The creative mind behind Valisère’s sensual lingerie e on the business of seduction. By Cai Mei Khoo.
Valisère’s talented head of design talks sex appeal
What do you love most about designing lingerie?
The challenge of designing. There is added difficulty in making two relatively small pieces of garments as attractive as outerwear where fewer boundaries exist.
Personal sources of inspiration?
Ideas are everywhere. Creativity and in turn, design, needs to be inhaled and lived. Your daily life should inspire you.
So what inspired Valisère’s Spring/ Summer ’14 collection?
Dior’s New Look, shine-effect yarn on matt embroidery to create the effect of sparkling water droplets in the morning sun, millefleurs, a potpourri of summer flowers preserved in a glass bottle, and vintage napkin embroidery in high tea pastry shades such as whipped cream, mocha delight, and Bourbon vanilla – simply delicious!
Key trends this season?
There is a true retro-inspired d series, using embroidery that reflects vintage cotton crochet borders on linen napkins. French knickers and bow curves are significant. There are also two-tone stretch laces in old rose, nougat, and porcelain, embellished with h 3D embroidery, Swarovski i crystals, and flower appliqué.
And your favourite?
A sexy, non-padded, soft balconette bra from the Limited Edition collection, made from a very exclusive material from Europe with a two layer appearance.
Materials you love to work with?
Velvet for winter, chiffon and satin for spring. I like super fine lightweight laces, too.
We’ve noticed that lingerie always returns to lace. Why?
Lace and embroidery are synonymous with luxury and instantly lend a touch of exclusiveness. The sense of sensuality is heightened when lace is combined with materials such as pleated chiffon, silky satin, or opulent brocade.
Shapewear continues to be increasingly popular. Will more traditional corsets phase out?
I think modern shapers will eventually take over. They’re both functional and fashionable, as opposed to being purely functional like corsets.
Essential items every woman should have?
Excellent underwear is the foundation of every outfit. Therefore, a woman needs a variety of bras and briefs to suit her h every mood.
What’s the most exciting piece you’ve designed?
A vintage corset, including crinoline, made for our 125th anniversary. It was a heavily constructed piece with bones for traditional push-up effect and shape control, and taped criss-cross back closure for size adjustment. It was decorated with trimmings, lace, and flower motifs taken straight from the court of Marie Antoinette. It was sweet seductive sexiness in powder pink and black.
If cost or practicality were no issue, what would a dream piece for Valisère look like?
Either a showpiece that showcases classic haute couture sewing techniques, which add finesse to all details in the finished piece, or a bra and brief in an outstanding design, which feels like you’re not wearing anything at all yet provides the best support for each individual body shape. Perhaps even something you can 3D-print or make adjustments to by logging in online and updating your details.
Valisère Spring/ Summer ’14
Valisère Spring/ Summer ’14