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Curve NY: Cleo Autumn/Winter 2013

Lucy in Malibu Blue
Honestly, I had thrown in the towel with Cleo. I adore the Marcie and some of their recent fashion is topnotch. But I've never been able to nail down my size in their core lines and when I've tried them in the past, there was always something a bit "off". During the Spring/Summer press event I attended, I was peacefully resigned on my stance towards Cleo. I could be the only person who feels this way, but their current collection seemed quite "juniors" when I saw it. Well, let's say I'm not sure I could rock it at 25. Sitting down in their booth last week, I was delighted with the turn around I saw for Autumn/Winter 2013. Their fashion offerings were modern and classy, their basics were redesigned, and there was a polka dot babydoll. Boom, done. I'll definitely be reintroducing myself to Cleo next season...
Marcie Balconnet in Candy Pink
An enduring popular favorite, the Marcie, will be back again in Candy Pink. The big news is the Babydoll below (it's Cleo's first!!!) and it's simply adorable. I tried the bra recently and experienced some gaping, but I probably needed a smaller cup size. The Marcie line is impossible to resist and I'd love it in navy or with contrast embroidery. Don't let me forget the last & best part: the size range of the babydoll will be 28-38 D-J!

Marcie Babydoll in Black
In addition to the Malibu Blue colorway at the top, the Lucy's reworked into the Neon fashion below. Holy moly, I went bananas for this bra. I've never lucked out with Lucy and the line was getting a little boring for me, but this totally reinvents it! I also think this design strategy could be applied to the Marcie (*cough, Cleo, cough*).

Lucy in Neon
Lucy in Neon is scheduled for mid-July
Ellis in Floral Pink
I love these panels! This season's Melissa has the same gorgeousness.
In the realm of reliable contour bras, Cleo has unveiled two new lines. The Maddie is based off the shape of the Karen bra from a previous season. There are black and beige versions which are planned as continuity options and the Candy Pink below will be the one-time fashion.

Maddie in Candy Pink
If you're familiar with Cleo's mainstays, you're probably aware of their deep plunge, the Jude. The Jude's size range is 28-38 D-G, but the Neve is being brought in to replace it and will be available from 28-38 D-H! The Panache representative told me that the Neve will differ from it's predecessor a bit. They've upped the "Ooomp effect": 

Neve in Black

Millie in Geo Print (Reminds me of Mad Men!)
Overall, I appreciate cohesive collections. I realize that most lingerie ships on an installment basis so there are often "mini collections" buried within the broader season. Regardless, I'm a big fan of moments when a brand can telegraph a message to consumers, introduce something classic that feels fresh, and continue to build on their proven strengths in exciting ways. If there are ten different colors or a revolving door of new base shapes, the brand loses it's reliability for fit and they don't appear design focused.

I'm blabbering on about all of this because after seeing the Cleo presentation, I feel the brand deserves an A+ in this category. I'm not enamored with every color or shape they presented, but it is a unified group of lingerie. The corals and the bright oranges are complimented nicely with neutrals, they've reconfigured their moulded department and introduced a babydoll to an audience that doesn't have many options in the "nightwear" department. The Lily is an example of that tone -- It's one bra that definitely echoes back to the other coral fashion and reminds us of Cleo's playful use of bird prints in the past:

Lily in Parrot Print
In my previous Curve coverage, I've discussed how bras can begin to blend together and it's especially true for the risk adverse pack of full bust brands. So, after 72 straight hours of bra talk, I LOVE it when a company reveals a courageous or unique set. Like the Fan-Tastic from Freya or the Martina from Fantasie, the Lori stood out for me. I love soft dove greys, but you don't see the color much. The Lori is elegant, without losing it's sense of fun, and simply lovely to look at. That's what lingerie is all about, right?

Lori in Grey/Coral

Jesse in Black Multi
Have you seen the Spring/Summer 2013 styles? Would you agree with me that they're a little "young" or am I nuts? I've been wrong before, haha.  

What's your #1 pick from the Cleo Autumn/Winter group? I'm tied between the Lucy in Neon and the Lori. It's a tough call.

**The Panache team wanted me to notify my readers that this is a sneak peek or preview of a future collection. These bras won't be available to purchase until July - September. Are we all on board with that? ;)

12 Comments

  1. I fell in love with the Lori when I saw it! That's the one bra that I'm jonesing for most after my time at Curve.

    I do feel that the Cleo line is more youthful than their other lines, but I'd say the same goes for Freya in the Eveden group. I'm also 25, and I feel like each style of bra has a time and place. I love the more funky, fun bras that Cleo offers because they make up for all the boring bras I had when I was younger. I didn't care about bras when I was a lot smaller, so my entire closet was beige and black. I have a few regrets about that, especially since I had so many options! There's nothing like making up for lost time, though, and the shape I get from the Marcie is perfect. Aside from the Lori, I'm also looking forward to the Marcie babydoll. It's amazing and I can't wait to get my mitts on it!

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    1. Oh my gosh, I'm glad you liked the Lori too! When I was writing this up, I was thinking, "Gosh, I hope this is not one of those wacky designs I'm obsessed with that no one else is into!". So, confirmation is wonderful - the Lori is divine.

      I would agree with you, bras have their time and place, and I wish I had known about Cleo when I was say, 16. Freya's very similar in it's energetic, flirty spirit. I suppose I felt with the Cleo S/S 13 collection that there was one fashion that felt "age appropriate" (Gah - I hate using these words!). I'm not sure the brand's striving for that per se, I think they'd prefer it if their designs could reach us old broads too. ;)

      Thanks for weighing in, Laura!

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  2. Yay, the Cleo preview!!!

    Personally I don't feel that the brand is too young, but I think I am different from others in that I usually find most other brands too 'old' or just too conservative to interest me. For instance, I never like anything that Fantasie brings out, even though aesthetically I appreciate that they do plenty of beautiful things. I think Cleo just fits with my style a lot more, plus I always feel confidant about the shape. I'm lucky that I like the things they bring out, because for the most part it's the only brand that consistently works for me in terms of fit. I've tried so hard and so repeatedly to make Freya work for me, but the fit is never right. And Panache only has the occasional bra that will work for me.

    As for the collection--we seem to be on the same page taste-wise with this one! I'm excited for the white and orange Lucy, and I'm thrilled that will be available as soon as this summer. And I'm THRILLED about the Lori, as I've been looking for an unpadded gray bra for years. Do you know when that one will be brought out? I'm going to be buying it RIGHT AWAY!!!

    My complaints--I'm not crazy about the Millie or the turquoise color of the Lucy--I know a lot of people like that color but it bums me out for some reason I can't pin down. I wish the parrot print on the Lily looked more like parrots, as I think it is so small and undefined as to not really look like anything. I'm also not sure how I feel about the new pink color of the Marcie. I WANT to like it, but somehow it just doesn't do it for me. I wonder if I'd like it more if it was a little paler? Also, although I'm looking forward to the babydoll, I think they could also do to produce the bra itself in that black.

    I'm excited to see that the molded bras are going up to H cup now, especially with some basic colors. I do wish, though, that they would have continued the color contrasts we saw in the Jude--black with pink trim, beige with white trim. Still, it's definitely forward progress so I'm not complaining (much).

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  3. I knew you'd be excited about this one, Bras I Hate. ;)

    I don't think the brand itself is too young, but I do feel the season we're in now (S/S 2013) had a "Delia's catalog" vibe. I agree with you, re: Fantasie, and I'm pretty sure they're aware of it too. The # of plunge/plunge with side support bras had multiplied and the coloring of their basics is a push towards a more fashion-focused clientele. In the past, I've greatly preferred Cleo's energetic, flirtatious approach and even in S/S 2013, I loved the Melissa and the funky Bella. But the Maddie, Nina, and Lana were lost on me.

    I'm glad we're finally in agreement! I'm with you your assessment of the Millie, Lucy in Malibu Blue, and the Candy Pink of the Marcie. The Marcie is so fun and loveable, it'll never be an unpopular option. I'd personally prefer more sophisticated colors like the red they made the first time it came out. I'm not as keen on the brights and I'd totally buy it in black. Hey, I'd like it in the ballet pink that Freya has for the Patsy! Hahaha. Bra bloggers are picky devils.

    And yeah, the contour lines were much more subtle than anything I've seen from Cleo. I was surprised but padded t-shirt bras are the bread & butter of the North American lingerie biz (...or so the reps keep telling me!). Maybe there were requests for it?

    The Lori's scheduled release date is mid-August and the Neon Orange Lucy is set for a month earlier in mid-July. You never know though, the brands have been known to push the release earlier or later. Hopefully, the Lori will arrive earlier than anticipated! ;)

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    1. Yeah, now that you mention it, I wasn't as excited by the current (SS13) season. I like the purple color of the Lucy but other than that, there isn't anything I feel a need to own. I thought especially in contrast to the AW12 collection, which was so strong, the SS13 was weak. And yeah--a bit Delia's-catalogue-ish, especially the ones you've mentioned.

      I'm much more excited for the upcoming season though!

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    2. Exactly! (And I love that you knew that reference) I could've said all that much more simply I suppose. Also, when I saw ALL of it in person at the same time, it spoke much "louder" than any individual set would.

      Totes, excited! Lemme know when you spot the Lori for sale!!

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  4. All I want is Marcie as a basic black bra. Pleeeaaasee Cleo!

    I think I might pick up Ellis on sale, but other than that this collection isn't really in line with my aesthetic I guess. Though I do admit that Lori and Lily are quite adorable!

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  5. The polka dot babydoll is so cute! Like you, I struggle with finding a good fit with this brand, but I'm willing to give them another try for the babydoll alone. Also, I am so sad to see the Jude be discontinued in favor of the Neve. The lace accents and contrast straps on the Jude gave women a basic tee shirt bra that had a little personality.

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    1. Haha, the day I tried the Marcie, I found your review of it and we had the EXACT same fit issues. It was reassuring like, "Ok, I might not be the only one who doesn't jive with Cleo". Cleo definitely brought me back around with their babydoll magic.

      In the booth, I was aggressively in support of discontinuing the Jude. It's one of those bras that's gotten onto my "Bad Bras Pour Moi" list. I think that this may be a personal bias though, as opposed to a poor design/fit. Unlike some women, I do really well with the Freya Decos as a moulded plunge option. I think the Jude would serve the other side of the spectrum some how, as I looked ridiculously bad in it. Usually when that happens, I try not to freak at the bra and remind myself that it would probably be great for a woman who doesn't have the same breast positioning, shape, etc.
      Just a theory.

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  6. I really like the look of Cleo's S/S 13 styles, especially the Melissa and the Bella. But that's probably because I'm going a little crazy over ridiculously colored bras (hello huge polka dots on the Zia!) to make up for a distinct lack of them in my first twelve years of wearing bras. I never got to wear anything with a Delia's vibe (perfect description) as a teenager, so I'm making up for it now. My enthusiasm might fade at some point though, but for now I'll take all the springy-flowery prints I can handle. But then again, I'm only 24 and a half, so that could be it. :)

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    1. Hey Erin, no - I totally get it! When I began Miss. Up. I wanted every hot pink bra on the planet because part of my taste is what I'd call "unrepentant, unfiltered Barbi". She was my first style icon so duh, it left an impression. I think I've binged though because now when I see a hot pink bra, I can't get away fast enough.

      You've got to make up for lost time! Rock on with your ridiculous crazy colors!

      I'm glad I've reached a younger reader too. Please keep me informed about what the kids are up to these days. ;)

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  7. Woah! Am I the only one going crazy over that print on Jesse? That looks so fun and fresh to me. Like confetti, of sorts.
    PS. You've reached another young reader, at 19 :)
    I'm really glad I'm able to find these collections so early, because now I can special order what I want, whereas before, I'd just go into the nearest boutique and hope to goodness that there was something new in my size. (which, it appears, only happens about twice a year. It's especially tough when there isn't a huge young crowd looking at high-quality, full-bust lingerie where I live :P)

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