Unfortunately I am yet to visit the Victoria & Albert museum to see the Lingerie Exhibition. Tickets for myself and the Tallulah girls should have been ordered way in advanced. We should of been and this blog should be about our experience at the V&A, but if you are a follower of this blog you will know I have not been myself of late and organising something like tickets in advanced is way out of my realm of things, plus more dramas have occurred but I promise not to bore you with them...Promise!
Instead this blog post is about another exciting event that myself and Maria had the opportunity to visit this week. This Monday (finally we have started opening the boudoir on Mondays again, Tallulah is coming back to work at last!) but we closed early to pop off to Brick lane and attend a talk on Lingerie. One of our very dear customers who has been supporting Tallulah and I have had the pleasure of supporting her breasts for years now, invited us into her club- Kit Kat. A women only members club. Every month these women get together with a panel and learn something new. This month and I'm sure it was no coincidence that the V&A has just launched, their talk was on Lingerie. On the panel was Edwina Ehrman, curator of the V&A exhibition (who I have to say was my favourite, she was great, full of amazing knowledge) Samantha Roddick, founder of Coco De Mer and Soozie Jenkinson, designer at M&S. Now you all know my thoughts on M&S, from the fabrics they use to the fittings and what they actually fit like so I won't be rude and start my rant off...
We arrived early evening to a very warm welcome, drinks were flowing as were the introductions to so many wonderful women all so interesting and interested to hear about Tallulah, neither Maria or myself are big on 'networking' and I guess we could of done so much more- we both just enjoyed chatting, meeting new people and popping in to some Tallulah customers, I often forget what a small world it is we live in!
The venue was such an amazing space. Maria and I loved it, both wanting a party of some sort ourselves there. Think trendy open space in the basement of an building on Brick Lane. It was separated very cleverly with the use of the furniture and lighting in to different 'rooms'. Below are a couple of images I managed to snap before the talk commenced.
The talk was on the History, Fantasy & Reality of Underwear. As mentioned above Edwina Ehrman I most enjoyed listening too, she spoke about 'Breast Bags' in 1450, can you imagine call ones bra your breast bag? Here is an image of an original- thread bare wouldn't you say?
She then went on to talk about the evolution from bust supporter as in the boned corset that we all know about and the complete ridged-ness back in 1876 to the around 1910 when the corset became more an under bust corset, so it was shrinking and the bra as we love and know it know started to take shape, you can see this in the middle image below, softer looking, more relaxed. Then the 1930s happened and the soft braille was invented and loved. This shape is making a huge come back with soft bra sales in the boudoir massively going up. We have always sold soft cup bras and I wear them at night, not only do I love bras, but the shape they give under my silk nighties is an absolute must.
Edwina then went on to talk about colourful lingerie. Back in the day the rule was to wear lingerie the colour of your skin. That turned out to be black or white (who ever has these skin tones even back then...) it was deemed to be frivolous and one was a fiend should they be trying to attract attention with different colour corsets or even socks and look how trendy it is now to have mad colourful socks! I know what I would be wearing and it would 100% not be white. That is unless is was this gorgeous new Wacoal set that arrived last week. It makes me think of the 70s, ok so not burn my bra 70s, but 70s fashion- imagine this teamed with a light shirt unbuttoned low tucked into high waisted flares wearing stacked wedges finished off with rose gold huge hoops. Sorry I went off track there a little, off to a little hippy sunny place for a bit!
Back on the talk, it was great but I did come away feeling a little niggled. One of the questions from the audience was about the price of knickers and how expensive generally lingerie is (the M&S lady kept saying how they have machine washable silk bras for something ridiculous like twenty quid...quality, NOT) but no one answered this, I had my hand up and was desperate to let this lady know about the many 50 odd pieces of good quality fabric it takes to make a bra let alone the matching knickers, so from the pattern design process to cutting fabrics then on to stitching together involves so much more work than saying running up a pair of trousers, I am by no means suggesting that this easy either- I went to London College of Fashion back in the day and completed a Fashion Design course, I know pattern cutting and stitching and didn't really like it, my tutor Jane ended up running up most of my final collection -ssshhhhhhhh!!
I will be visiting the V&A soon, no the tickets are not booked- but I would really love to visit the exhibition, have you been? Swing by the boudoir and share your thoughts on it,
would love to hear.
Until next time lingerie lovers, enjoy the sunshine that is teasing us every day or two. Hope to see you on Cross Street soon.
P.S next blog time I will be gushing about a new designer I met with Yesterday. She is amazing, her collection is ridiculously amazing and Tallulah will be celebrating finding her and the most perfect boudoir slippers very very soon with bubbles of course!