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!

Want of the Week: “Darling” Multiway Top By Sugarshape

multiway-bh-top-darling-black-front

It’s 30 degrees today, but I’m staying inside and pretending that spring is near anyway. I love spaghetti strap tops, but I hate having my bra straps on show. While I love the Bravissimo halter tops in terms of looks, they don’t come in my size. All of this means that I’m extra excited that the ever innovative Sugarshape has released a multiway top, just in time for the Spring/Summer season. This top can be worn with regular straps, as a cross back, as a halter and even as a strapless top!

multiway-bh-top-darling-black-drunter

These tops have built in bras for shape and support, all sized by Sugarshape’s intuitive measurement system. Instead of cup sizes, Sugarshape uses measurements and sizes bras simply by band and full bust measurement. I’ve tried it before and am a fan.

multiway-bh-top-darling-black-ueberkreuz-hinten

 

These tops come in basic black and white, but I’d love to see them in colors too! How about red or navy, Sugarshape? I’m looking forward to trying one of these later this summer when it warms up, but in the meantime I’ll continue drooling over Sugarshape’s gorgeous new bras.

sugarshape-emmy-buegel-bh-smaragd-editorial-schaukel

Full Bust Bra Review: The Curvy Kate Carmen Padded Balcony Bra Set

Image via Figleaves

Image via Figleaves

Longline bras are taking the full bust world by storm (thank goodness!) but this season Curvy Kate has released one with the best cup size range yet. While Freya, Parfait by Affinitas and Elomi have released several that go to a G cup and H cup, it’s nice to see Curvy Kate extending the style to a large cup market that has desperately been wishing for it. I’m a proponent of the “longlines for everyone” philosophy, so I really hope this means that more companies will be using this style for larger cup sizes soon.

This was the set that caught the eye of most bloggers back when Spring/Summer 2014 previews were released, so I was thrilled when Curvy Kate offered to send me a set to try out. I based the bra size off my Princess size and took a stab in the dark at the panty and garter belt size. I ended up with a UK 16/US 12, which was pretty much perfect.

So how does it look on a real person? Check it out:

Curvy Kate Carmen

 

This set is just gorgeous. It’s supremely girly, but the contrasting accents act as a great palate cleanser when you see it all together. The roses are floral without feeling fussy – this is a great example of how to do florals in a new and exciting way. Other brands, please take note! On a side note, several people have asked about the stockings I’m wearing: they’re Vienne Milano and I love them to death. They’ll get a whole separate review later!

This bra is true to size and I love it, but it’s definitely better suited for full on bottom breasts than full on top breasts. It fits me, but I do have a bit of that orange in the glass effect going on at the bottom. That said, I’ve worn it a ton. In fact, it took me all this time to get the review up because I was washing and wearing it constantly.

Curvy Kate Carmen - back view

 

As you can see, this bra has a real longline band and tons of hooks! It feels secure yet comfortable, like a firm hug.

Curvy Kate Carmen, detail shot

You get a bonus shot of the floral pattern because it is just that pretty. I love it. It really feels like spring to me.

curvykate-carmen-black-boysenberry-padded-balcony-bra-SG2201-thong-SG2202-2-pf

 

If pink isn’t your thing, Curvy Kate will be re-releasing this for Autumn/Winter in this black and bosenberry combination. Guess who will be picking that one up? Yeah, me. It’s rare that I want two colorways of the same bra, but this one is an exception to my rule.

Have you tried the Carmen bra yet? How do you feel about longlines? Let me know in the comments. 

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.

IMG_0372

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.

 

Spring Transition 2014 Preview: IGIGI’s In Full Bloom Collection

Image from IGIGI

Image from IGIGI

You may not believe spring is here, but fashion and clothing companies clearly do! One of the things I really appreciate about IGIGI is how they approach the transitional parts of the year, which can be the hardest to dress for. While you’ve heard my objections to florals for plus size ladies millions of times by now, I think IGIGI’s versions feel fresh and new enough to feel romantic rather than lazy or cliched. It’s a hard line to walk and they’re doing a great job – it is hard to not feel inspired by flowers as spring approaches.

I love this Thalia Gown, but I suspect some readers will disagree. It could look like someone’s couch cushion, but it feels complex and modern to my eyes. I wish I had a need for more special occasion dresses in my life, as I’d truly love to own one.

Image from IGIGI

Image from IGIGI

If you’re more into graphic prints than the girlier side of spring, this Wren Dress is perfect. The red accents really pop against the grey and black background.

Image from IGIGI

Image from IGIGI

This is very close to a previous dress that IGIGI released that I completely loved. This dress makes me want to go have cocktails on the beach or go to an outdoor symphony. It can be hard to do big prints without making the person wearing them look even larger, but this dress is flattering and unusual.

Image from IGIGI

Image from IGIGI

I love green and this wrap dress is adorable. The long sleeves in a brighter color are a nice look for the early parts of spring when we’re still having the occasional cold spell.

The collection is being released in waves and will include coats and separates as well, so go check out IGIGI’s website if you want to see more. In the meantime, let me know what you think of In Full Bloom in the comments!

 

 

Spring/Summer 2014 Preview: “Camp Versailles” by She and Reverie

Image via She and Reverie

Image via She and Reverie

I’m always impressed by how She and Reverie sticks to their core aesthetic while reinventing themselves every season, but I think the new “Camp Versailles” collection takes the cake. It’s also the strongest collection they’re put out to date. Working within their usual pastel color palatte She and Reverie has added a serious injection of kitsch and attitude, all while proving they can make pretty outerwear as well as underwear.

camp-versailles--10--sleepover-hooded-cardigan

Camp Versailles is inspired by what would happen if the Girl Scouts combined with 18th century French opulence, which is perhaps the coolest and weirdest concept for a collection ever put on a website. That said, I absolutely adore this luxurious silk lined hoodie with the little girl scout style patches. It comes in both grey and creme. This would be perfect to layer over a sundress or light skirt in the summer once the sun goes down.

camp-versailles--3b--sixties-sun-top--summer-holiday-skirt

 

Speaking of light skirts, this knee length skirt is perhaps my favorite thing She and Reverie has ever produced. The skirt is made from a silk/cotton blend and features a print that is exclusive to the brand. The print is made out of photographs taken in the summer from around the globe set on a clean white background. I also love that it’s knee length, as skirts from previous collections have been more mini length.

camp-versailles--7b--trianon-gardens-dress

 

The new line also includes two types of dresses that are more outerwear than loungewear. This simple dress has a lovely shape and comes in several different colors. The back is also high enough that you can wear a real bra with it!

camp-versailles--1--meringue-sundress

 

They’re also offering this blousy sundress that comes in pink and creme with lovely ribbon trim. As usual, the lookbook photos are really well done.

camp-versailles--8--meringue-sundress

What do you think of the Camp Versailles collection? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

 

Autumn/Winter 2014 Preview: Curvy Kate

Image from Curvy Kate

Image from Curvy Kate

I’ve always loved the look of Curvy Kate and selfishly, liked them even more after their slight size revamp since I can fit into their bras again! The upcoming Autumn/Winter season shows Curvy Kate doing some genuinely innovative new stuff along with re-releasing some fan favorites in gorgeous new colorways. The whole collection seems smart, carefully curated, functional and extremely fashionable.

If I saw one theme among all of the collections for A/W 2014, it was that full bust companies are embracing babydolls and bra sized camisoles wholeheartedly. Even Sculptresse is offering a fantastic babydoll! Curvy Kate is taking it one step further with pieces like this flirty bra sized camisole set shown above, which I absolutely adore. It’s basic, beautiful and totally unique to Curvy Kate.

curvykate-carmen-black-boysenberry-padded-balcony-bra-SG2201-thong-SG2202-2-pf

 

I loved the Carmen Rose longline set in pink, so I’m glad to see it making a comeback in black and boysenberry. I love the purple accents against the black! This set will definitely be headed for my personal lingerie drawer as well as the camisole set.

curvykate-ritzy-ruby-spice-babydoll-SG2107-thong-SG2102-padded-balcony-bra-SG2101-short-SG2103-pf

I didn’t love the first incarnation of the Ritzy, but I’m also more averse to black lingerie than some people. The red version is totally stunning (can I have the matching shoes, please?) and fans of the shape will be pleased to see it coming back in multiple forms.

curvykate-luxe-biscotti-strapless-multiway-bra-CK2601-short-CK2603-2-pf

 

On a more practical note, I’m pleased and intrigued by this peek at the new strapless/multiway offering. There’s pretty much zero choice out there beyond an H cup right now beyond the Elomi Maria, so it will be nice to see another player try out some new options.

curvykate-wonderland-boysenberry-print-balcony-bra-CK3101-brief-CK3105-2-pf

 

Curvy Kate is also debuting some totally new bra shapes as well such as this Wonderland bra! There will also be more plunges and a return of the Smoothie and traditional Showgirl shapes.

curvykate-lovestruck-dare-starlet

curvykate-smoothie-ruby-and-blush-print-moulded-bra-CK2411-short-CK2403-2-pf

 

Check out the rest of the photos below to see the full line and let me know what you think in the comments!

A/W 2014 Preview: “Carpe Diem (And Love The Night)” by Tutti Rouge

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 3.09.45 AM
While I liked Tutti Rouge their first season, the fit improvements they made this season have rocketed them into my list of favorite brands. Tutti Rouge has a youthful vibe that is fun and flirty and their bras feel far more expensive than they actually are. At this point they’ve even surpassed Cleo, my previous favorite youth oriented budget brand. Part of their strength is something other brands should pick up on: they offer lots of different styles of panties to go with each bra. Whether you like skirted panties, the tiniest of thongs or garters, you can find them at Tutti Rouge.

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 3.09.30 AM

 

While “Carpe Diem” is inspired by the night, I would argue the lookbook has some clear vampire references as well. The whole thing makes me want to break out the bright red lipstick. That said, all the Tutti Rouge signatures remain: laces, luxe satin fabrics and lots of choices that help you build your perfect set.

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 3.09.11 AM

 

While I like the Kitty Bra in magenta, it’s the navy blue and black version that really grabs me.

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 3.11.35 AM

 

I’m not a huge fan of animal print lingerie, but this Mercy set may have changed my mind. It’s unconventional, fun and check out the back!

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 3.11.54 AM

 

While it’s hard to pick a favorite from this season, this set will definitely be headed towards my lingerie drawer once autumn hits.

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 3.11.06 AM

The Liliana (which I loved the shape of in the first season) is back in several new colors which will make lots of customers happy. I really like the red version shown here.

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 3.09.56 AM

 

The contrasting colors on these Nichole bras is super cute!

The full lookbook is below if you want to check out all the details:

A/W 2014 Tutti Rouge "Carpe Diem" Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 3.09.11 AM Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 3.09.30 AM Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 3.09.45 AM Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 3.09.56 AM Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 3.10.11 AM Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 3.10.42 AM Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 3.10.55 AM Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 3.11.06 AM Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 3.11.35 AM Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 3.11.54 AM Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 3.12.07 AM Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 3.12.18 AM

 

What do you think of the A/W Tutti Rouge line? Do you love any particular set in it?

Autumn/Winter 2014 Preview: Sculptresse

 

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 4.50.58 PM

I loved the way Sculptresse’s bras fit and felt during their first season, but the design details felt a little safe. If there was some kind of award for most improved brand for Autumn/Winter, Sculptresse would win it in a heartbeat. The brand has gone from a speciality plus size brand to a brand that makes women in multiple size ranges say “I want that bra.” At this point, Sculptresse is doing more than filling in a sizing hole – they’re making a fierce fashion statement. Plus size women have been looking for a brand to take on Elomi for a long time and finally someone has stepped up to the plate.

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 4.51.32 PM

The Chi Chi bra above is a whole new look for the brand! I love the leopard print in the unconventional colors as well as the shape. I will be taking this one for a spin.

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 4.51.46 PM

 

The second piece I’m seriously coveting is something I never thought I’d see from Sculptresse: a gorgeous babydoll with beautiful butterfly embroidery and sheer top panels. This whole thing is just perfection. If you’re not into babydolls, there’s a bra and panty set version as well. It’s called the Paradise, which seems pretty fitting to me.

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 4.51.14 PM

 

This floral May set is retro and fun, although not quite as shockingly different as some of the others.

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 4.51.58 PM

 

The Flirtini is another new style that oozes retro charm. This will be perfect for those who are less fond of frilly lingerie and more into graphic prints and patterns.

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 4.52.22 PM

 

Even the more basic pure lace line is showing some color! While white and beige will still be offered, this purple/pink set has been added as well.

What do you think of the new look of Sculptresse? Let me know in the comments! I’m counting the months until the Chi Chi and Paradise babydoll are released, honestly.