Couture isn’t just for red carpets and black tie events – there’s something wonderful about treating yourself to the finest silks, most delicate lace, and lingerie that goes beyond function to something decadent. Unfortunately a lot of brands who call themselves luxury tend to differentiate from the high street on price more than cut, construction, and quality, but there are plenty of designers who are committed to creating beautiful pieces that live up to that label. Here are a three of my favourite ‘if money and size were no object’ brands.
Couture tends to translate into ‘beautiful but not functional’ but that’s not always the case. Tatu Couture use British craftsmanship, unique patterns, and gorgeous fabrics to create lingerie that’s functional and wearable both under clothes and as stand-alone pieces. Launched in 2012 by Luisa Sidoli, it gained popularity with its illusion pieces and sculptured silhouettes. Like many top designers, the creative director graduated from the contour course at De Montford before working with high street brands Marks and Spencer and La Senza. The luxury label she founded is definitely a step above them, but has the same wearability – unusual for a couture brand.
Shell Belle’s lingerie is (quite obviously) inspired by the 1930s, and specifically travel during that period. It’s sumptuously vintage and I can’t help but want to spend far too long in their beautiful lingerie sipping champagne on a yacht. The pieces are largely designed for layering and lounging in fine silk, tulle, and French lace.
I’ve been helplessly in love with Cristina Aielli for years. I don’t remember exactly when I saw the first lace illusion bra on my Facebook newsfeed, but I’ve been obsessed ever since. Every single garment is made to measure – the sign of true couture – and made with Italian fabrics that follow and blend with the wearer’s silhouette. These pieces are at the top my mental lingerie wishlist. If you have the budget, they even offer an at home service that involves in-person fittings, design brainstorming, and focused mock ups to create something truly unique. As wonderful as that sounds, I’m not sure how they’d improve on their current collections.