Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Spotlight on 'Pull-in' - Coffin on Cake showcase



  As I mentioned in my last blog post, one of the most exciting collections at the Coffin on Cake press launch for Spring/Summer 2012, was the collection by French premium swimwear, underwear and lounge-wear brand, Pull-in...

  Launched 11 years ago, Pull-in is the brain-child of Emmanuel Lohéac, who had the concept of bringing a new wave of directional underwear to the fashion market. Lohéac's passion and drive has been rewarded by Pull-in's successful expansion from a small French business to a growing enterprise of 12 global concept stores and more than 1700 retailers worldwide. Since its launch, Pull-in has built up quite a cult following, counting athletes and celebrities such as Franck Ribery, Snoop Dogg, Madonna and The Saturdays amongst its fans!

  Pull-in's punchy prints and edgy graphics are very 'cutting edge' and the products feature prints of anything from strawberries to tennis rackets to cookies to iPhone application prints! Pull-in has even collaborated with well known names, such as Swarovski, Major League Baseball and DC comics, to create highly sought-after, limited edition designs. 

  Some of Pull-in's key attributes are its elasticated waistbands (made from the same material as in snow goggle straps!) and the use of high quality fabrics, such as Microfibre Lycra Invista.

  The Pull-in showcase at the Coffin on Cake press launch boasted a wide range of beach-wear, underwear and lounge-wear products for both men and women. The designs were extremely eye-catching and I particularly loved the mouth-watering summer fruit designs of raspberries, strawberries and grapefruits. The 'Vermont' raspberry print swimsuit was visually delectable and the print would definitely turn some heads on the beach!

  Another of my favourite prints from the womenswear collection was the bird print - a motif that will prove very popular for Spring/Summer 2012. I love how Pull-in have transformed a black bikini into such an elegant, fashion-forward piece! The bird print has also been carried over to Pull-in's lingerie, complimented by sumptuous black lace detailing (see below):

  It is interesting to see the diversity of styles and colour combinations within the Pull-in collection. There were some paintbox brights along with loud prints that are typical of Pull-in, but also some contrasting softer-toned, more understated and elegant designs. Take for example, this sports bra (below left), which pushes the Summer floral theme further with an edgy poppy print. In contrast, the satin 'Abeille' bra (below right) is very classic, glamorous and 'boudoir':


There was also a very impressive range of Pull-in men's underwear and lounge-wear at the Coffin on Cake press event...

I particularly liked the wacky Spongebob Squarepants collaboration boxers: 

  The Coffin on Cake showcase really 'sold' Pull-in to me as a brand, with its varied and carefully selected pieces. In the press goody bag, I also received some Pull-in girl boxer-briefs, which I absolutely love. They are made from super soft lycra and are really comfortable to wear!

  My fiancé also fell in love with the Pull-in designs that I showed him - so much, that I decided to buy him his very own pair of Wolverine boxers from the Pull-in Marvel collaboration! You can see an extensive selection of Pull-in products on!

  I am really looking forward to seeing what Pull-in come up with next! One thing that is for certain, is that I am going to have to make some room in my underwear drawer! The Cupcake and Strawberry Pana cotta print knickers look too delicious to resist...

Kitty xo

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Coffin on Cake Press Launch, October 2011

  On the 19th October, I was lucky enough to be invited to Coffin on Cake PR's press launch at The Vinyl Factory in Soho. Press days are always a great opportunity to see the latest brand showcases and I was excited to get a sneak preview of Coffin on Cake's choice of key-pieces for Spring/Summer 2012!

  The showroom was divided into collections and the 'walk-through' tour, given by the Coffin on Cake team, was akin to taking a mini holiday, stopping off at different fashion hot-spots along the way! Check out the faux airport signs, deckchairs, surfboards and wooden beach huts...

  There were some great brands on display, so it is with great pleasure that I bring you the highlights of the Coffin on Cake showcase! 

(Surfdome's impressive brand list!)

  I was introduced to the Surfdome showcase, which presented key lifestyle pieces under the headings of "From Bondi to Brighton" and "From St Tropez to St Ives". Given that Surfdome stocks over 500 brands (see picture above), the collection of bikinis, swim shorts, beachwear, rucksacks, bags, shoes and leisure-wear that was selected by Coffin on Cake was very varied and the key pieces built upon different trends. There were tie-dye bohemian prints, nautical 'French Riviera' designs, summery bright colours, muted 'vintage' floral patterns and edgy tribal prints. After the launch, I went to the Surfdome website to have a look at some of the items stocked and was so impressed with the number of popular brands available and the brilliant 70% off sale on at the moment. Definitely worth a look..I may have made a sneaky purchase too! 

  Popular aussie brand, Ripcurl, had a great array of swimwear pieces on display. Ripcurl combines its classic surf-friendly designs with bold tropical prints, nautical stripes and eye-catching bright colours, so you not only stay comfortable, but also look great!

  One of my absolute favourite parts of the Coffin on Cake showcase, was the bikini beach hut! Inside, were different 3D 'look boards', which were organised by body-shape and featured key characteristics, celebrity body matches and tips for picking suitable swimwear. 





  I was really excited to spot that Freya was featured in the 'Busty Bella' category and my eye was immediately drawn to the striking tribal print and fun mix of colours (coral and green shades, set in contrast with black and white). The bikini featured is the 'Marinella' Rainforest band-less triangle bikini, which will be available in back sizes 30-38 and cup sizes from D-FF in this particular style. 

  Finally, I bring you my new-found love, Pull-in:

  Pull-in is a premium French underwear, swimwear and lounge-wear brand that is well-known for its graphic prints and bright colours. I am usually more drawn to underwear and swimwear that is quite glamorous, sophisticated and a bit understated, but I really fell in love with the stunning 'look-at-me' prints of the Pull-in collection. In my next post, I will write about my favourite Pull-in pieces, as there are just too many to put into this blog post!

  I had a fantastic time at the press launch and want to say a big thank you to all of the team at Coffin on Cake, who were extremely friendly, well-organised and put together a brilliant showcase. The goody bag was also totally fab!

Stay tuned for my next post on 'Pull-in'!

Kitty xo

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Miss Mandalay: Bringing the boudoir to the beach!

  Launched in 2005 by Lorraine Morton, Miss Mandalay is a brand geared towards providing fashionable and directional lingerie and swimwear for fuller busted ladies:

"I've always been told how lucky I am to have been naturally blessed with a larger than average bosom (to be precise I'm a 30F). But as every woman with big boobs knows, it's virtually impossible to find a stylish, glamorous bra in your size. The lack of choice means we're left to buy another 'everyday bra' or an ill-fitting bra in a larger cup size; the kind of thing that the big brands offer as 'token' sizes in their usual B-D cup size range. 

Miss Mandalay offers a lingerie solution to every big boobed woman who is fed up with walking out of a lingerie boutique after been told that every luxury bra they stock doesn't come any bigger than a D cup"

-Lorraine Morton (

  With a focus on great fit and high quality, as well as on-trend designs, it is no surprise that Miss Mandalay has garnered a lot of media attention. This year, Miss Mandalay made the finalists of 'Full Bust Brand of the Year' in the prestigious UK Lingerie Awards and X Factor Judge, Tulisa Contostavlos, caused waves of excitement about the brand, after being papped on her Spanish vacation in the 'Harbour' bikini (below)!

(Picture credit:

  Miss Mandalay have a great range of sizes, from 28 D-G and 30-38 B-GG. As a 28FF, I was particularly excited, as they are one of the few lingerie and swimwear brands that cater for smaller back sizes and bigger cup sizes! 

  When I was last in Bravissimo, I tried on two Miss Mandalay bikinis: the 'Electric Zebra bikini' and the 'Mariposa bikini' (below):

  I really loved the eye-catching 'Electric Zebra' bikini, but sadly only a 28F was available, which was much too small in the cups for me. I tried the 'Mariposa' bikini on in a 28G, which fit ok, but the wide-set shape of the cups did nothing at all for me and the bikini flattened my bust, giving zero cleavage! 

  Although my first experience of Miss Mandalay left me a little luke-warm, I did not lose heart. I decided that the best option would be to have a look online for a Miss Mandalay bikini in a 28FF. It was during this search that I came across the gorgeous 'Boudoir Beach' underwired halterneck bikini on Large Cup Lingerie:

(Miss Mandalay 'Boudoir Beach' Underwired Halter Bikini Top, £45)

  The 'Boudoir Beach' bikini is one of Miss Mandalay's best-sellers and has been brought out in a variety of shades; from red to 'python' brown to 'moss' green to 'ice' white. The white version particularly grabbed me, with its 'Bond girl'-esque gold buckle detailing! The bikini top comes with the option of tie-side bikini briefs (£24) or bikini shorts (£26), available in sizes XS-L. I am a big fan of bikini briefs and especially love the sexiness of tie-side styles, which help to elongate your legs!

  Large Cup Lingerie very kindly sent me the 'Boudoir Beach' bikini top in a 28FF and the briefs in a size S (UK: 10) to try...

  Much to my excitement, I received the Miss Mandalay bikini very quickly and it arrived beautifully wrapped in pretty pink tissue paper. 

    As you can see from the photograph, the 'Boudoir Beach' bikini is a simple, but classic design that will look good on just about anyone! The plunge style bikini top really draws emphasis to your best assets and it is exciting to see a fuller cup brand tackle pool-side glamour, whilst still offering great support! 

  The 28FF fit me well and gave a much better shape than the 'Mariposa' bikini that I tried a while back. It is worth mentioning that the 'Boudoir Beach' bikini gives quite a subtle shape from side-on. Compared to my Freya bikinis, such as the 'Cabaret', the 'Boudoir Beach' gives a slightly less rounded and uplifted shape, perhaps due to the seam running down the centre of the cups, which may slightly flatten the breasts. The Miss Mandalay 'Aruba' halterneck bikini  is also comparable in shape, as you can see in the pictures below:

  The 'Boudoir Beach' features a clasp back fastening, to ensure that you feel secure and supported and the halterneck can be tied as tight or loose as you wish. The gold buckles are also heat resistant, for maximum comfort under the sun! If I were to change anything about the style, I would perhaps have preferred the 'Boudoir Beach' to be a regular strap bikini, as sometimes halternecks can get a bit sore on the neck after prolonged wear. All in all, however, it felt very comfortable and soft against the skin.  

  The matching tie-side briefs were also very flattering, with its gold buckles and tie sides. The tie sides make these bikini briefs quite versatile, as they can either be knotted and left to drape down the legs or be tied in bows! The cut of the 'Boudoir Beach' briefs is slightly more skimpy (e.g. compared to the Freya 'Cabaret' tie-side briefs), so it may not be the preferred option for those who want a little more coverage. I, personally, think that they are very sexy, but Miss Mandalay also offer the great alternative of matching bikini shorts.

(Back view of the Miss Mandalay, 'Boudoir Beach' tie-side briefs)

  I have heard quite a few people say that Miss Mandalay bikinis run smaller in the back band in comparison to other brands and this definitely rings true for the 'Boudoir Beach' bikini. The 'Boudoir Beach' is noticeably tighter than my Freya bikinis in 28 backs - ideal for curvy girls that are towards the smaller end of a 28 back! I really loved the firmer back of the 'Boudoir Beach' and this is a real benefit to its longevity, as the fabric will not lose its firmness as quickly.

  To round off, I think that the 'Boudoir Beach' bikini is a chic and quality offering from Miss Mandalay, which showcases the brand's passion for great support, coupled with fashion-conscious, but classic designs. As one of Miss Mandalay's best-sellers, the 'Boudoir Beach' will continue to be brought out in different colour variations - the brand has already hinted on their facebook page that some new colours are in the pipeline! 

  In the meantime, I have got my eye on some of Miss Mandalay's gorgeous lingerie collection, which I would love to  review in the near future. The 'Paris' underwired balcony bra in pink is one of the beauties on my wish list:

Kitty xo

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Lingerie luxuries with newcomer, Beaujais!

  As a lingerie blogger with a larger bust, many a time have I flicked through a copy of VOGUE magazine and torn out heart-stoppingly beautiful designer lingerie adverts or stared longingly through lingerie boutique windows at luxurious intimates that I could never find in my size. "What about fuller busted ladies who want some luxury in their lives?" I would murmur to myself.

  Although there are designer brands that cater for larger bust sizes, there is a special 'je-ne-sais-quoi' about hand-made luxury lingerie that just captivates me like nothing else. Recently, I was fortunate enough to come across an up-and-coming luxury lingerie brand that set my heart a-flutter with its meticulous craftmanship, beautifully executed designs and sumptuous fabrics of silk and lace. It is with pleasure that I present to you:

  'Beaujais' is the creation of lingerie fashion designer, Alice Warner. Alice graduated from Leeds University in 2010 with a First Class Honours in fashion design, giving her a solid basis upon which to realise her dream of producing her own line of luxury lingerie aimed at women with a fuller bust. Alice's dedication to lingerie for the fuller bust stems from her own struggles as an F cup, with finding bras that delivered support, shape and luxury in equal measure.

  Alice's strong fashion background and experience in lingerie design during her 'Year in Industry' enabled her to "translate fashion trends into [her] designs", making her lingerie collection directional and fashion-forward, yet timelessly wearable. Alice states Christopher Bailey (the Creative Director at Burberry) and the late Alexander McQueen amongst her big influences - she particularly admires Bailey for his ethos and attention to combining "design flair with commerciality". Alice was also lucky enough to work in a small team to archive Mcqueen's past collections and she was bowled over by his "couture craftmanship" and the beauty of his extraordinary pieces.  

  I was keen to find out the origins of the brand name, 'Beaujais', and what sort of woman best embodied the Beaujais brand ethos, so I contacted Alice to reveal all:

  "The brand name, Beaujais, came about through a combination of an old family name, a subversion of the French language and a few glasses of wine! 

[The 'Beaujais'] woman [is one] with curves who’s confident in her own skin. She appreciates quality and a great fit, whilst desiring fashion-led styles with a sexier edge."

  With this in mind, the Beaujais Autumn/Winter 2011 collection is a romantic but sexy offering of exquisite silks offset by black eyelash lace, swallow tail satin bows, peek-a-boo sheer lace cups, cut out and panel detailed knickers and lashings of elegance! What's more, is that Beaujais caters for (and makes to order) back sizes, 28-34 in cup sizes D-H - C'est chic!

('Sweet Nothings' balconette bra in (left) liqueur and (right) teal) 

('Barely There' knicker in Liqueur (left) and French knicker in teal (right))

  The 'Sweet Nothings' balconette bra is definitely one of my favourites from the A/W11 collection, particularly in the on-trend teal colour. The dusky pink and rich teal silk satin are perfectly complimented by the black French Leavers lace and the sheer lace cups make this set a real show-stopper. I love the fact that the 'Sweet Nothings' bra looks so delicate, but remains supportive to bigger busts with its underwiring, lightly padded sling and wide silk straps. I am also in love with the lace panel french knickers and cut-out 'Barely there' knickers - for an added sexiness that is sure to make any man's jaw drop!

('Inkling' balconette bra (left) and 'Smokey Taboo' balconette bra (right))

  Once again, the 'Inkling' bra showcases a designing feat that mixes the delicacy of peek-a-boo lace cups with good support and lift for a larger bust. This is definitely an 'all occasion' bra and it is classic enough to suit everyone. The blue silk satin 'Smokey Taboo' is less risqué in style, but remains eminently sultry and 'boudoir'. This bra would look great on pale and darker complexions alike!

  Finally, this brings me to talk about my personal favourite, the 'Shadow Wrapped' balconette, which Alice sent me samples of in a 30F and 30FF to try for myself...

The bras arrived beautifully packaged in a pale green 'fold out' box, with the 'Beaujais' logo printed in gold on the front:

  Inside, wrapped in gold tissue paper, were the two 'Shadow Wrapped' bras. I was amazed at how beautiful the bras were 'in the flesh' - the stock photos definitely do not do this bra justice!

  As you can see from the photos, the 'Shadow Wrapped' is a dusky, lilac tone overlaid with grey French Leavers lace. The silk satin back panel is black, along with the straps and swallow-tail bow at the centre of the cups. The rouleaux straps are fully adjustable and are attached to pearl silver rings. The bra cups are fully lined in silk satin, ensuring maximum comfort, whilst giving the bra a gorgeous, soft-shine finish. The craftmanship of this bra is of a very high standard, with close attention to detail - a great testament to Alice's talent as a lingerie designer.

  Although the 'Shadow Wrapped' bra is priced at £98, you really are paying for the quality and workmanship that goes into its making. I was very impressed with the quality of the fabrics used and I could not get over how soft the silk felt to the touch - I cannot think of anything more luxurious than a 95% silk bra with exquisite detailing! The Eyelash lace is beautifully patterned and the bow detail adds to the bra's vintage elegance.

(Details of the 'Shadow Wrapped' bra)

  Fit wise, I needed the 30FF for the cup space, so if you plan on ordering, it might be worth sizing up in the cups. As a 28FF, the 30 was too loose in the back for me, but all of Beaujais' bras can be made to order in a 28 back at no extra charge. Alice suggests that customers with 28 backs try on a couple of 30 backed Beaujais bras in the style that they wish to purchase, in order to get the right cup volume. When you know your cup volume, you can then order the equivalent in your proper bra size. You can contact for more information on how to order.
  Alice's first Autumn/Winter 2011 collection is definitely unique and it is certainly one that drips style, indulgence and femininity. With everything designed and hand-made in the UK, you can guarantee the effort and dedication that goes into every piece - from bra to suspender to knickers. I am also excited (as a prospective bride) to say that Beaujais offer a bespoke bridal lingerie service and a strapless bridal bra style is also in development (a busty girl's bridal dream!)

  ...And because I'm a little bit nosy, I also asked Alice to give us a clue as to what she has in store for her next collection:

  "It hasn’t been revealed up to now, but I can say that we are continuing in our use of silks and beautiful French Leavers laces of the highest quality while adding heady doses of colour and an oriental twist! Expect sexy, fresh and pushing the boundaries of what lingerie in bigger cup sizes can be."

If the first collection is anything to go by, Alice and Beaujais have a lot of surprises in store for the future - definitely a brand to watch!

Kitty xo

For further information, you can find out more about Beaujais at or contact Alice at: