Masters Of… Luxe Lingerie
“Don't save your good lingerie for dates, wear it for you.” ~ Dita Von Teese
Forever muse Dita had a very good point. Replace any preconceived notions that lingerie is solely for seduction with the idea that what you wear underneath should encourage self-indulgence and enhance self-confidence. Whilst they may be an everyday essential, finding your ultimate intimates is about seeking the pieces you really want, not just the ones you need.
To narrow down the search, we’ve curated a selection of feel-good powerhouses in the lingerie space that should be on your radar. Reaffirming the adage that beauty certainly does begin underneath, La Perla, Skin, Agent Provocateur and Isosceles (our favourite new name arriving very soon) are serving up bras, briefs, thongs, shapewear and bodies that look almost too good to hide.
We’re kickstarting proceedings with one of Italy’s greatest exports, La Perla. Boasting a legacy at the forefront of luxury lingerie for over 67 years, and fans amongst the likes of Grace Jones, Cher, Madonna, Beyoncé and Arianna Grande, this Italian heritage label was founded by Ada Masotti in 1954. Since its humble beginnings in a small laboratory in Bologna, this coveted leader in lingerie has risen to world-renowned acclaim thanks to their opulent designs. From the sexual revolution of the ‘70s to the hedonistic heyday of the ‘80s, to the feminine ‘00s and ever-evolving present day, the brand has maintained its effortless, Italian-born sex appeal which remains at its heart today.
True to its roots in Italian craftsmanship, each exquisite bra, brief, thong and corset showcases skillful corsetry and meticulous detailing in silk, lace and embroidered tulle. “Many lingerie brands were communicating through the lens of a man,” CEO Pascal Perrier stated in a recent interview. “Yes, that can resonate, but the La Perla strategy going forward is to serve women, by women, and made by women for women.” Through this dedication to putting women first, La Perla empowers rather than restricts, reminding us how good indulging in beautiful intimates can truly make us feel.
As the well-known maxim goes, you’ve got to love the skin you’re in. New York-based brand Skin makes this a whole lot easier. Expect perfectly-cut basics in pared-back hues, alongside flattering and elegant triangle bras, high-leg and hipster briefs which enhance the natural feminine shape without distracting from it. “We lead such hectic and busy lives. I want to offer the world a soothing palette of clothing to comfort and cocoon in 24/7, no matter what the endeavor,” states founder and designer Susan Beischel. “Our skin is the largest organ of the body. We should address it with luxurious fabrics every day, giving us a platform to feel comfortable to live our best lives.”
Growing up immersed in the natural surroundings of Wisconsin cultivated Susan’s appreciation of pure and natural beauty. Encouraging us to dress the way that nature intended, sustainability and simplicity underpin every Skin collection, made from responsibly-sourced natural fibers. Committed to ethical responsibility, over 90% of pieces are consciously crafted by hand in small-scale, family-owned factories in Peru. Aiming to reduce harmful chemicals within the supply chain, only the highest quality natural fibers and certified organic cotton are used. Feel-good foundational pieces, in every sense.
Fearlessly rebellious, unapologetically sensual and delicately refined, British lingerie powerhouse Agent Provocateur was established by Dame Vivienne Westwood’s son, Joseph Corré in 1994. Debuting in Soho’s decadent red light district, the brand’s avant-garde spirit revolutionised the lingerie world, kickstarting a new era of female empowerment and changing the course of fashion history forever.
Over the years, Agent Provocateur has remained a vanguard of lingerie; using a timeless combination of the highest-quality designs, unrivalled garment technology, and traditional construction techniques reimagined through a future-facing lens. Women are encouraged to explore, embrace and celebrate their sexuality, swapping uninspiring underwear for AP’s effortlessly provocative bras, briefs and thongs.
Body positivity remains at their core; each sumptuous set celebrates the female physique and the brand’s boundary-pushing designs never fail to inspire confidence and sensuality in the wearer. This season they’re reminding women of their bold AP alter ego, with creative Director Sarah Shotton explaining: “This season feeds the craving amongst our community to get back to glamour, get dressed up in gorgeous clothes, and to get inspired again, all the while remembering how to be a strong and fearlessly feminine provocateur.”
Coming Soon: Isosceles
Are you looking to add some spice to your lingerie drawer? Then irresistibly decadent new brand Isosceles is the perfect fit for you. Founder Cicely Travers has long been obsessed with underwear. Believing that beautiful smalls should not be hidden under one’s clothes, the London-born designer frequently wore sexy knickers hiked above baggy jeans growing up, inspired by the early 00s trend for over-the-top lingerie heralded by aforementioned icons La Perla and Agent Provocateur.
Following in her mother’s footsteps (a seamstress who made leotards for the Royal Ballet School) Cicely began with a course in underwear design at De Montfort University in Leicester, a city steeped in lace, lingerie, and hosiery-making history. After graduating, she worked alongside lingerie designer Jean Yu in New York, and in 2014, Isosceles was born.
Moving to Rome in 2019 added a more frivolous side to Cicely’s work. Classic shapes are given unexpected and avant-garde twists, featuring quirky-yet-elegant details. The use of sheer mesh, bright colours and unique panelling draws the eye to the garments, as well as the flattering lines of the body. This is lingerie that’s both for dressing and undressing.
Arriving soon at Browns, keep an eye out for the brand’s retro-inspired bodies, bras, briefs, knickers, thongs and babydoll dresses in candy colour-pop hues.
Words by Sophy Davis Russell
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