Playful Promises Blog

www.playfulpromises.com

The Playful Promises Blog covering all things knicker-related! Bras, girdles, corsets, panties, knickers, gstrings, thongs, longline bra, bra sizes, la bra, suspender belts, garter, dresses, clothing, boutique, stockings, seamed stockings and more!

Designing Peek & Beau - by Emma

Peek & Beau started off when we at Playful Promises recognized a gap in the market for alternative lingerie. The popularity of our Magdalene set with its kitsch, tongue-in-cheek naughtiness sparked this idea for me to create a mini-brand that encapsulated this darker side of Playful Promises.

Many of the Playful Promises customers are somewhat led by alternative fashion, so creating a line specifically for this audience was a natural transition from our usual feminine flirtatiousness into an edgier - but still as quirky - range. Myself being somebody who crosses from mainstream fashion into counter-culture, I also wanted to create products that people like me would want to wear.

‘Attire to flaunt’ being the tagline for the Peek & Beau line was also very important, as we noticed an influx of alternative fashion and using lingerie as outerwear, so designs that lent themselves to this way of styling was paramount to the design process.

Peek & Beau is heavily influenced by the macabre; tarot, the occult, religious iconography, horror B-movies, gothic architecture and retro fetishism. We often look to couture designers that use similar inspirations such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen, Iris Van Herpen and Givenchy, as well as photographers such as Tim Walker, Nick Knight, Mert & Marcus, and Paolo Roversi.

For the 2016 collection, we went to LA to shoot with alternative model Demon Puff AKA Tilly Dinmore. Tilly encapsulated everything we wanted the mini brand to represent – somebody who follows alternative fashion, is quirky and cute, and is also influenced by retro fashion, just like we are at Playful Promises. 

Look out for more from this collection in August, but in the meantime, you can shop these new looks at www.playfulpromises.com!

Interview with Competition Winner Louise Strudwick

Last year, we set a brief for a SS'16 mini-collection, calling for students and recent graduates to send in their designs based on the SS'16 trend forecast: Sartorial. We felt this trend encapsulated the Playful Promises brand with it mixture of femininity and dark detailing, and we wanted designs that could be considered contemporary classics.

We selected the winners back in April last year, and now the winning designs are available to purchase on our website. We wanted to chat to our winners about how they came up with their design, lingerie, and what's next for them! This week, we talked to Louise who created a Bettie Page-esque, bondage-inspired design.

Louise's Winning Design

Louise's Winning Design

 

Firstly, tell us about your winning design! Which direction did you decide to take the initial brief?

 I interpreted the brief by starting off with retro style lingerie shapes, and to keep it modern and on trend I added in subtle bondage inspired details such as the peep-hole cut outs and satin strapping, which I felt would also tie in with the classic Playful Promises ‘cheeky’ look.   

Louise's Winning Design

Louise's Winning Design

 

 When it comes to your work, where do your usually look to for inspiration? And how would you define your style?

 I usually start by selecting a muse, an inspirational female figure or I imagine and illustrate what my ideal customer would like and I start designing from there, introducing elements from trend research. I would say my style is ‘modern day pin up’, with a high contrast graphic edge, and always with a bit of kink!

Moodboard by Louise

Moodboard by Louise

 What drew you to lingerie?

 I’ve always been about body positivity and for me lingerie is a platform in which the wearer can express their true personality and connect with themselves without outside judgement. I love that lingerie is intimate and personal, and can instantly alter how you feel. 

Designs by Louise

Designs by Louise

 How did you begin designing lingerie initially and what made you decide to study contour/lingerie design?

 I came from a heavily art background, and was always interested in studying the female form and frequently attended life drawing sessions, my art is always focused around the female form. When I did my art foundation course I went down thefashion route and found myself creating body pieces and lingerie inspired garments, it all came together quite naturally! I had my eye on the contour lingerie design course since I was around 15/16 so it was always something I had aspired too right from the beginning.

Louise's design for her brand Victory Doll, available to buy on Etsy 

Louise's design for her brand Victory Doll, available to buy on Etsy 

 

What’s next for you in terms of your future as a designer?

 I will be graduating in July, and from there I am looking to work with lingerie companies to gain more industry experience and once I've built up my professional career I am hoping to launch my own brand ‘Victory Intimates ’, which I am currently working on for my Final Major Project. I am also currently selling my work on Etsy, which I hope to keep going as a side project whilst I'm gaining experience. ( You can find Louise's work on Etsy here )

 

You can purchase Louise's design here, available in sizes 32B - 36D / XS - XL

Interview with Competition Winner Caro Elenowitz

Last year, we set a brief for a SS'16 mini-collection, calling for students and recent graduates to send in their designs based on the SS'16 trend forecast: Sartorial. We felt this trend encapsulated the Playful Promises brand with it mixture of femininity and dark detailing, and we wanted designs that could be considered contemporary classics.

We selected the winners back in April last year, and now the winning designs are available to purchase on our website. We wanted to chat to our winners about how they came up with their design, lingerie, and what's next for them! This week, we talked to Caro who created a zodiac-inspired, strappy design.

Caro's Winning Design, Now Available to Pre-Order!

Caro's Winning Design, Now Available to Pre-Order!

Firstly, tell us about your winning design! Which direction did you decide to take the initial brief?

My initial design is inspired by the night sky and the print design is actually derived from a 1614 print of the signs of the zodiac. I wanted to combine the strappy, bondage-inspired aesthetic with the idea of sparkling stars. 

Caro's Design for Our Competition

Caro's Design for Our Competition

 

When it comes to your work, where do you usually look to for inspiration? And how would you define your style?

 I generally start from either a piece of art or some sort of natural phenomenon that inspires me first, but I try to combine different ideas in an unusual way in order to get something unique. I also love looking at vintage fashion because there is so much rich history to draw from there. My style is mostly pretty feminine and whimsical, but I like to include some bolder, sculptural elements to break it up.

Caro's Gown Design Illustration

Caro's Gown Design Illustration

 

What drew you to lingerie?

I love lingerie because it is such a detailed piece that can really change the way you look at your body if it fits you perfectly, both literally and stylistically.

 

Caro's Gown Design Illustration

Caro's Gown Design Illustration

How did you begin designing lingerie initially and what made you decide to study contour/lingerie design?

A fascination with the design of lingerie was the first thing that made me realize that fashion was something that really interested me. I actually never formally studied lingerie design-- I got my degree in fashion design from FIT after I had already graduated with a degree in English Literature and had been working in PR. I just knew I needed to do something where I could be creative and I just fell in love with the complexities of fashion. 

 

Caro's Gown Design

Caro's Gown Design

What’s next for you in terms of your future as a designer?

Since submitting to this contest, I have actually started my own label of luxury evening gowns, based in NYC. One thing I'm really excited by is the potential of using technology in luxury, so laser-cutting is a big part of my debut collection. [You can view Caro's designs here.]

 

You can purchase Caro's design here, available to ship from the 7th April and in sizes 32B - 36D / XS - XL

Interview with Competition Winner Charlotte Holkham

Last year, we set a brief for a SS'16 mini-collection, calling for students and recent graduates to send in their designs based on the SS'16 trend forecast: Sartorial. We felt this trend encapsulated the Playful Promises brand with it mixture of femininity and dark detailing, and we wanted designs that could be considered contemporary classics.

We selected the winners back in April last year, and now the winning designs are available to purchase on our website. We wanted to chat to our winners about how they came up with their design, lingerie, and what's next for them! This week, we talked to Charlotte who created a dark, floral design with a classic silhouette.

Charlotte's Winning Design, Now Available to Pre-Order!

Charlotte's Winning Design, Now Available to Pre-Order!

Firstly, tell us about your winning design! Which direction did you decide to take the initial brief?

It was important for me to follow the designer handwriting of the Playful Promises brand, to create something I knew the customer would enjoy and would compliment their other products. I admire how Playful Promises create commercial lingerie which pushes boundaries with print, contemporary shapes with retro influences to create something unique and bold. The competition brief stressed the importance of print design to the company, and this is a factor of design I am very interested in exploring myself. I wanted to explore colour and graphic shapes through photographic print, distorting some floral photographs I took myself, the purple colour I chose is very complimentary to a range of skin tones. My set was very much influenced by retro shapes, with high rise briefs and a suspender belt. I wanted to push this design into a contemporary direction with mesh layering on the cups and insert panels. 

Charlotte's Design for Our Competition

Charlotte's Design for Our Competition

 

When it comes to your work, where do your usually look to for inspiration? And how would you define your style?

I am inspired by a variety of influences, particularly high fashion designers, films and decades of style. I have always been interested in vintage clothing as I enjoy the novelty quirks and design details, I have always found wearing vintage to be more fun! I particularly admire the work of Heidi Slimane at Saint Laurent, and Miuccia Prada. They find exciting ways to bring retro influences into a modern perspective, creating strong personas in their collections. I also draw influence through painting and photography, which are fields I have studied. I like to collaborate my interests in my collections, for my final university project I have been making abstract paintings of Gaudi's architecture in Barcelona, as the lively atmosphere of the city is something that cannot be captured through photography alone. I have also done a project before based on some pinhole time lapse photography I had taken, called 'solargraphs'. The colours and movement in the photographs came out beautifully and I had to translate them into garments.  

Charlotte's Corset Sketchbook

Charlotte's Corset Sketchbook


What drew you to lingerie?

In the past few years there has been a massive rise of popularity in the lingerie market, with exciting independent brands pushing the boundaries of design, and how we see the female body. Around this time I found the Contour Fashion degree at De Montfort University, and my determination to make it onto this very competitive degree program led me to discovering the diversity of lingerie design. I am a massive lingerie hoarder, I don't like to think about how much I own but it is definitely above average, I love the way that lingerie can be worn as a statement, mixed and layered with sheer outerwear, or as a very personal garment. 

Charlotte's Corset Sketchbook

Charlotte's Corset Sketchbook

How did you begin designing lingerie initially and what made you decide to study contour/lingerie design?

I could not decide on a university course at all, I was very fine art based up until applying to university and was considering this at degree level. When I came across the Contour Fashion degree at De Montfort University It felt like the only course I had seen that made sense for me, and from that point I concentrated my efforts into building a portfolio for the course. I had always loved lingerie and fashion, working on commercially viable and luxurious garments with more of a technical approach was more exciting to me than studying fashion. I am now in my third year of study and I have learnt so much in my time at university, the teaching has been excellent and has exposed me to many aspects of design, production, business and the industry. 

 

Photo from Underlines Magazine Photographed by Sean Goldthorpe and Lingerie by Charlotte Holkham

Photo from Underlines Magazine

Photographed by Sean Goldthorpe and Lingerie by Charlotte Holkham

What’s next for you in terms of your future as a designer?

At the moment I am focusing on trying to survive my Final Major Project, which is proving to be very challenging! I have just had my catalogue photo shoot with my first garments and I am extremely excited to start on the rest, although this does involve 12 hour days, it will be worth it in the end! I will be graduating this summer and will be looking for jobs/placements after a much needed break.

You can purchase Charlotte's design here, available in sizes 32B - 36D / XS - XL

 

The Vibrant World of Russian Folk Art

Russian Folk Art gives us an insight into the ideologies and history of Russian culture. Russia is well known for its contributions to folk art, the most widely recognised being Matryoshka’s (or Nesting Dolls), which are signature figures of Russian art and craft. However, Russian folk art features a variety of characterful crafts, such as embroidery, lace-making, painting, prints and beading – all of which are of interest to us at Playful Promises! Their crafts are known for being whimsical, vibrant and surreal.

Our Playful Promises Sasha set, inspired by Russian Folk Art

Our Playful Promises Sasha set, inspired by Russian Folk Art

If you hadn’t already noticed, unique florals are kind of “our thing” at PP, and naturally Russia’s vibrant paintings of flora are what we’ve looked to for inspiration behind our Sasha set. Russia has many different types of painting and craft techniques which include florals. One of which being Khokloma, which originated in the 17th century in the Nizhni Novgorod province, which at the time was just recovering from the damage caused by the Mongol invasion. Here, surrounded by woodland, there was an abundance of wood and many began to master the art of wood-work. The crafts were then varnished and decorated in gold and painted with floral patterns.

Golden Khokhloma hand painted decorative plate

Golden Khokhloma hand painted decorative plate

Khokloma art generally features red, gold and black – and these colours bear a profound symbolism for the decoration of churches, as well as decoration on eating utensils used in monasteries and nunneries. The red symbolises beauty, the gold heavenly light and the black signified the cleansing of the human soul. The “grass-leaves” style of painting featured in Khokloma is inspired by the rural-living folk artists of Russia, as well as rooted in folklore. The golden leaves and flowers are meant to signify a happy life and bring good fortune.

A wooden chopping board with folk Gorodets painting from Russia

A wooden chopping board with folk Gorodets painting from Russia

Gorodets painting, another art form which originated from the Nizhni Novgorod region, in the town of Gorodets. Gorodets painting is manifested by it's freehand paint brush depictions of horses, roosters and flora,  and it's graphic black outlines and intense bright colours. Another notable feature of Gorodets painting is that they do not follow the laws of perspective and therefore seem surreal with giant flowers surrounding smaller figurines. The themes are light and carefree, and therefore the technique is also known as naïve art, because of the childlike quality to them.

Playful Promises Sasha set with floral Gorodets pattern

Playful Promises Sasha set with floral Gorodets pattern

Our Sasha collection takes inspiration from the vibrant, positive energy from the Russian countryside, using surreal and idealistic florals to make you feel bright and happy when you put your pants on in the morning! Our exclusive and designed in-house digital print is slightly modernised and symmetrical for a Playful Promises twist, paired with black mesh and a classic retro silhouette. To finish off the set, a little light blue bow contrasts against the black and compliments the floral design. This set is inspired by the classic, Russian heritage yet updated for a modern-day folktale. 

 

References:

http://www.dreamstime.com/photos-images/folklore-pattern-gorodets-painting-russia.html

http://www.artrusse.ca/khokhloma_en.htm

http://russiapedia.rt.com/of-russian-origin/khokhloma/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folklore_of_Russia

http://www.russia-ic.com/culture_art/visual_arts/970/#.Vv1LyfkrLcs