For details of the first half of my Fashion’s Night Out journey, refer to the Blog Post “Fashion’s Night Out- In Lingerie Style Part I” dated September 15th. The following notes are from the second half of my “SoHo Lingerie Crawl” on September 8, 2011. I would love to describe every detail of every garment I beheld that night. However, that would be virtually impossible. So I have selected a few key collections to highlight here as a “taste” of my evening. Enjoy!
I left Journelle on Mercer Street and headed south towards Spring Street. I heard squeals and applause as I approached the corner. The NYPD had the street blocked off to pedestrians. I could barely cross to the south side of Mercer Street. I was headed to my next destination, Kiki De Montparnasse. But, apparently the Kardashian’s were making a grand “Fashion’s Night out” entrance into their boutique, DASH, on Spring Street. I was forced to walk a few blocks out of my way to get to Kiki De Montparnasse, but it was well worth it.
Kiki De Montparnasse is an elegant, high-end intimate apparel boutique with a downtown location on Greene Street in SoHo. The store is sexy and sultry. The ambient lighting sets the mood for romance. I felt sexy and sophisticated just walking through the door. I was delighted that the store was virtually empty…. Apparently, I was one of the few people patronizing lingerie boutiques for Fashion’s Night Out! The atmosphere inside Kiki was in complete contradiction to the insanity on the streets just outside their door. I was only a few steps inside the store when I was greeted by a sales associate who was kind enough to point out the latest collection, Le Fleur (new for Fall ’11). This collection exemplifies fine, French lingerie. It is constructed of French Leavers Lace in cross-dyed color combinations. The colors are dusty and muted. Like the colors used by Eniko Bazsa in her line Bazsarozsa, these colors are subtle, sophisticated, and ethereal. Colors include Smoke, Black, and Nude with Periwinkle. The lace is paired with a fine gauge mesh fabric and a delicate picot trim. The details are impeccable. I’ve found that it’s the small details that set apart fine, high-end lingerie from mid-priced, mass-produced intimate apparel. Kiki’s Le Fleur collection is no exception. Body styles include an unlined underwire bra, corselette bra, bodysuit (to die for!), thong, boyshort, cheeky “tanga” bikini, garter belt, and my favorite piece- the high-waisted brief.
Kiki De Montparnasse has also introduced a new color to its Soleil collection. Although the collection is not new, the Ocean Blue colorway is. The Ocean Blue colorway is best described as “almost navy.” It is a rich color with a hint of “bright/light.” They also added their high-waisted brief to this popular collection. The Soleil collection is constructed of a beautiful, crochet-look galloon lace. It is available in black, blush, and now ocean blue. In addition to the high-waisted brief, body styles include an unlined bra, bodysuit, thong, boyshort, cheeky “tanga” bikini, and garter belt.
I am in love with Kiki’s Cashmere Loungewear collection. The cashmere knit is the lightest possible…. It is like heaven- airy, light, soft, luxurious, and definitely special. It is available in black, heather grey and pearly white. They’ve introduced a few new styles in this collection. Styles include a t-back tank top, lounge pants, deep-v-neck sweater, leggings, and a sweater with a large center back opening with an oversized dyed-to-match satin ribbon bow tie at center top back. This collection is pricey but truly unique in its fabrication and unexpected styling details.
I left Kiki De Montparnasse and headed north on Greene Street to La Perla. Some would argue that La Perla Lingerie is the finest in the world. Each season, they introduce unique collections with unparalleled detail. Their Fall ’11 Collection theme is “The Roaring ‘20’s.” One would expect each style to “roar” with flapper-esque influence. However, the collections just subtly hint at that era, capturing only the indulgence, independence and rebellion of a period in history characterized by an economic boom, the cry for liberty, freedom and female equality, and the famed “Flapper” girl who challenged the social norms of the time with her new form of dress influenced by the jazz music of that era….. She danced provocatively, wore (and applied publicly) make-up which had once only been reserved for “ladies of the night,” she popularized the short “bob” hair style, she smoked and drank with the men, she did away with corsets and pantaloons in exchange for breast-binding, and attended illustrious “petting parties” as a means of demanding sexual equality as well.
I was first drawn to La Perla’s new Indiscrete collection. Even the collection name, Indiscrete, suggests a rebellious sexual attitude. Like most of La Perla’s collections, Indiscrete is very seductive in a very tasteful manner. The primary fabrication is sheer, “scratched” tulle with a delicate lurex thread. The tulle is ruched and creates the illusion of an ice castle. This tulle is accented with a dyed-to-match macramé-type embroidery which is patterned as glaciers in my mind. The pattern is very elegant and also incorporates a lurex thread adding to the icicle effect. All styles are trimmed with a silk satin piping or band. One of the key features in this collection is the silk satin covered functioning buttons. The Unlined Underwire Balconette Bra has cups made of embroidery. The cups are then covered with the scratched lurex tulle which is ruched and finally gathered together at the center-front with a functioning button. This styling detail creates a perfect peek-a-boo effect. The collection includes signature logo elastics. I love the Thong which has a ruched tulle waistband which is cinched at center front and center back with satin piping and the bustier has a wide satin band at its hemline. Other styles include a fabulous bodysuit, triangle bra, push-up bra, a retro-style high-waisted brief, and a Brazilian thong. It is available in white and black.
The other collection I was drawn to is the Lulu collection in print. Lulu is characterized by an animal-esque feather print. The printed silk fabric is accompanied by a guipure-look lace in a feather motif and a satin trim. And my favorite detail is the tiny, picot-edge elastic used to finish the garments. The Lulu print is in a neutral grey/black/taupe color combination with black lace and trims. My favorite body style is the Babydoll which has a drop waist with a functioning self-fabric drawstring tie and buckle detail at top strap joins. The hem of the slip is a wide solid black silk band. This style is so sophisticated and elegant that I can imagine one wearing it as outerwear. The Lulu printed Underwire Triangle Bra has guipure-look lace appliqués on the cups, mesh wings, a buckle at center-front, and continuous self-fabric straps. In addition, the Lulu collection includes an underwire bra, bikini brief, and thong.
After leaving La Perla, I decided to pop into Bloomingdale’s on Broadway to say hello to my friend JD Breen, Hanky Panky’s official Glam Guru…. No, really…. Even his business cards read Glam Guru! Hanky Panky was celebrating Fashion’s Night Out on Bloomingdale’s Soho third floor. If you purchased one of Hanky Panky’s Lace Thongs, Hanky Panky provided embellishments for free (on site!) There was a line of women waiting to have the world’s most famous thong decorated with rhinestone placement hearts, stars, initials, etc. It’s always great to see the Hanky Panky team. And saying hello to JD was definitely one of the highlights of my evening.
I bolted out of Bloomie’s to venture back to Mercer Street. By this point, the sun had dropped and the festivities had evolved into a full-blown party in the shops and on the streets. I maneuvered my way back up Mercer Street to catch a quick glimpse of the live model in Agent Provocateur’s shop window. As you can imagine, this drew quite a crowd with flash bulbs illuminating the sidewalk. And the scene inside the store was very alive- everyone was fully engaged in the party atmosphere which had the aire of seduction and sex. Agent Provocateur’s latest collection and ad campaign does not disappoint. Always pushing the envelope, AP’s most recent campaign is the most erotic yet. It is definitely not for the faint of heart. Because of the crowd in the store, I was unable to get a real look at any one particular piece. I made the executive decision to head out (with the intention of going back on another day).
I made another quick stop into Journelle to end my evening where it started. By now, Journelle was packed with shoppers, tourists, and some of my fellow intimates industry professionals. All were admiring the Trunk Shows of Kriss Soonik, Bazsarozsa, and La Fee Verte and appreciating the models that were bringing these collections to life. My Fashion’s Night Out- In Lingerie Style had come to an end. But I took away much inspiration from the various brands / collections and was so excited to be able to share it with you all…. I have to say, I love my job!
Fashion’s Night Out
Kiki De Montparnasse
79 Greene Street
New York, New York
93 Greene Street
New York, New York
Available at Bloomingdale’s
New York, New York
133 Mercer Street
New York, New York
125 Mercer Street
New York, New York