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Crystallizing Lingerie Trends

NEW YORK — Swarovski is lending a new sparkle to lingerie.<BR><BR>The crystal specialist presented what it described as a couture collection of crystal-embellished lingerie and swimwear at the Swarovski Creative Service Center here on Wednesday....

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NEW YORK — Swarovski is lending a new sparkle to lingerie.

The crystal specialist presented what it described as a couture collection of crystal-embellished lingerie and swimwear at the Swarovski Creative Service Center here on Wednesday. The collection, which can be viewed by appointment through April 20, features one-of-a-kind items by designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Roberto Cavalli, Christian Lacroix, Christian Dior and Andrés Sarda.

There also are special styles designed by lingerie brands Natori, La Perla, Aubade, Le Bonitas per Versace, Rosanna Ansaloni, Pain de Sucre, Millesia-Nina Ricci, Lise Charmel, Damaris, Marlies Dekkers, Le Bonitas per Blumarine, On Gossamer and Wacoal Japan.

Swarovski’s expansion into lingerie began in January when the brand hosted its first-ever fashion show at the Salon International de la Lingerie in Paris, which underscored the idea that “crystal as a creative material knows no boundaries,” said Rita Nakouzi, a senior consultant of Promostyl, an international trend forecaster.

Nakouzi, who has been a trend partner with Swarovski since 2001, was the host at last week’s event with designer prototypes and a video presentation that represented spring-summer 2005 trends. The show was staged in Swarovski’s “crystal playroom” and featured 300,000 different crystals.

“By bringing lingerie designers here, we learned about the different fabrics and the needs of lingerie fabrics in particular, and we’ve customized the application processes,” she said. “Lingerie is so delicate. So we created a new crystal called Zillion, which requires less heat transfer to apply to lingerie fabrics.”

Nakouzi identified five different types of women for whom the “glittering flash” of crystal-embellished lingerie can be visually interpreted. They are: The Conceptual Woman, The Sensual Woman, The Classic Woman, The Seductive Woman and The Rebel.

“The Conceptual Woman takes a holistic approach to life and uses technology to create an easier lifestyle by creating harmony with nature,” said Nakouzi, noting that this woman likes crystal combined with high-tech fabrics and graphic shapes.

Brands reflecting this theme include VPL by Victoria Bartlett, Eres, Lacoste and Calvin Klein Underwear. Icons representing this theme are Christy Turlington, Julianne Moore, Sofia Coppola and Uma Thurman.

This story first appeared in the April 11, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Nakouzi said the Sensual Woman views crystal as “soft and poetic,” something to highlight decorative or practical details of her lingerie in second-skin fabrics in powdered pink and amber shades. Several brands represent this romantic approach: Aubade, Argentovivo, Vannina Vesperini and Elle MacPherson Intimates. Icons include Nicole Kidman, Stella McCartney, Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Jessica Parker.

“Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé [Knowles], Pamela Anderson and Madonna epitomize the Seductive Woman,” Nakouzi said. “Her lingerie must be provocative, colorful and in shiny materials.”

Nakouzi said flashy crystal trims were key. Brands that fit this scenario include Agent Provocateur, Dolce & Gabbana, Chantal Thomass and Roberto Cavalli.

In contrast, the Classic Woman has a “passion for good taste and elegance,” said Nakouzi, noting she “will revel in the additional seductive touch of crystal trims and practical features” in old-fashion, lace-trimmed lingerie of ivory, carmine red, plum, black and chocolate. Key brands include La Perla, Wacoal, Chantelle and Simone Perele. Icons include Gwyneth Paltrow, Sophie Dahl and Catherine Deneuve.

Nakouzi described the Rebel as “childlike, but sexy.” For her, crystal is multifaceted and reflects an ability to play with colors, fabrics and materials to suit different desires. This includes transforming lingerie in a crossover item.

“She never follows rules, she creates her own rules,” said Nakouzi.

Key brands include 6ixty 8ight, Princesse Tam Tam and Tinsley. Icons include Drew Barrymore, Jade Jagger and Kate Moss.

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