We nearly missed our Glamour Longline Bra in this weeks Look magazine. Thanks to Sarah Bowerman for pointing it out to us!
Our Longline Bra is designed to be worn as outerwear as much as underwear. The satin looks great peeking out from under cardigan tied at the waist, ’50s style. The cups of our longline bra are designed to give you that retro pointy look, whilst the longline shapes your torso to the waist.
A few years ago we were lucky enough to shoot Miss Polly Rae at The Gore Hotel in South Kensington, London. If you’re looking for a luxurious hotel, with a certain quirkiness, close to all the museums The Gore is the place to go. Whilst flicking through September’s Cosmopolitan I immediately recognised the setting of The Gore, way before I noticed our Morticia Underbust Corset!
Our Morticia Corset is our best selling underbust corset. A lot of ‘off the peg’ corsets are cut very straight up and down, which is fine if you’ve got a boyish figure, or just want something affordable to wear to your local burlesque club - if you want the look of a definite corseted figure you need to look a little further. Morticia is cut with the curvier girl in mind, one with a vintage figure with a vintage hourglass shape. Morticia emphasises your curves without putting undue pressure on your ribcage or hips. Like all of our corsets it can be classified as ‘handmade’ as it is made by one highly skilled corsetier from start to finish.
Last in our trio of product sneak previews comes our new Catherdral boned bra. We’d already introduced Cathedral boning in our Cabaret Torsolette and after working with more modern inspired underwired bras wanted to work on a ‘proper’ vintage piece. The idea behind Cathedral boning is that the bones support the sides of the breasts coaxing them into that pushed up, defying gravity, 1950s shape you often see on vintage strapless dresses and swimwear.
I put off working on the bra for a couple of days as I was convinced it was going to be a complete waste of time, that there’s no way we could get a great fit, after all the vintage sample we were working from was rather suspect. Geared up by the success of our Cone Bra one morning we decided to take the plunge, and it worked. First time! The picture below shows our first rough attempt and since then we’ve played around with contrast spiral stitching on the cups which really make them pop, and added shoulder straps - Cathedral boned bras tended to be strapless in the 1950s and didn’t hold up very well - I wanted ours to be worn without the worry of any droop.
The finished version will be available SS13.
We’ve been eagerly awaiting the screening of ‘The Bletchley Circle’ which starts on ITV (UK) at 9pm tonight. The murder mystery series is based in 1952, and unlike most crime series, the main characters are women (the fact that they’re clad in What Katie Did Retro Seamed Nylons and lingerie is an added bonus!)
The second of our sampling sneak preview - but you won’t have to wait very long for this one as we love it so much we’re going to launch it in November!
Whilst our bullet bra is fabulous for a 1950s silhouette sometimes it can be a little too fabulous if you get my drift! I’ve been thinking about revisiting our old Maitresse soft cup bra, but wanted to make it just a little more interesting. I found a plain white cotton bra with vertical stitching coming out from the centre of the cup and you know what? It fitted like a dream. We made it in black satin and the sample below actually has a slightly padded cup, but it was still very pointy. We finally made it without the padding and it has an amazing fit, a definite retro shape, but isn’t too point to wear every day.
I really can’t wait for this one to arrive!
Continuing with the factory theme - here’s a little preview of what I worked on during my last visit. I always keep a scrapbook and sketchbook for anything which might be of interest. You never knwo where inspiration will come from, and sometimes I don’t work it out until after the product’s been released! The picture of the vintage bikini is something that I’ve wanted to work with for a couple of years but I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do with it.
After working on our current SS12 swimwear I wanted to continue with the contrast fabrics and came up with the idea of adapting the bows from last year’s Black Tie Swimsuits to make a peephole bikini which were very popular in the 1950s. This was our first attempt and I’m afraid I can’t show you finished product at this point but it gives you an idea of how it turned out.
Swimwear has always been very difficult for us as in India, where we manufacture, people don’t swim. This means that swimwear fabric has to be imported. We use fabric by an Italian company which is one of the best on the market. All the fabric is tested against chlorine, salt water and UV rays and is designed for serious swimming. However, it comes at a serious price, and the price of our swimwear has always been something we’ve had concerns about. One of our goals this year was to find a cheaper supplier. We did have a meeting with a Chinese supplier whilst at the factory but he said that he didn’t advise different colours were put together as they would run! Wholesale manager Richard spent a lot of his time at Mode City lingerie trade show in Paris last month looking at numerous swimwear fabric suppliers and couldn’t find any cheap fabric that he’d be happy working with.
So there you have it: whilst we’d like to make our swimwear a little cheaper we would have to compromise on quality and that’s really something we’re not happy doing.
All of our lingerie is eithically manufactured in India. We’ve used the same factory for over a decade now and you can find out more here. Here I am taking a break from sampling in June 2012, to show you what goes in to our Glamour Underbust Girdle.
We use spiral steel boning in all of our shapewear and corsets as it keeps it’s shape far better then the cheaper plastic version (we do use plastic boning in our cathedral boned bras as they aren’t designed to bend). We use various different weights to suit various jobs - just because it’s lightweight doesn’t mean it’s plastic! The company that makes the boning for our lingerie have been in business for hundreds of years, supplying boning to Marie Antoinette and Queen Victoria! Theyhave a factory in Sri Lanka, where a huge amount of lingerie is manufactured, which means we don’t have to ship components half way across the world and back.
The lighter weight bones on the left are the ones we use in the tummy panel of our Glamour Underbust Girdle and are positioned either side of the satin front panel. The boning ensures the girdle stays in place and doesn’t roll down.
To get a really tight fit our Glamour Underbust Girdle incorporates a hidden zip to one side which covers hook and eye fastening. The hook and eyes allow you to squeeze yourself in, whilst the zip gives a really smooth line. Add to this a double layer of powermesh, you’re well and truely (and comfortably!) shaped for the day.
PS. My dress is by Bernie Dexter!
Would you believe it’s nearly time for the launch of our AW12 collection? I’d like to invite you to our launch party which takes place in our London boutique on Sunday 9th September.
This time around we’re pushing the boat out a little. Not only will we be showing AW12, but we’ll also be giving you a preview of SS13. Our team of London burlesque beauties will be showing off our lingerie and corsets whilst The Vintage Patisserie will be on hand to keep your teacups filled (they’ve actually taken over the catering this time as we ran out of gin for the 2 previous shows and obviously can’t be trusted).
Where: What Katie Did, 26 Portobello Green, 281 Portobello Road, London W10 5TZ (boutique tel 0845 430 8943, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
When: show starts at 3pm, but gin will be flowing well before then!