The cre­ative mind be­hind Val­isère’s sen­sual lin­gerie e on the busi­ness of se­duc­tion. By Cai Mei Khoo.

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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

Hei­drun Kun­zer

Val­isère Spring/ Sum­mer ’14

Corset, Val­isère

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