a shorter flirty evening look. However, by the end of the night, there are still provocative design details that you can choose to reveal when fully disrobing. I wanted to intensify the coquettish nature of hosiery to the tenth degree by creating hidden details. By doing this, I hope that women will feel sexually empowered when wearing Erica M. hosiery, since they are in control of who they will reveal their sexy secret details to.
I feel like the void in the hosiery market place is that there aren’t many patterned tights that are easy to wear with a plethora of outfits. By having the option of revealing the pattern or not with Erica M. hosiery, I feel you can wear each style with a variety of outfits. For example, the Nadia style can essentially be a opaque tight if you wear a knee length or longer dress or you can expose the pattern if you pair them with shorts or a shorter skirt. Essentially you get more uses out of one pair of Erica M. hosiery, than if you buy a crazy patterned pair that you can only seldomly wear. Versatility is very important to me.

Holly: I love how you’re producing tights and thigh high versions of all of your designs. What made you decide to service both types of consumers?

Erica: Each style directly relates to what you wear them with so I really kept the current clothing trends in mind when designing my Autumn Winter 2012 collection. There are so many unique silhouettes in clothing right now as well as certain trends that directly relate to your undergarments, I feel like women need more legwear options more than ever. For example, sheer clothing is really big right now I thought it would be cute to wear my thigh highs with a pair of hotpants underneath a sheer skirt. Also, I have so many distressed jeans that are strategically or unstrategically ripped, during the colder months I put my thigh highs underneath them. I ideally want to come up with a collection of hosiery where each have unique attributes while still being practical enough that you can wear them with many different outfits.

Holly: What’s next for Erica M? What are your goals for this year and beyond?

Erica: I want to continue exploring different legwear styles that further strengthen my brand message of revealing sexy details at the wearer’s discretion but also start offering different items that fit within the bodywear category. All new styles will continue to be easy to wear but include intricate and sexy details.

Erica M stockings can be found at select retailers (listed on their website), but they also are adding an online store to their site soon!

Artist Interview: Busty Girl Comics

Today I’m interviewing Rampaige, the artist behind the wildly popular Busty Girl Comics! Her comics show the realistic (and hilarious) side of being full busted. To make the comics bigger, just click on the picture!

Holly: You’ve managed to create a really positive community for busty women with your comics. Was that your intention when you set out, or were you just fooling around with a new kind of art medium?

Rampaige: Honestly, I was actually pretty upset one night about where my art was going and my inability to wear a shirt I wanted because the image would distort too much. I started one comic and the ideas just kept coming. Since I started the comics to vent my frustrations, I didn’t want it to be a source of frustrations for other people so I try hard to keep it as positive and inclusive as possible.

Holly: Do the busty girl “problems” you describe come from personal experience or from your readers?

Rampaige: Both! The comics are usually drawn from my own experiences but it usually takes suggestions from readers to get the creative juices flowing. Often when something gets suggested enough that I either haven’t experienced or dealt with recently, I make a point to go out and try it. (Example: I just got back from Yoga. Expect a comic soon.)

Holly: I know you have plans to publish the comics soon. WIll this be an ongoing project or just a one off book?

Rampaige: I fully intend to keep the comics coming and if this first book goes well, I’ll be putting out another book every milestone.

Holly: What have you learned about being busty that you didn’t know before as a result of this project?

Rampaige: Thanks to my readers, I’ve gotten to learn a lot more about breast reduction surgery, busty non-cisgendered people problems, and breast feeding. Since I’ve never dealt with these situations personally, it’s been really wonderful hearing about their experiences. I’m also continually  surprised with how eager everyone is to accept, advise and support one another.

Designer Interview: Large Cup Bras From Louise Ferdinand Lingerie!

I’ll admit, I was pretty heartbroken when Lilly Wiggler Lingerie stopped making her larger cup sizes. Lots of indie designers make full bust friendly pieces, but almost none of them make underwire bras. However, I think that Louise Ferdinand Lingerie may be just the person to fill that gap. Her made to measure line currently ranges from 28D to 38J! Sandra Palmer is the designer behind Louise Ferdinand Lingerie, and is a graduate of the legendary Contour Fashion program at DeMontfort University. I was lucky enough to get her to take some time to answer my questions about her new lingerie line earlier this week.

Holly:  Many lingerie companies are struggling to incorporate larger cup sizes and 28 back sizes, but you’re offering both. What made you decide to work with such a large size range, and what are the challenges that come with those decisions?

Sandra: I offer both the larger cup sizes and smaller backs because I am a fuller busted woman myself and rather selfishly wanted to design and make garments that I could wear! As well as that, I had a lot of requests from family and friends once I had finished my Contour Degree course at DeMontfort University, to produce bras in sizes that were fuller cupped so it made sense to do so.

I’ve had a lot of challenges and have had to trial a lot of different cups and patterns to get the right look and fit! I had to learn to grade my own patterns by hand which is another skill I have acquired on this journey.

To keep costs down at the present because I have such a huge size range I currently make to order.

Holly: Your Classics range presents a very elegant take on every day lingerie. What do you think women want in a basic lingerie set, and how do you incorporate those needs into your line?

Sandra: Women want a basic lingerie set that looks and fits well, is simple yet sexy and can be worn every day. My ‘Classic’ underwear garment is just that, it has classic shaping is chic and effortless. When I designed my 1st ‘Classics’ garment Angelina, I thought about; the cut, shaping, colour, feel of the fabrics and durability without any loss of style.

Holly:  What’s next for you and your lingerie line? What has the response been to your current offerings?

Sandra: I have been very pleased with the positive response I have had toward the Louise Ferdinand Brand. The next stage is for me to build on my current collections. I am keeping my designs as a continuity line with the addition of a few key pieces such as suspenders and 1 or 2 new designs.

I would also like to expand on sales and be stocked in a few shops come next year so that the Louise Ferdinand can be seen by a wider audience.

Louise Ferdinand Lingerie can be purchased through the designer’s website here or through Esty Lingerie.

Designer Interview: Lou Lou Loves You

I discovered Lou Lou Loves You right after becoming a columnist for the The Lingerie Addict, and I’ve been a raving fan ever since. Lou Lou’s designs are right up my alley for a plethora of reasons: they’re girly, dreamy, and are filled with a love of literature and pop culture. I managed to catch up with her last week to talk about her plans for the line, and for her new 101 Dalmatians influenced collection.

Holly: Your lingerie has a literary influence to it, from the Alice In Wonderland feel of the Lux collection to the Le Petit Prince style prints in the Louniverse collars. What sorts of things get you inspired when you’re preparing a new collection?

Lou Lou: Hello!

I am a huge Disney fan and some of the classic Disney movies are things that I watch when I’m thinking of new designs. Loulou was my first collection and was inspired by what Disney Princesses might wear under their dresses, and of course their talent for tieing the perfect bow. Lux was designed with a grown up Alice in mind. When I was working on the new collection Lydia I’d been watching 101 Dalmations but I was also thinking along the lines of espionage & superheros.

I like to think what characters are wearing under clothing. I always watch movies and tv shows whilst sewing so I suppose that will always be filtering in and inspiring me.

Other things that are currently inspiring me are holding hands, desserts, ice cream parlours, heart shaped anything, the eternal ethereal, magic, girlfriends, bad crushes, solitude, daydreaming, sexy sleepovers, California, road trips & being the best version of you possible.

I also always always make something that I would like for myself!

 

Holly:  You’re an illustrator as well as a lingerie designer. Do you feel like this gives you advantages the most designers don’t have, and how do your illustrations influence your lingerie lines?

Lou Lou: I’ve always thought of Loulou Loves You as a creative outlet for me, it’s one of the ways I like to express ideas. Drawing and Painting is another way. Oddly enough it’s very rare that I make sketches for the lingerie styles. I work from my head to the fabric. When I paint I have a different set of projects that I am working through, such as painting many of the new people I met in the past year, painting from favourite movie stills & various doodles of monsters animals and magic.

I am however this season starting to do some illustrations from the AW2012 collections so it will be fun to see how the catwalk looks via my pen!

I think that having a visual mind will always help me as a designer because I am able to dream up an idea and make it. I’m sure most designers have a similar thing going inside their head! I think probably it’s the creating and sewing pieces for Loulou Loves You that has helped my artwork because it’s encouraged me to be more creative, experiment more and got me used to translating the clouds in my brain into something that I love and I hope other people do too.

Holly: What’s next for LouLou Loves You as a brand? What can we expect to see in future collections?

Lou Lou: I’m actually at the start of making a lot of changes to the brand!

I’m opening up the website to include all of my endeavours, from sewing to illustration and keeping a blog for writing that I do.

Lingerie wise I’m going to be making it a lot smaller, discontinuing some older lines and selling a selection of best selling items. I will also be creating one off styles which will sell in very small limited runs. I feel like this will allow me to be more creative and be more exclusive for customers. I’m super excited about this as I have a few pieces I’ve been dreaming up and I like the idea of being able to bring out more items when I choose.

I also trained as a massage therapist last year so that will be something else I am working on. I really like to focus on the individual, helping people feel great, so working through these different outlets keeps my brain active and my heart happy.

I’d love it if anyone who wants to keep up with the changes signs up to the mailing list / Facebook & Twitter as that’s where I will be posting all the news!