04/16/2014

Divine Details from Harlow & Fox for DD+ Busts

When Harlow & Fox announced its presence on social media last year, I wondered if the new brand would distinguish itself from all the other lingerie options available to women with large breasts. Then the Harlow & Fox website launched, and these pieces swept my skepticism way.

In fact, I realized how low my expectations for full-busted underthings had become. That’s understandable when the typical first approach to “curvy lingerie” is to stick a sheer apron on a D+ bra and call it a babydoll. Happily, there isn’t a babydoll to be found on the Harlow & Fox website.

Instead, founder and designer Leanna Williams draws inspiration from “old time glamour, steam trains and sophistication," designing for women who "simply aspire to be a luxuriously dressed version of themselves." When we met in February, she told me that her goal is to create “I-feel-pretty-from-my-head-to-my-toes-inside-and-out" wear. Consistent with that goal, her attention to detail is impeccable.

Here are my favorite examples of Leanna’s attentiveness. These photos come from Leanna, her website and my own amateur efforts during our meeting.

I. No half-measures.

Harlow & Fox uses enough fabric to accommodate a DD+ bust, but it is also extremely generous with fabric and materials everywhere else. For instance, because Leanna herself is 5'10", she has made the Eleanor draped back night dress (above) long enough for even her tallest busty customer.

The Lydia high waist brief or thong (below) eliminates any hint of a bulge below the bra because the French silk jacquard and double layers of antique gold silk panelling come to just under the bra band (coming Spring-Summer 2014).

    

The Viola Tie Side Brief uses enough silk to make what Leanna considers a “proper” bow. 

      

A generous tassel hangs down the back of the forthcoming Augusta classic briefs instead of one that is “feeble and tickly". You'll also see an abundance of these tassels on the Augusta robe at the end of this post.

  

Stretch silk binding finishes the hem of the Sophia mid-waist and classic briefs, as well as the robe (available Spring-Summer 2014).

    

II. Delicacy and strength.

Little details strengthen the bras without sacrificing delicacy. For example, in the Eleanor bra, a tulle insert reinforces the corner where the strap meets the lace in the cup. Elsewhere, tulle lining prevents the leaver’s lace from stretching out, and fabric between the two silk panels stabiliizes the bottom of the cups.

Leanna commissioned custom-shaped underwires for Harlow & Fox based upon her research of comfort and shape. To find the ideal balance between support and flexibility, she tested the prototypes with calipers and even hung weights from them. If they were too rigid or too flexible, they didn't make the cut.


III. Inside and out.

The luxurious details extend to parts of the garment that only the wearer sees and feels.

Above, see the silk-lined cups of the Alexandra in oyster, complete with fully-finished seams. Even the wings are stretch silk, which Leanna finds more aesthetically pleasing, although less stretchy, than power mesh. (The only exception is the Viola longline. With eight hooks in back, its silk wings are lined with power mesh.)

Clockwise from left below, you can see the interior silk lining of the Augusta scarlet robe (which would be fully reversible if not for the decadent guipere braiding along the length of every opening), the Lydia high waist briefs and the Alexandra waist cincher.

As you can imagine, none of the photos do complete justice to these pieces--you must try them for yourself for the full impact. Happily, when you order through the Harlow & Fox website, you will receive a 15% discount by entering the code CAMPBELL15 at checkout.