If you, like me, live on Planet Earth, you are nearly certain to have some IKEA in your life. For 99% of us, that’s about it for Swedish design and retail experiences. I am happy to report that the next youth oriented global brand to emerge from Sweden wants to have a more intimate relationship with you. I am even happier to report that their products do not require assembly. Say hello to Cheap Monday.
Just recently, we were asked to try a few new entries from the Cheap Monday A/W 2012 Intimates Collection and to share the experience with you. Let me conjure a few words about a brand you might not know before I get dressed.
Cheap Monday has rapidly built a rabid following in their native Sweden, the UK and continental Europe on the strength of a skinny stretch jean designed to be worn by much younger, healthier and of-the-moment set than I. The whole idea was to make a little bit of the pricey punk couture experience available to the girl on a budget. Hence the curious name, referring to the budget the girl is on after blowing said budget on a big weekend. The ranges have grown and the idea has worked. Cheap Monday is arguably the first fashion empire created fully in the Facebook era, and speaks the fluid online-always language of the Millennialista fluently. Loads of FB chatter going on amongst a quarter of a million friends just over here. Peace, love, liberation and festival Rock & Roll is the general vibe.
It is true that these days while I lack the energy for Rock & Roll, I still have my pom-poms out for peace, love and liberation at all times. How are these loving characteristics woven into the new intimates collection? General impressions first and then some more detailed notes.
Light. Cheap Monday is featherweight. Lots of stretch lace and microfibers that weigh nothing at all and yet manage to hold shape beautifully. The fabrics breathe.
Ease. Very light on stays and structure, no digging and pinching. Cheap Monday is counting on you to bring your own beauty, to delight in your own shape. You can breathe too.
Color. Muted, soft autumnal crops, mulled and subtle, but with the odd sparkling jewel tone or riot of fuchsia. Stately mostly, but poised always for a radical mood change (pretty much like me).
Quality. Great fabric, microscopically sewn, cleanly finished, ample gussets on the knickers, metal fasteners on the bras. It is clear that Cheap Monday still loves what they do.
Now, to the pieces. Bras first. The Microfiber Tube is my fave. A simple pull-on bandeau, sleek and surprisingly secure for such a gossamer thing. Narrow top and bottom ribbons of gripping silicon help provide good coverage and keep things settled in place. The fabric yields easily and does not leave one feeling compressed and flattened out. Nicest tube I have ever worn.
The Racerback, available in both lace (left below) and micro-mesh models (pictured at top) is a simple breath of fresh air. Fine summer bras, lovely under blousy halters and loose warm weather tops.
The Tie Triangle (just above) is a cute twist on the darted-cup bralette theme. Designed to be worn as a halter tie top, this triangle also fastens either as a criss-cross or traditional bra when the spaghetti straps are pulled through the back band loop. This is a unique design, and while I am not sure that it solves a fashion problem I am ever likely to have, I do so enjoy being the only girl on the block with a solution.
The Mesh Triangle is a near twin of the Tie model, with a broader front band, flat, adjustable straps, and a three column / three row back fasten. There really is a good deal of support here for such a gossamer little number.
On the whole, I am even a little happier with what Cheap Monday serves up from the panty portion of the menu. Style points to our Swedish friends for not resorting to Boy Shorts in their product naming. They are Hot Pantsdammit! Let us not confuse the meaning of getting into boys shorts any more than absolutely necessary please.
So, yes the Hot Pant, again in microfiber and lace models is a sleek veil of comfort with a little come hither appeal. I love the completely darling laughing skull Cheap Monday mascot chappy winking happily from the waist band. He seems very much at home here and is a cheerful little pendant, a private piece of jewelry.
The Brief, Hipster and String Hip all provide good bum coverage, and are similarly fuss free, comfy, and simply wearable. These will be go-to knickers for me.
Nice things all around. Aerie with an attitude. F21 with a fine eye for quality and a positive outlook about 22, 23 and beyond. There is room in my drawers and in the world for this approach.
While Cheap Monday prepares for the bigger bolder invasion of North America (planned for a little later on this summer … I’ll be sure to mention it here), much of the collection can be found just now in a few select venues including Oak NYC and the always reliable ShopBop. Angelinos will be happy to see a Cheap Monday Pop-up shop in open Space15Twenty in September too.
Do a go-see. Please let me know if you are a fan already, and how you are spending your Cheap Mondays.