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Miss Underpinnings

The Middle Market A Year Later And Why I'm (Still) Planning to Take Over Freya

This is how I feel when I think about Freya for too long.
There are times when I'm at Curve that make me want to beat my head into the wall until it's bloody out of pure frustration and disappointment. Seeing the soaring promotional images of Freya's Spring/Summer 2015 collection was one of those times and has brought me to the conclusion that my evil mastermind plan to take over Freya is the only way for us all to move forward.

I don't profess to know more than the experienced industry executives who are currently in charge and I could be totally, 100% wrong about who their market is and will be, but I do feel as if I see a future for them that they haven't glimpsed yet. Ironically, Freya's collection isn't that horrible because despite the circus-y nature of this upcoming collection, there are a handful of great designs. The problem arises once you hear who they see as their target customer and while that customer isn't bad and her taste isn't sub par, she's still a customer that everyone is going after right now. Cleo, Curvy Kate, Tutti Rouge, and Bravissimo's in-house label are all after the same audience! Freya -- who has ruled over this market since it's conception -- is shamefully battling the smaller brands for a share when they should be concentrating on who the next customer is and predicting what she will like.

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Curve NY: Fantasie Spring/Summer 2015

Fantasie Spring/Summer 2015 Mae Basque 
With their Spring/Summer 2015 collection, Fantasie is trying to cover all it's bases at once and time will tell if this is a reliably successful approach or if they are simply spreading themselves too thin. I'm leaning towards the former, as the lines seemed well-balanced between luxurious and utilitarian, embellished and minimalist, and fuller coverage and downright sexy. They're trying to offer something for everyone -- a goal many brands aim for and subsequently fail to achieve -- and I think they've hit that sweet spot. I'm quite pleased with the designs aimed at me and for those that aren't, well, they don't seem so bad either. But y'all will be the final judge, do you see something for yourself amongst their upcoming collection?

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Curve NY: Miss Mandalay Spring/Summer 2015

Miss Mandalay Spring/Summer 2015
There are only two things I hate about Miss Mandalay lingerie -- that there isn't more of it and it's not more widely available. Since I had a lukewarm reaction to Curvy Kate's Spring/Summer 2015, I thought I'd post on a collection I really, really liked. I consider Miss Mandalay one of those "middle market" brands which roll out chic, fashionable lines for women who want lingerie that lies between the polar extremes of fuller converge conservatism and sassy girlishness. There aren't many DD+ companies who appeal to me as deeply as Miss Mandalay so I was overjoyed when I learned they would be at Curve. Although I wish the collection was bigger and everyone carried everything in every size, their seasonal offerings are super charming.

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Curve NY: Curvy Kate Spring Summer 2015

Curvy Kate's Spring/Summer 2015 Collection
I had an extreme love/hate reaction to this season's Curvy Kate collection. Since I saw their offering on Monday, I've been trying to puzzle out why their designs inspired such extremes. Is half the collection a dud? Or -- more likely -- have I stopped being a Curvy Kate girl? Is this, like Cleo, a brand that I no longer relate to or "understand"? Have I "outgrown" them? Simultaneously, there's still an aesthetic vein in the girly British juggernaut that I find quite endearing. I also remember seasons past when they impressed me with almost every single piece and when I went online to find them, saw that many of those same killer colorways were completely sold out. Let's break down the love from the hate for Spring/Summer 2015:

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Curve NY: Tutti Rouge Spring/Summer 2015

Tutti Rouge Spring/Summer 2015
Tutti Rouge is the ultimate "bang for your buck" brand, with some of the most modestly priced full bust bras on the market and tons of aesthetic embellishments that you'd usually only find with luxury labels. It's easy to tell that Jessica Prebble, the mastermind behind all this loveliness, takes incredible care with her designs, down to the tiniest detail. Each season, she [warmly!] haggles with her printmaker, ensuring her exclusive fabrics match her vision exactly and once they're done, the bras get the full "Tutti" treatment with matching bows, ruffles, ruching, and my personal favorite, eye drop-sized pink hearts. I wouldn't necessarily say that my personal taste is perfectly aligned with the T.R. look, but each season, this brand is so much itself -- unapologetically girly, frivolous and fun -- that I inevitably end up falling for each and every line. God dammit, Jessica, what kind of bewitching lingerie fairy dust are you sprinkling on these things?!

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