The lingerie industry is bursting at the seams with inspirational women. From designers and photographers to models and bloggers, here is a list of some of the women that inspire me…
Ayten Roberts – Known for her use of up-cycled vintage Nottingham lace, peace silk and organic silk, Ayten’s dedication to ethical and sustainable production for her UK based lingerie and sleepwear collection Ayten Gasson Lingerie is seriously impressive. With a firm commitment to supporting the UK manufacturing industry since 2005, her silk lingerie and nightwear is all made by hand in her beautiful Brighton boutique, including her Fleur Liberty print set that I fell in love with and had to purchase!
Georgina Horne – Also known as blogger Fuller Figure Fuller Bust, Georgina started her blog in May 2011 to share her experiences of living with and shopping for a fuller figure and bust. Having modelled for this year’s Scantilly and Playful Promises campaigns (amongst other awesome projects), she also has her own clothing range Lady Voluptuous in collaboration with Lady V London. Although I probably don’t fall into the fuller figure category, I definitely fall into the fuller bust category and Georgina is without a doubt my go to girl for advice on sports bras and swimwear.
Cora Harrington – Originally writing under the penname Treacle Tart, Cora is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict, the world’s largest fashion blog dedicated to lingerie and intimate apparel. Launching The Lingerie Addict in 2008, Cora is without a doubt one of the most highly respected voices in the lingerie community. What I love about The Lingerie Addict is that it is an all-inclusive blog, offering features, advice and honest reviews suitable for all sizes, ages, sexualities, ethnicities, abilities and budgets. If you want to see the very best picks of the lingerie industry, The Lingerie Addict is the place to go. You will also find weekly listings of current lingerie sales to help you make your lingerie investment go a little further.
Miss Deadly Red – Alternative model and make up artist Miss Deadly Red is everywhere in the lingerie industry for a while now, featuring in campaigns for Playful Promises, and Betty Blues Loungewear, as well as several latex brands, corset designers and vintage inspired clothing brand Collectif. I’ve had the pleasure of photographing her twice in the last 12 months and not only is Deadly a brilliant in front of the camera, she is awesome to spend time with behind the scenes too!
Ade Hassan – Nubian Skin founder Ade Hassan is the name on everyone’s lips in the lingerie industry right now. Frustrated by the lack of skin-tone choices available, Ade decided it was time for ‘a different kind of nude’, launching a carefully edited collection of lingerie and hosiery to provide the essential underwear needs of women of colour. The collection is great – and the new Nubian Skin lookbook ‘Moroccan Nights’ is worth a peek too!
Karolina Laskowska – Karolina is a force to be reckoned with in the lingerie world. Launching her eponymous luxury lingerie fashion line in 2012 whilst studying on the world-renowned Contour Fashion Degree at De Montfort University, she won the New Designer Of The Year award at the UK Lingerie Awards in 2014 and continues to impress the industry with her creativity. Karolina also writes for The Lingerie Addict and is Director of The Underpinnings Museum team, an online museum dedicated to the wonderful world of underwear launching later this year. The museum will feature selected pieces from her own personal collection of vintage and contemporary lingerie, which is possibly the most incredible collection of lingerie I have ever seen.
Lori Smith – On the subject of The Underpinnings Museum, let me introduce Lori Smith, blogger at Rarely Wears Lipstick and researcher with a focus on twentieth and twenty-first century underwear. With an MA in History and Culture of Fashion form London College of Fashion (UAL) Lori’s expert knowledge has led to speaking engagements at the Costume Society, the M&S Company Archive and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Having followed Lori online for years, I had the pleasure of bumping into her at the “Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear” exhibit at the V&A earlier this year and she blew me away with her comprehensive knowledge of the world of lingerie. Lori is also part of the Underpinnings Museum Team and I’m really looking forward to working with both her and Karolina more over the coming months.
Alycia Hirani – Based in South Wales, Alycia is the creative genius behind Emiah Couture. Although I knew of the brand, it wasn’t until Oxford Conference Of Corsetry 2015 that our paths crossed, bringing with her one of the most incredible corset you’ve ever laid eyes on. Known affectionately as the Pearled Beast, the corset took over 200 hours to complete and features approximately 7,000 hand-sewn freshwater and glass pearls. I’ve also seen via social media that she is working on another one…
Cristina Aielli – Also at Oxford Conference Of Corsetry last year, I met Italian lingerie designer Cristina Aielli. A graduate of the Koefia International Academy of Haute Couture and Art of Costume in Rome, Cristina had booked a shoot with myself and model Morgana as part of the conference, where I got to photograph her Flora neckline soft cup bra. I kid you not, this bra -and the rest of the set – is a thing of beauty. Her lingerie range is exclusively made to measure, you can check out Cristina’s online store here.
Jenni Hampshire – Also known as Sparklewren, Jenni Hampshire is a multi-talented creative. Specialising in bespoke couture corsetry, her corsets are beautiful works of art in their own rights. It doesn’t stop there though – Jenni is an equally talented photographer! Although Jenni is currently taking a year’s break from Sparklewren to pursue other hobbies and interests, she is still planning to create one artist-led couture corset per month that will be available to purchase. I am so excited to see what she creates!
Who inspires you? Why not comment below with some of your favourite inspirational women so I can check them out too…
Karolina Laskowska in unfortunately closing down her lingerie business (open only till end of September) . But you never know what future hold.
Indeed she is, although apparently she will still be making a few bespoke pieces each year so there’s still a chance to get your hands on something from her!