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.
...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!