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A Eulogy for Fauve's Delphine & a Giant Gap in the Market

Bronte Plunge Balcony in Jade
At press appointments, I try to hold it together because I have a misleading baby's face, I want to eat all the free mini-cupcakes and my make up has already begun to melt because New York makes me intolerably sweaty. I try to keep my professional demeanor intact and avoid begging, whining, and squealing. When we got around to talking about Fauve in the Eveden meeting though, I became slightly unreasonable. Why, you ask? Because they're murderers...

Ok, the lovely people at Fauve are not, for the record, murderers. I'm confident that the decisions that drove me into a frenzy weren't made by Fauve itself. In fact, those choices don't come down to one individual; they're simply a reflection of the lingerie world you and I live in.

Agnes Padded Half Cup
Agnes Balcony 
Agnes Thong & Suspender
There's a lot to like about Fauve for Autumn/Winter 2013: the Bronte has been brilliantly redone in both Silver and Jade; the new recurring character, Chloe, is eye catching; and the Veronique has snazzy corset details.


Delphine "old" Full Cup (above) & Short
Tragically, Fauve has killed the Anatasia, which would've been their first collection to reach an H cup, and they're "recreating" the Delphine. Even though it wouldn't have been available in my size, I loved the Delphine. Each bra from the line, the full and vertical seamed, were transparent. The colors were bewitching too, in a monochrome continuity and poppy fashion. The Rococo embroidery, on the vertical seam demi, curved from both sides until it flourished at the nipple. It's an original design and one of the few demis I saw at Curve. Check it:

The "old" Delphine Vertical Seam  
The original Delphine was deemed unsuccessful after the fashion orders were taken and with feedback from buyers, Fauve has decided to redo it. The new version will have padded cups and the embroidery has been flipped in the opposite direction. I'm not particularly bothered by any single decision, yet when seen within the larger market, it's exasperating. I love half cups of all varieties, but there is an abundance of padded or lightly padded ones already available. Conversely, soft demis are scarce and sheer ones are almost nonexistent. If the Polish companies are excluded and we examine the British and American producers alone, the inequality is pronounced.

I took my "common" size (30FF) and found all the padded half cups available now, or throughout the rest of the Spring/Summer 2013 season.

Bravissimo: Moulin Rose, Retro Bloom, Paradiso Plum Padded Half Cups

Freya: Secret Garden, Totally Tartan, Patsy, Secret Garden, Lauren Padded Half Cups; Deco Moulded Half Cup  

Masquerade: Rhea, Antoinette

Fauve: Maya, Emmanuelle, Coco, Lucille, Dominique, Marla

Curvy Kate: Tease Me, Entice

Claudette: Sophia Icon

Parfait: Arabella, Cassandra, Florence, Lola, Charlotte, Leslie

There are 26 bras listed above and from the same companies, I could only find two soft half cups. The Bravissimo Mademoiselle and the Claudette Sophia Minx are both beautiful lined bras, but I couldn't find a single sheer style in my size. Admittedly, there were a handful of close contenders: Masquerade makes two that might qualify (Persia and Orla), unfortunately their "Non Padded Balconnet" shape heaps on more coverage than a demi. The Freya Gem and Fauve Chloe both discontinue production after an F cup.

I want more of THIS in my size! Aubade | Chantelle | Simone Perele | Huit
Beyond the fantastic uplift half cups provide, this type of bra is important to me personally. They're meant to be seductive but the most powerfully enticing element is how alluring I feel in them. I'm more confident, sophisticated, and feminine! I'm a lingerie goddess, waiting for fruit tarts and a parade of men in period costume. All silliness aside, the bras transform how I see myself and in the best possible way. Padded half cups are comfortable, convenient and often quite pretty and I'm sure these factors contribute greatly to their overwhelming popularity. But where have all their transparent counterparts gone? Instead of bras that add layer upon layer of foam, cotton, and synthetics, I'd like a plethora of bras that enhance what I've already got goin' on.

What's your "oh-yeah!" bra? Do you have a favorite type you're frantic for?

You'd think that one of the big Brit brands would want to tackle this open market, but they've all but abandoned it. Or, am I a lone wolf on this one? Do you prefer padded half cups??

12 Comments

  1. As a matter of fact I do prefer lightly padded cups, both in half cups and plunges (I'm mostly plunge girl actually). I usually wear thin or very thin shirts and tops (you don't want a sweater or a jacket if you have +25 and up in the office) and padded bras make them office-appropriate. Lace and transparent bras could be fun, but they aren't a staple of my bra wardrobe.

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    1. Oh yes, I totally agree. With light layers or thin knits, padded bras are an absolute necessity for professional situations.

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  2. Yesssss I agree with you. I want more sheer cups! If I could, I would only have my bras in sheer cups. They definitely make me feel sexy, since the way I dress is really conservative.

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    1. AGREED. If I wasn't a blogger, my drawers would be lined with sheer half cups and from only two brands. I dress conservatively too and I'm always cold so it means 98% of the time, I'm wearing a cardigan. Nobody sees my lace confections through my layers.

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  3. You are not alone, mon ami! I am a recent convert to half cups; I adore them. I LOVE the Masquerade Rosetti and the Rhea and I've just gotten the Rococo Charm from Bravissimo. Ditto the Cleo Juna (some call it a half cup, others simply a balconette). I recently sent an email to another busty friend of mine extolling their virtues. Would I love to see sheer half cups? You bet I would!

    I notice you didn't include the Rosetti on your list--it is a half cup, although it's not listed as such.

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    1. Yes, a convert! Spread the word -- half cups ROCK. I didn't include the Rosetti under the padded half cup column because it's pre-S/S 2013 and I tripped on a lot of that "padded balconnet" style hanging around from old Masquerade collections.

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  4. I believe the Paradiso Plume by Bravissimo does not have padding (they have several other similar bras).

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    1. Thanks for catching that, Faustineli! I spend WAY TOO MUCH time staring at Bravissimo's website. It's soft, but not sheer, so I'll tuck it in with the Mademoiselle. :)

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  5. I would love to see more sheer half cups on the market! I often find heavily padded/molded bras to be really uncomfortable for my shape. While I can't afford them at the moment, Miss Mandalay has some really lovely semi-sheer styles, but they're more balconettes than straight half-cups. I'm not sure about the size range. The Freya Patsy is also sheer, but defined as a plunge. More sheer half cups please!

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    1. Ohmmmygawd, you're a genius! If Miss Mandalay turned one of their classics, the Paris or Paige, into a sheer half cup, my mind would EXPLODE from happiness. Or, if the Patsy was available as a sheer AND padded half cup?

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  6. We're looking at carry Fauve in the store because there's been a bit of a demand for the upscale lingerie from some of our customers. Sheer bras in general are a little harder to come by in my opinion, so it's a shame to see them modify the design. However, having said that, I know that is also a bit tough to get many women to try those styles on (whereas padded half-cups are universally popular), and if you're spending $100 for a bra, it may be tough to convince someone the sheer look justifies the price tag.

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    1. Oh, I'm glad you're looking at them! I haven't seen their stuff in many boutiques so it always feels so special to see it in the flesh. Sheer bras ARE harder to come by, I remember a few years ago, Freya had this kick ass Spring collection -- full of gorgeous, interesting soft/sheer styles. Le sigh.

      You've brought up an interesting point though, I know sheer styles can be a harder sell. This is what I heard a lot of at Curve -- buyers and storeowners don't want sheer, they can't sell them. But when does this become a cyclical problem? Stores don't buy them believing they can't sell so brands don't make them. More women, who might've bought sheer, buy padded because of easy accessibility...it's just an idea.

      I think there's a little size prejudice going on. There seems to be an industry assumption that fuller women buy padded bras for special times whereas straight size women buy sheer AND padded. There are many, many straight size brands churning out sheer half cups for $100+ and since those brands are successful, they must be selling to women in the A-D market. If Chantelle, Huit, Simone Perele, Mimi Holliday, Aubade, and Wacoal are all producing this style, why isn't there ONE 30FF from ANY of the British or French full bust brands? I find that a little odd.

      I wouldn't demand that it be expensive either, I'd buy a sheer demi from Evollove, Freya, Midnight Grace, or Cleo. They simply don't exist.

      Contour or padding smacks of everyday wear as well -- being in a professional environment, going to school, etc. Years before I started my blog, I had two padded bras I wore all the time and one sheer bra I wore for special times. I think there's a case for sheer being a better seller for those occasions, as they stand in such contrast to the day-in, day-out necessity of padded bras.

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