Women’s clothing has thankfully moved away from those high-maintenance corset-constructions, but sometimes it feels as if undergarments are still stuck in a vintage timewarp. Of course there’s nothing wrong with a whiff of tulle, a hint of lace or flowery embroidery, but lingerie mostly cries for a more contemporary feel. Fortunately, two emerging lines fill this void, offering modern creations that don’t sacrifice femininity or sex appeal.
The Lake & Stars is the barely two-year-old line of Brooklyn based designers Maayan Zilberman and Nikki Dekker. Their unique ability to translate old fashion elements of traditional lingerie into sleek, no-fuss, yet extremely sensual underpinnings, has earned a loyal following. In fact, the name itself is a Victorian euphemism for a woman who is a master in the bedroom. “The interesting part about what we do is that it is ultimately judged by how sexy it is. This being even more subjective than how ready-to-wear is judged in the marketplace, it’s a challenge to make collections that we think are cool and innovative, while still answering the most basic question,” Zilberman explained.
Zilberman and Dekker draw inspiration from a multitude of sources, ranging from the Fly Girls of In Living Color to Western detailing and utilitarian hardware. For their latest collection, they were compelled by the idea of taking bras and panties and putting them through an x-ray machine, to “expose” them, giving an ethereal and fluttery feeling without being too prissy. “Our line is for women who can’t take fashion too seriously. Our woman is smart, has a sense of humor, likes to experiment, and is at ease with having her underwear show,” adds Zilberman. With such gorgeous options and reasonable price points it’s easy to understand the allure.
Meanwhile, Diana Broussard, who is known for her masterfully crafted, updated classic shoes and bold, expressive jewelry, has now also added intimates to her repertoire. The designer sees underwear as a fashion accessory, saying: “It should still be cool and have the same sensibility as all the other categories that a designer represents.” The grown-up collection features simple lines and unexpected detailing (miniature metal fringe dangling from the pantyline and décolleté, crystal clear embroideries covering a black silk camisole), letting every sophisticated woman bring a bit of rock ‘n roll into the bedroom.
All of the pieces are made from fine silk, while the understated, Italian aesthetic prevalent in her shoe and jewelry line is also in evidence. “My inspiration for this collection is always fashion, and looking at the lingerie from a fashion person’s eye as opposed to a strictly underwear designer’s eye,” she explains. “The colors as well as the detailing relate directly back to the shoes and jewelry to keep the same color story and mood.” With still more product lines in the works, take advantage of the sophisticated lingerie offerings.
—Christina von Messling