Today is my 23rd birthday and I thought it would be fun to make a list of the extravagant, beautiful things that I would love to buy or get as a gift for the occasion! This is of course wishful thinking as I am a student in my early 20s and most of my peers are also poor students or starving artists. Oh well, a girl can dream right? Also NSFW because there are some oh-so-scandalous nipples in one of the photos.
I did mention this beauty in my post about one of my favourite loungewear brands, Oh Yes! Celeste, but I really haven't been able to stop looking at it and thinking about it since I first discovered it ages ago. It's just one of the most gorgeous gowns I've ever seen and I honestly don't know how anyone would sleep in it! I absolutely love the beadwork on this piece, it's so intricate and it's all done by hand! The black silk is beautiful too, it acts like the night's sky to the silver stars and beads and is just sheer enough to show a little bit of the wearer's figure underneath but opaque enough not to show everything. I really think this could be worn as an evening gown, it's just exquisite.
I've generally been indifferent to most of the collections Agent Provocatuer has put out these past few seasons and have found their economic issues more interesting than their lingerie. However, I do tend to gravitate more towards their Soiree line, their high-end demi-couture collection because they seem to be doing the most interesting things design wise within this collection. Mikki is no exception and I absolutely love this set. The set is made with gorgeous black Leavers lace with yarn embroidery on top in a beautiful floral pattern. I love the pastel colours against the black lace and the skirted suspender makes the set even more delicate and dainty. This set is devastatingly expensive (especially as a Canadian with the terrible exchange rate) and I'll have to keep my eye out for it during their winter semi-annual sale. Hopefully prices drop enough on this set that I'll be able to afford it! Though I may have to eat ramen and Kraft Dinner for about two months afterward even with the discount!
So this absolutely stunning piece by UK-based couture corsetiere, Sparklewren, isn't actually available as they don't replicate their designs and they're on a bit of a hiatus this year, but isn't it magnificent? Sparklewren makes some of the most beautiful corsets I've ever seen, and of the items on their website right now, this has to be my favourite. One of their corsets costs about the same amount of money as a semester of my graduate program but because of the expertise Jenni Hampshire, the brand's owner, puts into every corset and using the most beautiful and high quality materials, the pricing is fair and makes sense. Each individual lace "blossom" is hand stitched onto the gorgeous ruby silk and creates a unique pattern. It really does look like a garden in full bloom!
WWII Sweetheart Lingerie
I've been looking for one of these kitschy WWII sweetheart lingerie sets for years now. They're normally incredibly expensive, rare, and highly sought after by other vintage lingerie addicts. These sets were given to women by their soldier partners as a gift and reminder not to stray while they were fighting in WWII. This is sort of sweet and kind of annoying now that you think about it because of sexism, but I do still find these sets silly and adorable. They come in all sorts of colours and styles but they always say "sweet" on one cup and "sour" on the other and generally always say "OFF LIMITS" on the lower part of the knicker and sometimes "Gone With the Wind". I kind of hope that's a reference to the film which would have still been immensely popular at the time (it's never stopped making money). The history behind these sets is very interesting and I might have to dedicate a post to it alone. But I would love one (or more!) of these sets in my collection!
Schiaparelli Hand Bra
The Schiaparelli hand bra is another holy-grail item for vintage lingerie collectors. Everyone I've spoken to who loves vintage lingerie wants one of these, but they're incredibly hard to find (I've never come across one in my searching) and are likely very expensive. I'll have to do more research about this particular piece, but I haven't had much luck so far. I wonder who actually owns these pieces, how many there are out there, and how much they go for. If you know anything more about them, let me know! However, Playful Promises is putting out a version of this set for their Bettie Page line in November or December so more of us will be able get our hands (pun intended) on this piece!
Italian designer, Cristina Aielli, launched her namesake brand in 2015 after attending the Oxford Corsetry Conference and "breaking the internet" with her exquisitely elaborate designs. Aielli's work was featured on numerous blogs and made lingerie addicts around the world swoon and the brand quickly developed an international presence. 2016 was a great year for the brand but they took a bit of a break until recently, but it looks as though production will commence and lingerie will continue to be made, including the gorgeous Flora set, which had been put on hold at the end of last year. This set is my current favourite from Aielli's shop because it's the most intricate and substantial looking, which of course, makes it the most expensive set. It's constructed with Italian fabrics like lush velvet, and rebrodè lace delicately sewn on top of illusion tulle that makes it appear as though the wearer's body is covered in beautiful flowers. Everything is made-to-order and is custom made using the buyer's measurements. I'm happy to see that Aielli is back on social media again and making lingerie, I missed her!
This is a wish-list-only item because I honestly have no idea how much this corset could be priced at. It's covered in over 7000 real pearls and has clocked in over 200 hours of work spent on it. It has to be one of the most gorgeous corsets I've ever seen and I can only imagine that it's even more stunning in person. Emiah doesn't list the price of this on their website because it's such an expensive design, but it's definitely one of the brand's biggest statement pieces. The collection it's from, called No Grit No Pearl, or NGNP, has takene two years to create and has amassed over 20,000 pearls and 700 hours of hand beading and stitching. Emiah is based in the UK and they sell many other lust-worthy pieces and have gorgeous collections that I'd definitely love to have in my lingerie wardrobe at some point.
1930s Dressing Gown by Charles James
Now this one is definitely wish-list only because it's currently part of the Met's collection and there's not way I'll be able to get my hands on it unless I find one out in the wild and have a ton of money. I absolutely adore Charles James and was broken hearted that I had just missed the collection at the Met two years ago (I was in New York right after it closed). His designs are absolutely mind-blowing and this incredible deco gown is no exception. It's like liquid gold and bronze running down the course of the gown, and I adore how each piece of silk is unattached at the hem. The design and structure of this piece is quite architectural and is definitely reminiscent of sky-scrapers of the 1920s and 30s.
Anything by Diana Slip
One of my main interests in lingerie history is the history of fetish and underground parts of lingerie history. Diana Slip is a fetish-wear brand that sold fetishwear and lingerie in the early 20th century and saw their peak in the 1920s. The brand was founded by Léon Vidal, a publisher, who sold erotic literature and photography along with fetish garments and lingerie. I love seeing photos of these pieces because we tend to forget about the sexuality of people in the past and many people have the incorrect belief that the early 20th century was a more demure time. It definitely wasn't and photographs of Diana Slip pieces shot by famed photographers Roger Schall and Brassaï demonstrate that fact.
Carine Gilson is one of the few true-couture lingerie brands making lingerie and loungewear nowadays. Their use of the finest silks and gorgeous laces all sewn to perfection makes them one of the leading competitors of luxury items in the industry. I can't get over their latest collection using pinks and reds and rose lace appliques and trims, it's just so exquisitely beautiful. I can't even think of how much skill it would take to make this piece, it's truly remarkable. I want pretty much everything Carine Gilson makes, but the colour combination and use of lace on this piece makes it one of my favourites. It could definitely also double as a dress.
I already own one corset by American designer, Angela Friedman, and it's one of the most beautiful things I own, and my wish-list of items to buy from the brand grows longer and longer every season. However one of my all-time favourite pieces and items I frequently visit online is the gorgeous Isabel corset. The piece is made of a gorgeous ivory and baby pink brocade sourced from Italy and accented and trimmed with the sweetest baby pink silk. Angela's pieces are heavily inspired by ballet and her time working in ballet costuming and this piece looks like something that could grace a stage. The only way to complete this look is by Friedman's famous silk ruffled panties in baby pink!
Last but certainly not least, is the opulent Dominique robe by cult-favourite, Catherine D'Lish. This really couldn't be a wish-list without one of D'Lish's pieces on here and I don't even know how someone couldn't lust after these gorgeous pieces. D'Lish is a burlesque performer who started performing in the early 1990s and befriended Dita Von Teese. The two have collaborated on most of Dita's costumes since the 90s and D'Lish's work costuming is incredible. A few years ago, she started selling these amazing robes on eBay and people quickly went nuts over them. She now has a website and offers more styles, like the divine Dominique robe above. I love this piece because it's truly magnificent and over-the-top. Not that her other robes aren't but I want to go all-out for this list and this piece is truly luxurious. This particular robe was actually a custom piece for a customer and is being offered again but even D'Lish isn't sure of how much it really costs factoring in all the materials and time needed to make it. But it's certainly beautiful to look at!
What's on your wish-list? Let me know in the comments!