New Season Shapes and How to Create Them.

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As you’ll no doubt know by now, I have spent the last week covering the shows at London Fashion Week and reporting back on them for Triumph Lingerie. As they were the official catwalk lingerie providers, my focus was on the shapes and silhouettes that the designers had created for next season and I wanted to do a little round-up of my discoveries. I promised that I wouldn’t bore you with detailed posts on every single show that I went to, so I thought that I’d do an overview of my favourite collections. A “highlights” post, if you will.

An interesting aside (for me, at any rate, as a bit of a lingerie obsessive): Triumph sent out 98 Body Makeup Bras in Nude, 365 Body Make-Up G-Strings in Nude, 85 pairs of briefs in Nude and 30 of the new Light Sensation skirts! They had the Body Makeup range in the Maison Triumph and it looked great – really nicely cut t-shirt bras that look natural underneath clothes but still give shape and a little uplift. Pretty much my ideal bra, really.

One of the most interesting things about working for Triumph through this fashion week was that it gave me a focus that I don’t usually have – because I was keeping an eye out for how the designers had used the lingerie to help create shape or to provide seamless, invisible support, I was looking at the designs far more closely than I usually do. I still had my eye on the colours and textures and the way that the hair and makeup complemented the collections, but it was shape and silhouette that I needed to watch out for and having that kind of agenda was actually very enjoyable. I realised, too, that my favourite shows were the ones where curves and shape had been embraced (as much as it can be on catwalk models!) rather than the whole deathly super-skinny look. I loved it when a girl with proper curves walked out down that runway – I almost whooped with joy when a model at Emilio de la Morena strode past me sporting the most amazing sideboob action! Nipped-in waists seemed to be a big trend too, which is great if you have boobs and hips and want to create that classic hourglass shape. It’s something that I want to embrace a lot more, actually – I think I’ve grown out of the whole low-slung jeans thing for the moment. It’s not very forgiving on tummies that are starting to poke out a bit. (Sssh.)

OK, here goes with my favourite shapes of the new season:

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(Cara Delevigne walking for Matthew Williamson at LFW AW13)

1) The nipped-in waist. I saw this loads and as I’ve just mentioned, it’s a look that I want wear more of myself. Seen at Giles Deacon, Aminaka Wilmont, Richard Nicoll, Matthew Williamson… This kind of shape would be created using a shapewear skirt to create a smooth line over the hips and waist. It’s best not to have any lumpy bumpy underwear on the bottom half as it messes with the lines over the hips – it has to be smooth and seam-free so no tight-fitting knickers that dig in!

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If the lower half of the outfit is more forgiving and not ultra-tight then you could go to town with luxurious corsets and all-in-ones:

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It’s just all about really cinching the waist in without being uncomfortable. Let’s face it, none of us want to spend our days holding our breath and having to eat grape skins for lunch. The modern waist-cincher does the job without cutting off your blood supply. Hopefully!

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2) The low-cut V-neck. As seen at Issa, above. Issa always make dresses with incredibly low “V”s – I’m not sure how many people actually manage to wear them without a little vest or cami underneath. It’s a very sexy look that still manages not to be tarty – I think because the dresses are so generously draped and they look and feel so luxurious. This season Issa went slightly medieval and put full-on body stockings beneath the dresses (complete with game-hunter’s hat and feathers) that reminded me of chainmail, but if you wanted to bare a little more flesh you could wear a sheer vest-top to hold everything in place. I spotted a Light Sensation vest (nude) peeking out at another show, so that could be an option. Something with a bit of support would be needed because a bra would probably show – as I said, the “V”s are cut incredibly low!

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3) The bosomy goth-bride, as seen at Giles Deacon. I mean, bosomy. (Is that actually a word?) Obvious body-shaping accessory? The good old bra. Triumph sent out the Body Make Up bras because they’re invisible under clothing but still give a good shape. Depending on how blessed you are in the chest department, you can opt for padding or non-padded – FYI: bras called in by designers are usually in a B-cup. I have no idea why, I just remember always having to literally shoehorn my breasts into them.

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Out of all of next season’s trends, I think it’s safe to say that a bosomy bride look* is the easiest to achieve. If you’re not bosomy (why am I using that word? I hate it!) then you can add volume with chicken fillets (another hateful phrase). The waist still needs to be a bit cinched in though to really accentuate the rack. Can I say that? I hope so. Too late. (*N.B. I’m not sure the bosomy bride look is actually a trend, as I only saw it at one show. On one girl. But if I can’t have some poetic licence then I’m going to run out of ideas, so…)

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4) The ‘Nothing to Hide’ panels. Sheer and barely-there panelling on dresses, shirts and skirts. Not for the faint-hearted when the entire side of a dress is cut away (Julien MacDonald!) but I’m positive that this look will filter down to something more wearable. Sheer blouses and sleeves on dresses for the Christmas party season (ugh) no doubt. Nude lingerie is a must for creating a base for a partly-sheer outfit. Unless you’re making a feature of your lingerie you want it to be almost skin-toned. (Same goes for beneath anything white – sure you know this, but white top does not equal white bra! Nude bra every time. It’s practically invisible.) I spotted Light Sensation pieces under sheer clothing in quite a few of the shows – three times at the Osman show alone.

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(Show picture from Julien MacDonald (two models shown) is from the brilliant coverage on TeleFashion at Telegraph online. Click the image to go through to the post. Above image is from the Osman AW13 show.)

5) Finally, the “Absolutely Naked” look. Requires (nay, demands) no underwear whatsoever but you must have nerves of steel and an unbelievably ballsy attitude. Accessorise with a heavy-duty body cream containing fine shimmer and the highest shoes you can manage. How this can possibly be a look for Autumn Winter I have no idea – you’d have to follow me around with a patio heater on wheels to get me anywhere near the dress below!

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All lingerie shown can be found online at Triumph.com or by calling 02085340456 for stockists.

This post is part of my LFW work with Triumph Lingerie – please see opening post here for details!

9 comments

  1. Hi Ruth! I thought models don’t wear bras during the fashion shows? I always look at so many fashion designs at the shows and think how on earth would it work with a bra because many tops and dresses seem to be cut in such odd way or with cut outs.

  2. Love this post, it is unusual and very interesting :)

  3. Great Post Ruth. It’s quite ridiculous to watch the coverage of fashion shows and think, her underwear isn’t showing, I want it. I’ll look up where I can buy Triumph in my area in a minute.

    Also, If you’d wear the last dress, I think you’ll have no problem finding a man willing to follow you everywhere with a patio heater on wheels. xoxo

  4. I love the sheer look! It’s mermaid-y-ness appeals especially to my inner seven year old.

    I can never pull it off though since it requires the ever crucial nude pants and bra, as you mentioned. While I’ve had no trouble digging up nude pants that are the right colour, I have yet to find a nude bra that is both pale enough, and is also a good bra. I have a nude bra from my favourite brand, in the same cut as my trusty black one, but find that I may as well wear a neon pink one under my sheer-ish tops because the contrast between the bra and my skin tone is that massive.

    • I completely agree. I think buying underwear is like buying foundation – if you’ve got mid-toned skin it’s easy peasy, if you’re really pale or dark it’s a nightmare!

      Loving the bosomy goth look. I’m off to look up pics of that show.

  5. I love the look of a tight fit at the natural waist- it’s almost universally flattering!

  6. Absolutely love the Issa look and am quite impressed with all the wonderful shape wear. Question: are British bra sizes the same as the ones in the States? (Shoe and clothing sizes differ but I have no frame of reference for British lingerie, esp the bras). Thanks!