PARIS LINGERIE TOURS

PARIS LINGERIE TOURS

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Letter From Paris: Chantal Thomass

This article was first published in The Lingerie Journal on October 24, 2013 

Letter from Paris: Chantal Thomass
by Kathryn Kemp-Griffin

Luxury & Decadence

Letter from Paris Chantel Thomass Feature


Celebrating femininity, sensuality, and provocation since 1975, Chantal Thomass is the reference for French lingerie chic. Designed using luxurious fabrics and delicate laces, collections are delightfully impertinent season after season.

While revamped corsets, garter belts and stockings tempt our imagination and curiosity, many women are left wide-eyed and blushing, saying “Moi? Wear that!” Yet, somehow in the essential beauty of the design lies a whisper, “Yes you can,” along with a gentle nudge, urging one to abandon reason and go for it.

Chantal Thomass Voltigeuse 2Chantal Thomass Virevoltante 2Chantal Thomass Illusion

“The names of the collections are as decadent and enticing as the pieces themselves.”

The allure of the lingerie of Chantal Thomass lies in its timeless elegance and daring. By teasing our sensibilities with humor and audacity, the spirited lingerie of Chantal Thomass boosts confidence and adds intrigue in a way that makes women feel vibrant and impatient to express their sensuality.

Inspired by the dreamlike atmosphere and extravagance of the circus, the Fall Winter 2013 collection of Chantal Thomass is a reminder of how much fun and outrageous lingerie can be.

Below is a selection of Chantal Thomass’ Fall Winter 2013.


Tip:The names of the collections are as decadent and enticing as the pieces themselves. Go ahead, say them out loud. In a shout or a whisper. Not only will your French vocabulary improve, it is a sure way to feel the spirit of the collection…

Virevoltante

(Twirling, Swirling)
 
Chantal Thomass Vire voltante 1


Encens’Moi

(Excite Me)

Chantal Thomass Virevoltante & Encens Moi


Indomptable

(Untameable)

Chantal Thomass Indomitable 1


Noeuds et Merveilles & Illusion

(Bows, Wonders & lllusion)

Chantal Thomass Illusion 1


Démasque-Moi

(Unmask Me)

Chantal Thomass Desmasque Moi 1


Voltigeuse

(one who fearlessly engages in aerobatics)

Chantal Thomass Voltigeuse 1


So Romance

Chantal Thomass So Romance

Learn More

If you are in Paris, visit Chantal Thomass’ boudoir boutique and step into a world of luxury and decadence…

Chantal Thomass

Chantal Thomass - boutique Saint HonoréFACADE
211 rue St Honoré
75001 Paris
www.chantalthomass.fr

 

Filed under letterfromparis chantalthomass frenchlingerie thelingeriejournal

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My French Lingerie: Behind the Seams Exhibition

This article first appeared in My French Life on August 12, 2013

My French Lingerie: ‘Behind the Seams’ exhibition, Paris – passion, corsets & codpieces

My French Lingerie: ‘Behind the Seams’ exhibition, Paris – passion, corsets & codpieces - www.MyFrenchLife.org

Articulated pannier circa 1770 and whalebone corset circa 1740 – 1760

“Vanity is but the surface.”

- Blaise Pascal

While the 17th century French philosopher might have cautioned against the veneer of narcissistic pride, his mathematical faculties would have had to appreciate the engineering prowess underneath the surface of fashion.

Nearly two hundred undergarments on display at the current exhibition ‘Behind The Seams: An Indiscreet Look at the Mechanics of Fashion’ at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs reveal how and to what extent we have contorted our bodies over the centuries. Vanity continues to thrive, both above and below the surface.

The exhibition explores the complex structures that twist, push, tighten, raise, flatten and manipulate our bodies from the 14th century to today. Undergarments such as iron corsets, caged crinolines and fake derrières have transformed women in their pursuit of the perfect silhouette, while codpieces and padded everything have enhanced men’s virility.

My French Lingerie: ‘Behind the Seams’ exhibition, Paris – passion, corsets & codpieces - www.MyFrenchLife.org My French Lingerie: ‘Behind the Seams’ exhibition, Paris – passion, corsets & codpieces - www.MyFrenchLife.org

Ceinture pour homme, circa 1900 – 1930; and Faux-cul circa 1887, UFAC collection.

Before personal trainers, fad diets, cosmetic surgery and Spanx, reshaped bodies along with the promise of a ‘better you’ came by way of whalebones, hoops, lacing, straps, hinges and springs. While fabrics and attitudes have since relaxed, contemporary designers such as Jean-Paul Gaultier (pictured left), Christian Lacroix and Vivienne Westwood, continue to modernize many of these references for their collections.

My French Lingerie: ‘Behind the Seams’ exhibition, Paris – passion, corsets & codpieces - www.MyFrenchLife.org

Jean Paul Gaultier 2008-2009

Corset maker Melanie Talkington contributed 38 pieces to the show and worked closely with the curator Denis Bruna and his team to put together the exhibition.

Melanie owns ‘Lace Embrace Atelier’in Vancouver, Canada and I had the pleasure of chatting with her while she was in Paris. Effortlessly charming and, of course, perfectly poised in one of her own handmade corsets, Melanie shared her knowledge and passion.

When did your passion for corsets begin?
I was about eight years old when I saw the movie ‘The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’ and I was fascinated with the opening scene of all the women dancing around in their lingerie.

Do you remember the first corset you bought? 
It was a red-wool corset from the 1860s. It’s very rare to find corsets – especially coloured ones – from this period. It was completely moth-eaten, but a perfect study piece with whalebone and flossing (decorative embroidery.)

What three words come to mind instantly when you think of the word ‘corset’?
Love, curve, color.

Do you feel more ‘you’ in or out of a corset?
Ha ha! I always feel like me in or out of a corset! However, wearing corsets gives me a powerful, sexy confidence.

My French Lingerie: ‘Behind the Seams’ exhibition, Paris – passion, corsets & codpieces - www.MyFrenchLife.org My French Lingerie: ‘Behind the Seams’ exhibition, Paris – passion, corsets & codpieces - www.MyFrenchLife.org

Faux-cul circa 1880, Melanie Talkington collection; and Caged crinoligne circa 1872, Falbalas collection.

What kind of corset are you looking for now?
No two corsets are alike, but I would like to own one in every color. My biggest desire is to find a green silk satin antique corset and yellow one. But, I’m not in a hurry – that’s the pleasure of the hunt, you never know what is out there left to be found!

What’s so special about French corsets? 
My favorite corsets are French. They are beautifully designed and delicately made with the finest lace, silk and intricate flossing. While synonymous with style, there is also a sense of playfulness and coyness to French corsets. I find myself asking questions and wanting to know more about the women who wore them.

You have been very involved with helping put the exhibition together. Describe a magical moment.
There were so many moments. The first was my flight to Paris in January at a time when heavy snowstorms created delays and cancellations. The taxi drove me from the airport through the dark, slushy streets and pulled up to the Louvre around 10pm. I was escorted to the basement where I was greeted by the curator and his team. As I unpacked my collection, a chorus of “oohs” and “ahhs” echoed. It was, indeed, a magical and unforgettable moment to share my collection with others who have the same passion.

My French Lingerie: ‘Behind the Seams’ exhibition, Paris – passion, corsets & codpieces - www.MyFrenchLife.org

Corset circa 1860 – 1870, Melanie Talkington collection.

What is the history behind the white corset circa 1860 – 1870?
The white corset was made with a special patent loom that creates a woven garment complete with all shaping: bust, hips, waist. Even the bones were woven instead of using traditional pieces of wood. The only place with sewing is at the center front to insert the busk (stiff strips with metal clasps) and the centre back for the bone.

My French Lingerie: ‘Behind the Seams’ exhibition, Paris – passion, corsets & codpieces - www.MyFrenchLife.orgThe electric blue corset (circa 1876 – pictured left) is exquisite. Can you tell us more about it? 
The electric blue corset is one of my favorites and one with most flossing in my collection. I bought it from an 80-year-old woman whose family used to have a corset factory in McGraw, New York.

Unfortunately, she couldn’t remember the name of the factory. I did some research and discovered that there were a few corset factories in McGraw, New York, including the MET, which has a corset very similar in their collection in burgundy silk with floral embroidery. The corset in their collection was from the 1876 Centennial exhibition and I believe the blue corset was part of the same exhibition.

I made a reproduction of the corset, which took close to year to finish as my fingers got so sore from the flossing!

What are 3 misconceptions people have about wearing corsets?
1. Corsets are uncomfortable

2. Corsets are bad for your health

3. Why would you want to wear that?

I get great pleasure from lacing people up and watching as they discover their newly-shaped bodies; their tummies flatten, their height increases and their busts lift without any discomfort.

As our conversation comes to an end, I realize that talking about corsets has made me sit up straighter. Melanie smiles knowingly and we agree to meet for a fitting next time she’s in Paris. We say goodbye and as I watch her glide out of the room, I understand the timeless elegance and subtle power of corsets.

I think Blaise Pascal had it all wrong. Vanity is anything but surface when laced up in a corset.

Behind The Seams: An Indiscreet Look at the Mechanics of Fashion
4 July – 24 November

Musée des Arts Décoratifs,
107 rue de Rivoli, 75001, Paris
Métro: Palais Royal – Musée du LouvreImage credits.
All © Patricia Canino.
Except 4. Jean Paul Gaultier 2008-2009, © Guy Marineau.
8. Corset circa 1876, Melanie Talkington collection. Photo by Kate Kemp-Griffin.

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Letter from Paris: Unforgettable Mode City

This article was first published in The Lingerie Journal on July 26, 2013 

Letter from Paris: Unforgettable Mode City
by Kathryn Kemp-Griffin

Scandale

“What makes things memorable is that they are meaningful, significant, colorful.” – Joshua Foer.


Like most women, it’s the same routine every morning. I open my lingerie drawer and I pull out a bra and panty based on:

a) what else I’m planning to wear,
b) right mix of comfort and extreme slimming features,
c) my mood,
d) my current laundry situation.

While I don’t have the laundry statistics, I do know that my choices reflect function and comfort more often than my emotional state. And that’s a shame. Sometimes, I can’t even remember what I’m wearing. And that’s a double shame.

Lingerie should never be forgettable.

Paloma Casile 2

“Sunshine and creativity sparkled as more than 500 brands from 35 countries welcomed 15,330 visitors from around the world.”

I was reminded last week of the power of lingerie to boost our emotions and impress different feelings and sensations on our memory during a visit to Mode City, the international swimwear and lingerie rendez-vous in Paris.

Sunshine and creativity sparkled as more than 500 brands from 35 countries welcomed 15,330 visitors from around the world. Creation, innovation, wellbeing, and luxury created a sensorial celebration that focused on the desire for swimwear and lingerie to embody the passion and expression of our personalities.

Following are eight unforgettable discoveries that celebrate the power of memory and ignite emotions within us.

1. LES JUPONS DE TESS

Les Jupons de Tess 1
Unforgettable sensuality. Shadows and transparency combine to give an exquisite allure to a collection that flirts with our imagination.

2. WACOAL

Kate in Wacoal
Unforgettable portraits. Real women (including moi!) revealed their beauty and femininity wearing the effortlessly elegant and innovative pieces from Wacoal while the plume of artist Eudoxie captured these sensual and playful moments. With portraits like these, we can all start careers as lingerie models.

3. VANNINA VESPERINI

Vannina Vesperini
Unforgettable color. 16 products and 16 colors. Combining silk and LYCRA lace in a range bursting with flamboyant color and energy. A “Sur-Mesure” app enables customers to design their own pieces!

4. SCANDALE

Scandale 2
Unforgettable shapewear. A sophisticated range of elegant styles to shape, define and flatter.

5. MICHÈLE GAY

Michele Gay
Unforgettable perfume. Michèle Gay prefers that we taste perfume instead of wearing it. Her concept of Culinary Perfume seeks daring combinations to inspire a different form of communication between brands and their customers.

6. PALOMA CASILE

Paloma Casile 2
Unforgettable cut-outs. The thrill of seduction defined with straps, cut-outs, lacing and transparency. This talented young designer gives sexy a dose of audacity and humor.

7. GOTTEX

Gottex. photo credt: Mode City Paris 2013 © Photo Emmanuel Nguyen Ngoc Collectif / enn2004@free.fr

Photo credit: Mode City Paris 2013 © Photo Emmanuel Nguyen Ngoc Collectif / enn2004@free.fr

Unforgettable swimwear. The Israeli brand was awarded Designer of the Year by Paris Capitale de la Création, a fitting tribute to Lea Gottlieb, the designer behind the iconic swimwear brand who passed away at age 94 in November 2012. Since its creation in 1956, Gottex continues to infuse color and exclusive prints into a heritage of haute couture.

8. ABSOLUTE SUMMER

Absolute Summer. Mode City Paris 2013 © Photo Emmanuel Nguyen Ngoc Collectif / enn2004@free.fr

Photo credit: Mode City Paris 2013 © Photo Emmanuel Nguyen Ngoc Collectif / enn2004@free.fr

Unforgettable fun. For the first time Mode City opened their doors to the general public, or rather invited them poolside! Pop Up stores, fitting workshops, DIY ateliers beauty advice and fashion shows provided the perfect setting for women to express their femininity.

What makes lingerie unforgettable for you?

Contact the Brands

Les Jupons de Tess
Designer: Caroline Tannous – caroline@lesjuponsdetess.com
Website: www.lesjuponsdetess.com

Wacoal
Contact: Sophie Knis – s.knis@wacoal.fr
Website: www.wacoal.fr

Eudoxie
Illustrator
Website: georgescomingsoon.com/eudoxiediary

Vannina Vesperini
Contact: Céline Cabanac – studio@vesperini.fr
Website: www.vanninavesperini.com

Scandale
Contact: Stephanie Chan – scandale@scandale.com
www.scandale.com

Michèle Gay
Stylist & Perfumer: Michèle Gay – michelegay@michelegay.com
Website: www.michelegay.com

Paloma Casile
Designer: Paloma Casile – paloma-casile@hotmail.fr
Website: paloma-casile.tumblr.com

Gottex
Contact: Michal Sarig – michals@gottexmodels.com
Website: www.gottexmodels.com

Filed under lesjuponsdetess wacoal eudoxie vanninavesperini scandale michelegay palomacasile gottex parislingerietours frenchlingerie letterfromparis thelingeriejournal modecity