New York is all straight lines, hard edges, glass and steel, clanging, jarring sounds, a towering gigantic inorganic madhouse, right? Until you turn a corner and spot a blooming window box, or see the branches rolling and waving from the rooftop at the Met, or listen to the thundering quiet at the foot of Roosevelt Island, and all of a sudden realize how alive the place is.
Nature appears in such sharp relief to everything else around you that it stands out and is appreciated so much more than in places where it is seemingly nearer to hand. Nature does thrive in New York, and is very much reflected in the work of three lingerie lines featured here today. Three lines you may already know with NYC roots, stems and blooms, lines that make me feel warm, soft and tranquil all over and all under.
These young designers cater to different day parts, night needs and days of the week but have in common an embrace of nature – the natural beauty of the world that surrounds us and the feminine beauty that we walk that world with, even in the most cold hearted, hard edged, crazy-paced place, wherever we are.
Between The Sheets – The Grassy Glade
Layla L’obatti, is a Fashion Institute of Technology grad whose Between The Sheets lines have been winning fast friends since 2009. BTS offers an amazing portfolio for such a small enterprise, bra/panty sets, baby dolls and body suits, cami/shortie sets, lounge pants and robes, 4 seasons and 24 hours, and offered in a wild variety of color palettes, fabrics, and styles. The unifying theme is comfort.
“With Between the Sheets collection, I want to capture the feeling and comfort of being curled up in bed” says Layla, and this is a feeling I love too. My BTS pieces endow precisely that warmth and ease.
BTS very much goes to nature for inspiration. Sleek and soft bamboo wraps, ultra-cool modal bras, airy floral laces. Material selections and fabrication methods that very much take Mother Nature’s unstated and urgent desires for kindness very much to heart. As for our own unstated and urgent desires, BTS caters to them in a playful manner, no pinching and shoving our forms about, elegant draping, smooth lines, pretty flares and gentle elastic embraces – the sexiness is not unstated, just understated, and to me, devastating.
Layla is introducing another facet of nature in her FW13, perhaps a little more predatory and prowling, playful still, but playing for keeps. Gold foil leopard anyone? I can’t wait to see (and wear) the line.
In the meantime, for a closer at Layla, visit Between the Sheets or drop by one of the special boutiques that carry BTS along with other private delights– Sweetest Sin in NJ, Sylene in DC, and Forty Winks in always beautiful Boston.
Lilipiache – The Garden Box
I have written about my love for Lilipiache before. My love grows every day I dress in the these graceful, gossamer goodies. Lilipiache, like so much of the best of NYC is a transplant from far away, blown in on a fragrant breeze and thriving in a vibrant new setting. Two Hayase sisters, joined by a fashion school classmate from their home in Japan weave two themes into each Lilipiache piece.
Flowers. Everywhere, from the name to lace overlays to print patterns, flowers. Natural and whimsical. Subdued and subtle or up front and out loud. Blushing and winking, the whole garden gamut. How we model ourselves on flowers, yes? The flash of color, the come hither look, the captivating perfume, sometimes in the service of fertility always in the service of fertile imaginations. Lilipiache pays tribute to flower power as well as can be done.
Fabric. It is a cliché to say that the Japanese honor tradition and embrace the future like no other people on the planet, but in cliché there typically is truth. Japanese textile science has always been very much at the leading edge for, oh, centuries now. Lilipiache sets are crafted from beautiful bolts from this tradition and sourced as well from other hotbeds of textile love, Belgium and France in particular. Delicate Leavers lace of mesmerizing intricacy and organic cottons with a pliable plush downiness barely there but fully felt are signature elements.
Lilipiache may be close to you. If so, you should get close to Lilipiache. Look here for a local stockist, or visit Journelle from the comfort of your home.
Nevaeh – The Silken Cocoon.
I honestly do not have strong views on the whole afterlife thing, but if there is a heaven (and if we get there) we will be wearing loads of silk. I quietly fear that flats will be standard issue. Wedges at best. Stilettos and clouds probably won’t work. Hmm. So much for my calves, but hey the silk will make up for it, yes?
And on the topic of silk and heaven, an NY friend encouraged me to take a look at Nevaeh. While I was looking, my brain froze as I wondered what the name meant, so dazzled was I by the looks of things that I could not tell that Nevaeh is that cloudy silky place spelled backwards. Duh. But that is the thing about silk, yes? It drapes everything in a romantic haze.
Nevaeh Intimates (pronounced ne VAY ah) is newly on the scene, founded in 2011 by Melissa Franchi, built on a 10 year design and merchandising career and apprenticeship on other people’s dreams and launched for FW12 with a few beguiling, original and contemporary twists on classic, romantic intimate themes.
Dietrich and Garbo inspire the Obsession line. Loads of Art Deco influences, crystal flashes, gauzy and filmy and still clean and linear, structured but flowing, all indulgent glamor. The Fever and Thoughts line feels to me as though the pieces are acting on our obsessions, more provocative, but not explicitly about sex. Think Catherine Deneuve from Belle de Jour.
Silk abounds, embracing the self, ensnaring the other. Silk, like desert, best served for two. Design tweaks include adjustable bra bands (not just the straps), and waist bands, playful ouverte peeks and, and a secret thong pouch for who knows what little surprise you might want to spring at the right moment. These pieces seem to me to leave the important decisions about effect to the woman wearing Nevaeh – coquettish ingénue or DangerGirl, it’s a coin toss and the coin is all yours.
Nevaeh’s full range can be found online here along with the full look book. Or take a few minutes to watch Melissa show and tell here. I will be sure to visit Melissa’s showroom in the heart of the Fashion District later in May when I do my annual intimate splurge in NYC.
If you have another NY lingerie fave that I should look up, please drop a line here.