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Thursday, 18 September 2014

Cosmopolitan #fashfest Lingerie Show 2014



    Following the successful launch of Cosmopolitan FASHION (Cosmo's new stand-alone fashion magazine), Cosmo have launched the UK's first fashion festival, #FashFestRunning from the 15th-19th September, Fash Fest delivers a spectacular line-up of events, kicking off with a live lingerie catwalk show, followed by a celebrity fashion masterclass, online shopping evening, Cosmo fashion awards night, culminating in the Cosmo wrap party on Friday 19th. 

   In the throes of London Fashion Week, #fashfest presents the very best in high street fashion and with sponsors such as ASOS, Very and Brand Alley, Cosmo seeks to give its readers the "ultimate fashion experience", showcasing key A/W14 trends and translating them into wearable styles that can then be purchased post-event. Unlike many LFW shows (which are limited to industry insiders), #FashFest is special in that it puts the fashion-loving consumer firmly in the front row and tickets are available to the public from just £30! 

(Pic credit: Cosmopolitan)

    Having already heard great things about the Cosmopolitan lingerie show last year, I was delighted to be invited as one of Cosmo's VIP bloggers to the sell-out lingerie show this year, which took place at the grand-looking One Marylebone.

   After meeting Cheryl from Invest in Your Chest in the queue, we were greeted by Taylor, the editor of Cosmo BODY, who gave us a tour of the stylish venue. With a glass of bubbly in hand, we ascended the spiral staircase to the galleries to explore the many delights that were on offer; from hair styling by Paul Mitchell to 'face-mapping' by Dermalogica, makeovers by Urban Decay and manicures by Barry M! 

(Pic credit: Cosmopolitan)

(Pic credit: Cosmopolitan)

(Pic credit: Cosmopolitan)

 (Pic credit: Cosmopolitan)

   Aside from the array of complimentary pampering delights on offer, there were (of course) rails upon rails of a lingerista's dream-come-true; beautiful lingerie from names such as Wonderbra, Triumph and B.Tempt'd!

(Pic credit: Cosmopolitan)

I loved B.Tempt'd's flirty lingerie offerings! Paintbox brights, playful sheer lace bralets and contour bras with cute polkadots, lace and bow motifs!


Wonderbra (Pic credit: Cosmopolitan)

(Pic credit: Cosmopolitan)

I spent quite a lot of time nattering to the Triumph team - their 'Magic wire' bra really caught my eye with its buttery soft fabric and lightweight silicone underwires!

(Pic credit: Cosmopolitan)

   I was also happy to see that the Freya booth had made an appearance, giving Cosmo readers the opportunity to get a personal bra fitting to ensure that they were wearing the right size!

(Pic credit: Coppafeel)

   I also stopped by the Coppafeel 'boob booth' and met the team behind the amazing breast health and cancer awareness charity. Coppafeel's #brahijack campaign involves lingerie brands placing a 'breast care' label in their bras as an all-important daily reminder for women to check their breasts.

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   Next, Cheryl and I were lucky enough to be invited backstage to experience the pre-show set-up and take a peek at the looks that the models would be sporting on the catwalk! There was a sense of excited anticipation as the event organisers and stylists added the finishing touches and the models prepared to hit the runway...



   
   After seeing exactly what goes on behind-the-scenes, we headed into the main hall; a breath-taking 27 foot high room with beautiful mosaics, stained glass windows and majestic columns and arches - the perfect backdrop for the Cosmo lingerie show!

(Pic credit: Cosmopolitan)

   We took our seats on the front row and before we knew it, the hall had filled with hundreds of people! The show kicked off with an introduction from Cosmopolitan's editor, Louise Court, followed by a talk by Kris Hallenga of Coppafeel - the overarching message being that lingerie is a stylish and essential foundation that has the ability to support and empower the wearer (hear, hear!)

(L-R: Kris Hallenga of Coppafeel and Louise Court, Editor of Cosmopolitan)


   Before the catwalk show started, canapés arrived and guests were treated to a special performance by 'The Voice' runner up, Leah McFall (Will.i.am's protegée). As a fan of Leah's from the TV show, I was delighted by her live performance and impressive vocal runs!


***

THE CATWALK


   After a quick trip to the bar to grab a delicious 'Cosmopolitan' cocktail, the lights dimmed and the hotly-anticipated Cosmopolitan #fashfest Lingerie Catwalk Show began! Models strutted their stuff on the runway in a show-stopping array of lingerie from highstreet favourites such as ASOS, Pour Moi, Triumph, Brand Alley, Very, Wonderbra, B.Tempt'd, Gossard, and Accessorize.

   Autumn/Winter 2014 trends were grouped into 8 categories, making for a cohesive and fluid catwalk show that really made sense to the viewer. From cleavage-enhancing push-ups to bright lace triangle bras, embellished basques and kimonos, feminine floral nightwear and cut-out detail strappy bras and bodysuits, there was indeed something for everyone...


COLOURFUL BRIGHTS

   Although neons seem to have faded along with Summer, lingerie is staying bright for A/W14 - cue rich jewel tones in purple, blue and raspberry alongside dusky pinks. Both padded and unpadded styles featured strongly, with lace overlays, trims and bow motifs being the order of the day.



(Pic credit: Cosmopolitan)


WICKED WHITES

   Classic, crisp white lingerie never dates and brands gave white a modern update through the use of layered lace, edgy strapping and cut-out detailing (Pour Moi) and sexy sheer fabrics contrasted with delicate embroidery (ASOS). Whoever said that white lingerie was boring!?




ANIMAL PRINTS

   Lingerie goes into the wild this A/W14, with models appearing in a range of soft cup bras, padded plunges, sexy basques and floaty kimonos.. all in leopard print! ASOS and Pour Moi set off their bold leopard prints with contrasting black trims, whereas B.Tempt'd and Brand Alley took a slightly softer approach to animal print, with a palette of muted browns and greys.



EDGY BOUDOIR


   Definitely one of my favourite A/W14 trends from the catwalk show, these designs embody the ultimate in sexy, fashion-forward boudoir lingerie! Models sashayed down the catwalk in heart-stopping shapes made from chiffon, lace and sumptuous satin; cinched-in strappy bodysuits, simple-but-sexy padded and unpadded bras, floaty babydolls and retro high-waisted knickers.
 



SMOKY TONES

   Models smouldered in smoky hues, with chic black and and slate grey dominating the catwalk. Wonderbra, Triumph, ASOS and Brand Alley proved that shapewear can be sexy, showcasing a range of lingerie designs; from slip skirts to bodies, strapless bras to high waisted knickers. Mesh inserts, lace trims, strapping and sequins were added to classic shapewear pieces to give them the 'wow factor'..and wow us they did!






FLIRTY FLORALS


   Although I normally associate florals with Summer, Monsoon & Accessorize presented some gorgeous transitional nightwear pieces to take us into Autumn. Fabrics were light-weight (predominantly satin, chiffon and lace) and colours were muted and feminine, with an abundance of dusky pinks, greys and purples. Prints ranged from floral blooms to birds, butterflies and even bicycles!





FLATTERING FLESH TONES


   'Flesh tone'/ beige lingerie is often seen as 'practical' rather than sexy, but brands really pushed the boat out with a gorgeous selection of satin, lace and chiffon pieces in rose, beige and creamy hues. Longline bras, boleros, bras and nightgowns were embellished with lace, embroidery, beads and diamantés, for a touch of luxe sophistication!




RED HOT

   Sizzling, racy and undeniably glamorous, red lingerie is here to stay for A/W14. Brand Alley, Triumph and Gossard at Brand Alley showcased sophisticated shapes that exuded retro appeal, whilst B.Tempt'd took a playful approach with their unpadded red lace longline. Very and Pour Moi ramped up the sex appeal with strappy, cut-out lace bras and bodysuits, whilst ASOS made the audience go weak at the knees with their plunging scarlet bodysuit and raunchy embroidered mesh triangle bra.


(Pic credit: Cosmopolitan)

***

   The evening concluded with a live DJ set, more cocktails and an unbelievable goody bag, packed full of lingerie, fashion and beauty goodies from the show's sponsors!


   The Cosmopolitan #fashfest lingerie show was a truly fabulous event from start to finish and I feel incredibly lucky to have been invited to attend. #Fashfest is definitely a celebration of fashion and femininity and I love that Cosmo are consumer-centric. Cosmo gave guests a unique 'VIP experience', whilst making the catwalk fashion accessible and wearable. All of the looks from the catwalk are available to purchase online from:



To find out more about #fashfest, check out the official website and keep your eyes peeled for tickets for the next show - it really is an unmissable event for fashionistas and lingeristas alike!


What were your favourite catwalk looks? Are there any pieces that you have your eye on?
Love,



Friday, 15 August 2014

Figleaves 'Lulu Tout' blogger dinner & SS14 lingerie & swimwear lookbooks

   


   As regular Undercover Lingerista readers might have guessed, I am a huge fan of Figleaves and I have been a loyal customer ever since discovering their expansive range of fuller bust lingerie and swimwear delights. Not so long ago, I was incredibly lucky to receive an (edible!) invitation to a very special Figleaves blogger dinner to showcase their new Spring/Summer 2014 lingerie and swimwear collections. 


   The event was held at the luxurious South Place Hotel, where we enjoyed pre-dinner cocktails in the exclusive 'Secret Garden' bar, followed by a decadent three course meal at the 'Chef's View' in the Michelin-starred Angler restaurant, situated on the top floor of the hotel. 

   The chef's table boasted amazing views; floor-to-ceiling glass windows which overlooked a skyline of iconic London landmarks (including the Gherkin and Tower 42), as well as a window into the bustling kitchen, where we could see our food being prepared!

(Picture credit: Figleaves.com)

   The food was absolutely impeccable and given the restaurant's seafood specialism, I opted for ceviche scallops to start, followed by confit duck... 


  

   Whilst we dined, Figleaves' head buyer gave us food for thought with an insight into the making of the SS14 lingerie and swimwear campaigns, in addition to talking us through some of the stunning new products and ranges. Figleaves' exclusive new line, 'Lulu Tout', rendered every blogger dreamy-eyed.. and quite rightly so! The collection adopts the quintessential elegance of classic French lingerie, with stylish and sophisticated separates that deliver the luxurious aesthetics associated with designer underwear..without the accompanying price tag! 

   The 'Lulu Tout' collection offers an impressive sizing range (back sizes 30-38 and cup sizes A-H), alongside affordable price points (£24 for a bra and £15-£16 for a matching coordinate). The range features 3 debut designs; the 'Amelie', 'Coco Lace' and 'Fleur Rose', which come in different colourways.

   Interestingly, Figleaves have tailored the design and construction of the bras to different bust sizes; a balcony bra for A-DD cups and a fuller coverage bra for DD-H cups. Fortunately, Figleaves understand that lingerie should be supportive and pretty in every size and it is refreshing to see that Lulu Tout's DD+ bras retain the sensuality and elegance of their A-DD cup counterparts:



LULU TOUT LOOKBOOK

   If you were fond of Figleaves' first own brand, 'Midnight Grace', you will love the stylish and whimsical French-style designs of Lulu Tout. The feminine cuts, beautiful fabrics, attention to detail and value for money are ideal for fashion-conscious women who love luxurious lingerie on a budget..

AMELIE:

   'Amelie' epitomises sophistication in classic black or electric blue. The bra features a plunging neckline and sheer mesh base, giving this bra undeniable sex-appeal. The cups boast a beautiful scalloped overlay, embroidered with an intricate, beaded spot pattern that evokes something of the Art-Deco movement. The black version exudes a timeless wearability, whilst the electric blue scores serious style points with its almost mermaid-like sensuality.






COCO LACE:


   The Lulu Tout 'Coco Lace' is the ideal bra for those in search of a bra that merges practicality and elegance. 'Coco Lace' boasts a feminine cut with a supportive sling design, helping to bring the bust inwards and upwards for a stunning silhouette. The sheer mesh cups are scalloped and finished with an exquisite pinstripe embroidery. The charcoal colourway provides a perfect alternative to black, whilst the deep emerald delivers a touch of luxury.






FLEUR ROSE:

   The 'Fleur Rose' embodies the perfect synergy of classic, feminine styling with modern day 'edge'. Taking inspiration from the 'tattoo effect' lingerie trend, Figleaves have embroidered a sketched-style rose pattern on to the mesh cups - a particularly eye-catching combination in the nude/ black colourway! The bra's glamorous appeal is enhanced by the scalloped edging, central bow motif and pleated straps. Definitely a bra to make you go ooh-la-la!






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FIGLEAVES SWIMWEAR LOOKBOOK



   This brings me to talk about the final collection that was presented to us at the blogger dinner - the Figleaves SS14 Swimwear range! Figleaves is a real 'one-stop-shop' when it comes to swimwear, stocking a fabulous selection of over 40 swimwear brands. Amongst these brands, are Figleaves' own-labels (Figleaves Swimwear, Figleaves Active, Midnight Grace, Just Peachy and Sophina), which really appear to be coming into their own in the style stakes. True to form, Figleaves' own brands offer up trend-led, affordable swimwear designs in sizes 8-20, back sizes 30-38 and cup sizes up to a GG

   Figleaves presents key Spring/Summer 2014 trends across its collections, with an abundance of nautical spots and stripes, tropical, aztec and floral prints, retro-inspired swimsuits, high-waisted bikini briefs and longlines in eye-catching summer hues and maritime colour palettes. Here are some of my top picks:

NAUTICAL BUT NICE



   Ahoy sailor! Channel the nautical trend with this unique longline anchor bikini from Midnight Grace. A fun twist on classic nautical stripes, this navy blue longline boasts a quirky anchor pattern, set off by flashes of bright red, for a contemporary finish.


TOTALLY TROPICAL



   Sizzle under the sun in the eye-catching 'Congo' bikini! Featuring a vivid coral and black leafy palm print with glamorous gold bead motifs, this cleavage-flattering plunge bikini is sure to command attention on the beach!


FLORAL BLOOM




   Be bold this Summer in graphic florals with the Midnight Grace 'Daisy' swimsuit. Feminine, flirty and just a bit retro, this padded halterneck swimsuit features tummy control and cup sizes up to a G, to support and flatter your curves to perfection!


SO RETRO

   Bring out your inner pin-up girl in the gorgeous Midnight Grace 'Pin Up Dotty' bikini. The all-over polka dot and stripe print is given a punchy, modern update with its vivid green hue, whilst the bandeau bikini top and flattering high-waisted bikini bottoms deliver a classic and beautifully feminine silhouette.


VIVA LA FIESTA



  Turn up the heat with the colourful 'Santana' halterneck bikini from Midnight Grace. This flattering halterneck bikini features a feminine floral print with a contrasting 'aztec' frill, which adds a quirky edge. The popping colour palette will ensure that you make waves whether you're at a festival, pool party or relaxing on the beach!

BOND GIRL CHIC



   For the ultimate in pool-side glamour, the Sophina 'Icon Mesh' bikini will have you looking and feeling as fabulous as a Bond girl. This chic, black, sweetheart bikini is complemented by a seductive spot mesh overlay, which adorns the bikini neck ties and sexy cut-out briefs. This bikini certainly has a licence to thrill!


***

   Figleaves has some very exciting lingerie and swimwear designs for Spring/ Summer 2014 and I continue to be impressed with the diverse selection of designs on offer to a wide range of sizes. I was delighted by the Figleaves blogger event as a whole; an edible invitation, cocktails, fine dining and gorgeous lingerie could only ever be recipe for success! Most importantly, the event was a wonderful opportunity to share my passion for lingerie with other like-minded individuals and it was fantastic to be able to speak directly to a company that I have championed for such a long time.

   Although it doesn't take much for me to wax lyrical about Figleaves and the amazing range of lingerie and swimwear brands on their site, their own-brands are definitely something to watch out for. Take a peek at the Figleaves website to see all of their latest products and keep an eye on my blog, as I will be reviewing a gorgeous set from Figleaves' own brand very soon...

What do you think of Figleaves' own brands? Have you tried them yet?

Love,