Earlier this week The Lingerie Collective hosted it’s AW13 lingerie trade event in the heart of London’s Soho at The Vinyl Factory. The trade show took place over the span of three days, Sunday January 13th to Tuesday January 15th, with a networking event held Monday evening. Brands big, small, known, and starting were in attendance, thirty-five in all. For a full list of the exhibitors check out TLC’s London AW13 exhibitor page.
I was lucky enough to make it to the trade show Sunday afternoon. Exhibitors were set up in a racetrack formation to allow buyers and press to easily tour the space. Even though the temperature remained quite chilly from the door constantly being opened and closed, designers and brand representatives cheerily met with me to run through their AW13 collections. Scroll down for an overview of several of the exhibitors.
One of the first brands on my list to visit was Claudette. There I saw saturated pops of color along with a playful snakeskin print added to the Dessous mesh range. A particularly eye catching set included a pair of pink and black accented high-waisted suspender briefs and unlined bra. It is clear that parts of the collection take their inspiration from retro glamour but also clean and contemporary aesthetics. A range of satin pieces in more muted tones caught my attention when I found a bra with beautiful covered buttons that could be opened at the wearer’s discretion and a pair of cream snakeskin ouvert briefs. Claudette’s AW13 collection illustrates the brand’s flexibility, showing it can be both modern and playful as well as luxuriously sophisticated.
Over at Marika Vera I saw the innerwear as outerwear trend embodied in unique sheer pieces. For this season the brand plays with the layering of sheer fabrics to accentuate certain areas of the body while leaving other areas completely exposed. Skirts and teddies are crafted with ready-to-wear details giving them more versatility. The color palette for the AW13 collection titled ‘Outside the Bedroom’ comprised of black and ivory. Marika Vera also showed a pink and scarlet range called ‘Welcome to the Rabbit Hole’ created for Valentine’s Day inspired by Queen Elizabeth I.
Marlies Dekkers certainly had me head over heels in love with the pieces in its AW13 collection (too bad they won’t be available for purchase for quite some time). The collection was inspired by the Mauritshuis, a private home turned museum, known for its famous array of Dutch paintings from the Golden age. The range comprises of three styles: The Maruritshuis in black marble and white marble; Art & Armour in midnight navy, silver grey, and ocean black; and Johan Maurits in majestic black and royal blood. Beautiful jewelry grade chains and elephant metal ornaments adorn many of the pieces and create an air of elegance and royalty. Keeping with what the brand is known for, I saw many of the pieces feature intricate strap cutouts on the fronts and backs of bras to allow them to be showcased through clothes.
Italian brand Parah proved to be quite unique. Much of the AW13 collection entitled ‘Rive Gauche’ comprised of bras with looped and geometric lace overlay and pieces with sheer paneling and line detail to draw the eye. Different yet sophisticated were the words that immediately came to mind.
Always a fan of loungerie, I headed over to Kriss Soonik. Amongst the hanging garments I saw bold red mesh shirts and one pieces, bralets and babydolls constructed out of green lace overlaid on shimmery gold fabric and a collection of black, red, and tan velour robes. The iconic wing lace cutout robe was updated in red for the coming season. What really had me intrigued were the editorial pictures for the new collection. The first set of images feature a model in samurai gear posing next to a very photogenic black cat (who happened to be owned by the studio and decided he need more publicity). The other set of images uses the model’s body as a landscape for a mock fight between Lego samurai. I had to chuckle at this because it was all too perfect for the message Kriss Soonik was trying to convey.
Les Jupons de Tess
You can never have enough lace, and that is exactly what I saw at Less Jupons de Tess. Featuring a color palette of purple, navy, cream and black, key styles included long sheer lace slips, high collar lace shirts, exquisite lace bras with covered buttons, and a black high-waisted brief with suspenders.
Lascivious certainly did not disappoint at The Lingerie Collective trade show. Their AW13 collection was inspired by a legend from the East of a dragon that spits jade. As is such, they had a jaw dropping jade/turquoise bra, thong, and harness set featuring thoughtfully placed cutouts and strappy details. Other pieces that stood out were a black velvet and sparkly sheer play suit and a line of rose gold accessories. My particular favorite was the ring chain bracelet.
New to the trade show was Darkest Star, an erotic chic brand showcasing pieces that hide their true nature to the uniformed. Many of the pieces can be worn out, such as with the collared scarf. It can be draped in a multitude of ways and belted to appear as a fashion piece but once at home it turns into the ultimate sexual tool. The designer Sam Cook also showed me a line of pleasure pillows that can sit in the open appearing innocent but at night turn into blindfolds and restraints.
Something Wicked is a brand that launched in October. The collection includes sophisticated soft-core bondage inspired lingerie. It is perfect for the woman who needs a stepping-stone into the world of BDSM. Many of the bras and briefs have cutouts and strap details that are erotic in nature. The company also offers a great line of accessories such as harnesses and leather handcuffs that can double as fashion statement bracelets. For AW13, Something Wicked showcased teddies and bras in lilac and maroon tones to accentuate the all black classics range. All of the pieces are sourced and produced directly in the UK.
Overall my day at The Lingerie Collective trade event resulted in me meeting dozens of sweet, enthusiastic lingerie lovers. It was like being a kid in a candy shop perusing through display after display of bras, briefs, thongs, playsuits, lounge wear, and accessories. Check back soon on TLJ for my analysis of the key trends for AW13.