We’re in March already, so this will be my last article about the Salon International de la lingerie. I am already behind schedule to be honest, 2019 is flying… So today, I want to discuss a few trends, some technical innovations and unresolved issues in the industry I got to notice during my time in Paris.

Lurex and waxed embroidery

Last Summer, I remember seeing Empreinte Ashley collection, which I adored immediately (review to come soon). At the time, I didn’t realize there was a trend going on, but it became obvious last January. Literally every brand I visited had its own waxed embroidery. This new trend gives another dimension to embroidery and I love it. I am always happy to see new textures and this glossy effect is lovely. The lurex thread was also quite present but I somehow just got this photo of this new Elomi Eugénie bra (bottom left corner).

waxsm.jpg
[From left to right: Elomi, Aubade, Adina Reay, Sculptress, Coco de Mer, Gossard, Elomi, Aubade, Bluebella]

Back to basics

Beige and white are making a come back this season. I have to admit that I am not excited about this trend, I really wish brands took this opportunity to create more neutral options that weren’t the same beige we are used to ( no, I don’t think the earth tones trend is enough). So here we are with beige beige and beige. I didn’t feature white lingerie pictures because it didn’t feel relevant but I did see a lot of white lingerie this year. Now can we really say that these colours are making a come back or are they just staying strong in this industry? I don’t know. I was very surprise to see so much beige this year after all the discussions on the necessity for more options of “nude” shades.
nudesm.jpg
[From left to right: Aubade, Cleo by Panache, Empreinte, Adina Reay, Nubian Skin, Fantasie, Cleo by Panache]

Retro graphic art embroidery

I’ll just take a minute to highlight some of the nicest embroidery technics I have seen lately, despite not being sure that they qualify as trendy. I fell in love with this Adina Reay new design (middle picture) as the embroidery is reminiscent of retro black and white comic books images. This is a very special design and again, Adina Reay has created something out of the ordinary in full bust fashion. The coordinate suspender thong is also quite amazing.
Another brand that caught my attention for its embroideries was Aubade. With their collaboration with Victor & Rolf, I had already noticed the use of a laser cut fabric embroidered on tulle, but I loved seeing it again on this other collection. These big black flowers create a beautiful and graphic contrast on the skin. And actually, I think this tulle is sheer enough to suit many skin tones.

[From left to right: Aubade, Adina Reay, Aubade]

Innovation: 

♦Unpadded strapless bras

Now, I know unpadded strapless bras have been made in the past, but it’s true that it is not common yet for full-busted customers. Actually, from my experience unpadded strapless bras used to have a very vintage look or fit (read: pointy).
Last year Adina Reay came out with the Fran multiway bra , which is already available since last Fall. This bra has a very interesting construction and even features boning inside the cups. The size range goes from a 28DD to a 38G. I am super curious about the fit but from what you can see on their model, it seems to give a very round shape. I hope I can try it and review it for you guy by the end of the year as I really need a new black strapless.

Adina Reay Fran multi-way bra

Visiting the Fantasie booth, I came across their new Aura strapless bra, which was made with comfort in mind. This is a three-part bra, featuring padded hooks and eyes and a particularly soft fabric on the inner part of the cups. The size range goes from a 30D to a 36G and you’ll find a beige colorway as well. I am pretty confident that this bra will be a nice new addition to the Fantasie strapless bras family, as the brand has been making some great lingerie for a very long time now. My favorite strapless is their smoothing so I definitely want to try that one. The construction seemed to be strong and reliable, so if it’s really a comfy strapless, that makes it a pretty amazing bra.

Fantasie Aura strapless bra

Diversity on the runway…

Now let’s end this article by talking about some things I found kind of problematic during this trade show. You know I was pretty excited when I got to take the VIP/Press entrance to attend my very first lingerie fashion show. I didn’t even go with the other photographers to try and take my own pictures because I wanted to enjoy the moment.
Anyway, this isn’t about me.

[Photo credit : Salon International de la Lingerie et du Swimwear-Mode City]

The fashion show was very interesting in many ways. I am still not familiar with the way the show organization works, but I was surprised to realize that there was nothing really new with the bigger brands featured. Nothing made my heart beat faster, nothing caught my attention. Eventually one piece or two were different. But well, that’s ok, we know this industry is very conservative so nothing to be so surprised about. I was a bit naive on that point.
Another thing I got to realize was that these lingerie models were not alike Victoria’s secret angels. That is something I noticed in the past at Curve NY but it was even clearer now. They did look a little less conform to high fashion standards, smaller, maybe a little thicker. So, I guess this might count as improvement for some people. Of course, most of them were white, very thin, and small busted. Actually I did not see any black women on the 2 shows I attended to and the only three women of colour were light skin, racially ambiguous with straight natural hair. I mean, there is space for everyone, but I am not blind. Also, that isn’t all.
When the only plus-size model appeared on the runway, people started to clap. After seeing a lot of thin and conventionally attractive women, people thought it was a good idea to clap when this woman arrived. Now I wish I could believe that these claps meant : ” AT LAST SOME DIVERSITY SIL?! FINALLY?!” Though only 1 person doesn’t mean diversity, honestly,  after her I was expecting more, and this didn’t happen. But what I felt deeply was that people were congratulating this plus size woman for being brave enough to walk alone, being so different from everybody else on this fashion show, and having so much confidence. This just felt wrong for so many reasons.

The truth is she shouldn’t have been the only plus-size woman to walk. The Salon International de la lingerie featured several plus size lingerie brands. Not only Elomi. Now maybe these brands didn’t want/couldn’t invest in being featured on the runway, that is a possibility. But come on.

A lot of the brands featured didn’t create lingerie only for smaller cup/smaller bodies even if they didn’t go up a EU 52/UK 26.There could have been other plus size models. There could also have been black women. Their could have been full-busted women. This was seriously disappointing, considering that the them of the show was “Fall in love with yourself” and that they claimed to understand that women wanted to see more diversity and bodies they could relate to. I guess, this is only marketing as often. Hopefully next year it will be a little more than that.

Now, I really loved meeting smaller designers and I did see some great and interesting pieces from them, but yet again, it’s not smaller designers with smaller budget that can solely carry the whole industry and make it better. It’s easy to not take any risk and just capitalize on trends but some people can see through that and it’s not impressive.

Yours truly,

Wen

One Reply to “Salon International de la lingerie: AW2019 Trends and treasures part 2”

  1. I skimmed this post briefly, looking at the photos before reading the text. I was immediately drawn to the Elomi lingerie set being modelled even before finding out that the one Elomi model was the only one who was not skinny. I also liked the look of un-modelled Gossard sheer full briefs.
    The extreme lack of diversity amongst the models both in knicker size, cup size, skin tone and body type is inexcusable and offensive. Limiting of the colour of “flesh tone” lingerie to a light beige also seems to me to be indicative of an all too prevalent level of ignorance amongst designers.
    At least the ornamentation on some of the lingerie sets was pretty. It would be nice if sizes that fit were available to a larger proportion of the population.
    I prefer to see lingerie being available in feminine colour as well, particularly with Spring almost on our doorstep. To me, it’s a delight when some of the beauty nature bestows on the spring flowers blesses the intimate apparel we wear as well.

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