Friday, May 27, 2011

A Summer Crop of Prima Donna

We don't have to tell you that we absolutely adore Prima Donna. If you follow our blog, our affection is obvious. Our bra crush has only been intensified, though, with a bumper crop of new arrivals, perfect for summer!

Prima Donna Twist's Coup De Foudre collection.
Molded (top) in Ginger, $127 | Soft Cup (bottom) in Opal, $129.

If your taste is for tee shirt bras, look no further. Prima Donna Twist's Coup de Foudre collection is an elegant update to your average everyday underpinning. We have both the molded and soft cups in stock, and both feature a refined geometric print.

Prima Donna's Amazone Full Cup (bottom) in Pandora Blue, $179.
Prima Donna's Deauville Full Cup (top) in Crocus, $155.

Prima Donna's Deauville bra has been a staple around these parts for a long time, and it's not hard to figure out why. It's our most supportive bra, hands down. For those of you who live in your Deauville bras, we have the perfect summer treat: it's now available in a lovely on-trend light purple hue. If exceptional embroidery is on your lingerie checklist, you'll have to check out Amazone, a stunning collection that features a whimsical embroidery pattern. It speaks to all the best parts of summer - playful color, botanical motifs and undeniable femininity.

Prima Donna's Tamise (bottom) in Natural, $127.
Prima Donna's Stockholm (center) in Geisha, $142
Prima Donna's Kolyma (top) in White, $147.

So bright colors aren't your thing. Not to worry! We also have three lovely new collections available from Prima Donna in the wispiest of hues, perfect for the warmer days! Welcome newcomers Tamise, Stokholm and Kolyma. All feature beautiful embroidery, unparalleled support and sexy summer style.

For all you Prima Donna devotees, now's the perfect time to update your bra collection and get re-fitted, so come check out the new stock before it's all gone!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Seeing Stars, All Because of Pluto

A few years ago, Pluto (the one in space) lost its planet status. With that, a Facebook group was started called When I was your age, Pluto was a planet. The group gave everyone, even the youngest among us, a chance to feel old and nostalgic for the days of elementary school astronomy. These days, Pluto may not be a planet, but it IS a pretty amazing Belgian loungewear brand.

Pluto Sofia Robe - $297

Even though it seems at times that Bay Area rain will last forever, living here means being rewarded with exceptional spring and summer weather. Our warm days are just right - dry, breezy, not too toasty. Just enough heat to break out the shorts, and just enough chill that your leather jacket can remain part of your daily ensemble. If you're anything like me, you never want your good taste to start and end right outside your front door. Just because you're hanging at home for the evening or lounging on a sunny Sunday afternoon, doesn't mean you can't look chic, classic and yes, sexy.

Pluto Esmee Pajama Set - $205

Pluto Matelasse Robe - $282

If your taste is for loungewear pieces with style, exceptional cut and unparalleled personality, then Pluto is the perfect brand to add to your coziest of repetoires. The fabrics run the gamut from impossibly soft matelasse to the slinkiest of jersey knits. Each piece is made with care and we have a great array of pieces to choose from in a variety of sizes. When it comes to comfort, each piece fits the bill - not too heavy and not too thin. Just right for the Bay Area's warmer months!

Pluto Emily Robe - $225

So if you're seeking some sexy summer loungwear, gravitate towards Pluto. It may no longer hold planet status, but it will always be stellar to us!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Learning Lingerie: Leavers' Lace

Before I plumb the depths of my bloggy brain for this post, I'll start with a simple question: Is good lace worth dying for?

I spent this past weekend in Pennsylvania, attending the wedding of my amazing childhood friends. In the flurry of joy, libation and friendship, among the hand-rolled cigars, the 20-year whiskeys, the jubilant attendees and the crisp rush of taffeta, there was the bride. The gorgeous bride, my friend, swathed in the loveliest Alençon lace gown. The gown itself was a simple cut, but you'd never know it by looking at it, because the lace was so stunning that the dress looked painstakingly assembled despite its easy construction. Glimpsing my pal in her stunning ensemble, I was inspired to write a blog post about lace for A La Folie. Because when you think about it, a basic bra construction, while painstaking in its own right, really is a fantastic canvas upon which to display some truly amazing laces. A two piece cup in a plain satin can look, well, plain. In lace, however, that same two piece cup takes on a whole new attitude, one that is imbued with femininity and sensuality.

Lace is a language that takes encyclopedias and glossaries to fully comprehend. There's no way to address all the subtle nuances between a machine-made tape lace versus a handmade one, or how to adequately decipher European filet lace from Chinese filet lace. However, I can at least start in familiar territory!

Cluny Lace which has been produced in the Leavers' Lace fashion

If you're a fan of French lingerie, you may have heard the term Leavers' Lace before. It's exceptionally common in fine lingerie and comes in a variety of different incarnations. Knowing that the name of the lace usually categorizes a specific style or region in which a lace is made, how can that be? The reason is that the name Leavers' Lace describes the machine it is made on, and not the style or the region. From The Lace Book by Jessie F. Caplin:
[The Levers' Lace Machine was] originally able to make lace 18 inches in width, [and] was invented in England by John Levers (sometimes spelled Leavers) in 1813. It is the basis of our present-day lace machines... [The Jacquard] can be repeated automatically across the 230 inches of width of machine, thus allowing many breadths of lace to be made at one time.

The Leavers' Lace machine
Even though the book quoted above was published in 1932, it's apparent that the Leavers' Lace machine is just as important today, as the lace is still regularly used in lingerie collections. The ability to mass produce beautiful figural laces that were previously only made by hand truly revolutionized apparel manufacturing. Also interesting to note is that machine made lace did not find its beginnings in France as many might think, but in England.

The making of lace by machine is usually conceded to have started in England and the inventors of that country receive credit for most of the major developments in this field. England tried to protect the industry and decreed laws to prevent the exportation of machines. These laws carried penalties of imprisonment and even death. Nevertheless, lace making by machine started in France very early. Perhaps the nearness of Calais to teh English coast may explain the early start of this city as a French center for machine-made lace.

How about that? The Leavers' Lace we all covet and wear so close to our bodies was cause for imprisonment or death! I've heard about dying for love before, but dying for lace? So much more romantic (and fashionable)!