Friday Lingerie Lust: Arsenic & Vieilles Dentelles

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A&VD_lingerie_5Arsenic et Vieilles Dentelles is lingerie as second skin. A lovely email from A&VD designer Laure Hurlet found its way to me earlier this month, and I am very pleased to show her debut collection, released in July 2013, on StyleOnTheCouch.

Let us be clear, Blog Reader, when A&VD say ‘lingerie is arsenic’ you know you are in for a collection with deadly appeal.  A small but perfectly formed capsule range of sheer and soft cup bras, briefs and thongs is for women who want to wear beautiful lingerie everyday.  Hurlet believes that through lingerie women can compose, have fun, expressed their personalities and be able to reveal their own sensuality. A perfect match with the ethos of my Friday Lingerie features, A&VD comes complete with a manifesto declaring allegiance to Slow Fashion, based on the principles of sustainable fashion – celebrating unique style and encouraging the education and promotion of responsible consumption.

My favourite piece from the collection is the Dixie Lee Pea brief - a beautiful high waist style made from sheer fabric with button up detail at the back. The collection also includes a cheeky rope tie – a perfect accessory for a wickedly seductive line.

For more information about Arsenic et Vieilles Dentelles click HERE.

Friday Lingerie Lust: Cosabella x Erin Fetherston

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Cosabella_ErinFetherston_BridalLingerieI feel I need to counterbalance the sudden wintry cold here in England, Blog Reader, with the romantic summertime glow of this editorial for Cosabella‘s new collection, a collaboration with designer Erin Fetherston. This new bridal collection for spring 2014 is the brand’s first collaboration. Being a new bride herself and in love with the idea of a bridal trousseau, the line is a beautiful mix of Fetherston’s feminine and ethereal touch combined with Cosabella’s signature mesh.

One of my favorite designs is the soft pink bra and brief (image two).  It looks incredibly romantic yet still sexy and seductive – the sheer floral lace has a smooth scalloped edge that lays flat against the skin and it is accompanied by a silky satin ribbon trim – a balletic flourish of a finish.

It is also a full line of bridal underpinning in a monochrome and candy coloured palette.  Cosabella believe that the collection has provided them with the opportunity to expand their reach by creating the fairytale pieces that brides love so much. After my own wedding in September I know that bridal lingerie can be as important as the wedding dress itself – so any brides out there looking for the perfect luxury fairytale are encouraged to check out this collection when it lands in stores in early 2014.

To see more Cosabella styles click HERE.

Sorry for the late posting this week, Blog Reader! I’ve been away on a training course so there is a lot of writing to catch up with this week. Have a lovely weekend! StyleOnTheCouch xo

Suit Up: The Lingerie Life with That Je Ne Sais Quoi….

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This is one of my more intimate posts, Blog Reader, a look at the life of a lingerie blogger, with the help of my close friend Lindsay of That Je Ne Sais Quoi.  I consider myself to be a fashion blogger first and foremost, but my passion for lingerie and boudoir accessories creeps into the blog each week.  Since I have been lucky to work with some fantastic lingerie brands whom I love to promote because they are close to my own personal style aesthetic, I take a closer step to being a ‘lingerie blogger’ each day of writing.

In this feature, I tackle the issue of what it is to be a ‘lingerie blogger’ and all that goes with it, with a little q & a that Lindsay and I decided to pose to each other for careful thought.  I’d be very interested in your views about this post, Blog Reader, and how you find the way we show and talk about lingerie.

From Sarah, for Lindsay:

Q: What do you most like about being a lingerie blogger? Are there any parts of the role that you don’t like? Or that you find difficult?

A: I love that I started my blog during a time that was really exciting for lingerie. In 2011, innerwear as outerwear started to take over the runways and leather became an even stronger trend. Blogging about lingerie is unique because there aren’t too many voices in that world right now. That being said, it’s a double-edged sword. I have a day job I like very much, and I need to position my blog in a way that doesn’t interfere with that. Lots of lingerie bloggers have remained anonymous, so they have the freedom to post pictures of themselves actually wearing the lingerie. At times, I’m jealous of that, but most often I’m proud that I can own my blog. It’s definitely become an extension of who I am.

Q: You often show yourself in various pieces of lingerie and loungewear on your blog. Usually these pieces are very intimate, how is it for you to be photographed in this way and to present the images on your blog? 

A: The images on my blog look intimate, but I have actually never posted anything that reveals more than a modern bathing suit. And who doesn’t have photos of themselves on the Internet in a bathing suit? I think the way Lydia and I shoot feels intimate because most of my looks are shot indoors, but the bottom line is that they’re actually not all that revealing.

I also have a great relationship with Lydia, my photographer. I trust her and truly believe in her talents.

Q: When people hear the word ‘ lingerie blogger ‘ what do you imagine they think…

A: I’m sure they think all kinds of things. It’s funny – the topics I blog about, mainly lingerie, leather and aesthetic bondage – are considered taboo by most of society. People think it’s unprofessional or uncouth to blog about these things, but when I tell them about the blog in person they’re immediately fascinated. Swift judgment (especially Internet-based) is an interesting quirk of humanity, I think.Also, some people assume I must be DTF because I blog about lingerie, but it’s not like that. I live my life in lingerie, I have an extensive boudoir, and yes, I’m fascinated by bondage, harnesses and leather, but am very loyal to my partner. I don’t understand why promiscuity and a love of lingerie have to go hand in hand. Because of this, I have to be very careful about my image. There are collaborations I will do and ones I won’t do: I’m prohibitively picky and quite a perfectionist. I’d rather take a long time and do something I’m proud of than churn out posts for the sake of posting.Having the blog certainly keeps life interesting. I think it would be a big mistake not to follow my passion for fear of judgment – who wants regrets based around the approval of others? That’s where my only qualm comes from. I think it’s unfortunate how some people are narrow-minded enough to form a negative judgment based solely our societal taboo of lingerie and bodies. On the flip side, and to end on a good note, there are so many wonderful people I’ve met through blogging (including you, Sarah!) who I am  grateful to have in my life. It’s through shared interests, passions and talent that we can make the world more beautiful.

Lindsay’s questions for Sarah:

Q: When did you buy your first harness, and what prompted your interest in them?

A: I bought my first harness from Lascivious, the Aiko harness, about three years ago. I was wearing a lot of black and I was interested in find ways to make a little black dress more interesting, with strong and feminine impact, yet I hated jewellery and wasn’t at all sure what to do.  I found the Aiko harness on the Lascivious website and thought it could be a wonderful piece for both wearing under and over dresses, shirts and the like. I was very much into the aesthetic of leather and strappy things – leather wrap bracelets and strappy shoes – and this harness combined all my favourite things. I wore it all the time and just after that I purchased a leather harness from Fleet Ilya. I now own several, because I think they are a wonderful way to add strength to an outfit; also that dichotomy between feminine and strength is an interesting thing to convey style-wise.

Q: You’ve had some beautiful Instagram posts lately in lingerie – this seems to be the direction lingerie bloggers are going. Do you think we as lingerie bloggers need to show skin to be successful?

A: I do not think that to be a successful lingerie blogger that you need to show skin.  I am of the opinion that the power of the imagination is far sexier than seeing everything raw in the flesh and I want my own lingerie posts to show this. Social media sharing has made it widespread to show near-naked mirror selfies and the like. As women I do feel a responsibility not to add to the sexual objectification of females.  Having said that, on a practical level there is an issue of how lingerie is made to fit the body and can be shown well on the blog and social media. I always pick editorial images over product shots of collections I write about for this reason – lingerie worn is lingerie that is alive and inspires.  I am also of the opinion, like you, that lingerie and the body is a very taboo subject still and I want to challenge that. Good foundations help us feel and to look good and say a lot about our personalities.  I write my lingerie features to empower women to choose unique pieces that reflect their personalities.  But again, I do not wish to show anything more than what a bikini or bathing suit might show.  And not in any way in sexual positions. I want to have fun with lingerie too, and I hope my images reflect that.

Q: Finally, I will pose one of the questions you asked me back to you: what are your favorite and least favorite parts of being a lingerie blogger, and what’s your favorite StyleOnTheCouch post to date?

A: Because so many lingerie brands are small and / or niche brands, I love how often you communicate directly with the designer rather than a PR agency to know more about different designs or collections. Like you I’ve made so many friends in this area, more so than in the area of fashion with StyleOnTheCouch for sure.  That’s a huge bonus of being a lingerie blogger.  My least favourite part? Probably the ongoing battle between how to reconcile this with my professional career because of taboo and judgement.  That and needing a wardrobe for lingerie almost as big as my other clothing :)

In this post: Lindsay is wearing: Hella Block Bodysuit from Playful Promises.  I’m wearing: Black Jack Bodysuit from Clare Bare.  Tune in next week to see our top picks for bodysuits this fall / winter!

Photos by the always amazing Lydia Hudgens.