As I mentioned back in December, Zack's family took us on a European river cruise through Southern Germany and onwards along the Danube. Unfortunately, we had one major travel kerfuffle: the cruise turned into a bus trip when the river was too high to navigate safely on! Dear Historic Flooding of December 2012, you suck. But while strolling through Vienna and trying to kill time before we all meet up, Zack and I spotted this lingerie boutique. There were tons of lingerie superstores lining the main shopping district so it wasn't a total revelation...and then I saw Masquerade! And busty
mannequins! Kris Line! I dove in there faster than you can say "lingerie".
When I walked in, I was greeted warmly by a woman about my age. Since I'm familiar with many of the British full bust products, I asked to see Polish lingerie exclusively and I told her my (usual) size range. I expected to try one or two Kris Lines and be on my way. Well, what happened next shocked me! There was tons of selection from companies I've never heard of, read about, or seen in U.K.-based e-retailers. I tried on pieces from Dalia, Samanta, Kris Line and sometimes the bra would come and go so fast, I couldn't get a proper look at the tag! There was a massive selection that all came out of Poland. When Zack and I were rung up, I handed the gals my business card. After a moment of enthusiastic inter-German chatting, they told me they recognized me! So obviously, this is one of the top 10 Greatest Moments of My Life. I was recognized in Vienna. I still can't get over it and don't mention this to my mother because she will tell this story to anyone willing to listen.
Walking out the door, I felt like a celebrity. Of course it was wonderful for me personally, but the moment also gave me a new perspective on what I'm 'doing' as a blogger. I assume that most of my readers are native English speakers and the full bust brands from the U.K. are the premiere manufacturers of DD+ lingerie. It's a rather arrogant point of view as I'm both an English speaker and a diehard fan of British brands. While I wouldn't argue that the Panache and Eveden brands operate on the same scale as Polish brands, I've slowly realized that Poland has a full bust lingerie culture all their own. I'd also say that for the most part, that culture has been kept separate and inaccessible to the market as a whole. Ewa Michalak and Kris Line seem to be the tip of a larger iceberg. I spend hours (quite literally) on the Internet researching full bust options. How is it possible that I have the Curvy Kate catalog memorized and I couldn't name three Polish brands? To me, that seems a bit... weird?
I'm an insanely curious person so when I got home from our trip through Germany/Austria/Hungary, I started to see what I could suss out online about Polish DD+ brands. I used the Polish Lingerie Directory and Google translated my way through the Stanikomania! blog. I discovered even more companies like Gorteks, Ewa Bien, Kostar, and Gorsenia. I also found a cluster of lingerie boutiques that stock these brands in Warsaw. Like any rational and financially responsible person, I've bought a ticket and booked a hostel for a week. That's right, guys: I'm going to Poland to research, learn, and buy Polish lingerie next month.
To clarify just how insane this plan may be, I'm going to Poland by myself and I'm not at all familiar, let alone fluent, in the Polish language. I'm hoping we can all speak the Universal Language of Bras and I can grab an audio program that teaches me how to ask, "Where's the good bread?".
|Corin was the only Polish full bust lingerie company presenting at Curve NY. Of course, I had to stop by and of course, I feel in love with the "Lazurite" above.|
Here's where you guys come in though -- my parents keep asking me questions like, What are you going to do exactly while you're there? What are you specifically going to see? What will the focus of your trip be? I have a lot of (vague) ideas about what I'll do, but this is really where I'd like to get some input on what you would like to see. Whatever you'd like to read about, I'll try my best to make happen. If you want me to bang down Ewa Michalak's door and tie her to a chair and interview her, I'll attempt it. If you'd like to learn the history and background of Central European intimate apparel production, I'll cover it. If you want me to travel to boutiques and try gorgeous bras on, I'll very, very happily share photos, info, etc. I'll be there next month, from March 13th to the 20th.
So: tell me what you want, what you really really want!! (I know, but what can I say? I grew up with them!)
If you're in Poland reading this, I'd love to get your thoughts and suggestions. If you're of Polish descent, fill me in on any cultural customs. And by all means, if you're a lingerie brand from Poland that I might not know about, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.