In most people’s minds, lace is naturally associated with lingerie. The fabric’s history is almost perennial, having first been discovered at the beginning of the XVI century in Venice before being imported to France’s royal court by Catherine de Médicis. At the time, only members of the royal family and the clergé were permitted to wear this costly fabric, synonymous with wealth and refinement, and principally used to enrich collars and shirt cuffs. As time passed, the industrial revolution helped spread lace across France, before it finally became popular among more modest segments in society, was no longer reserved for men and combined with lingeries, a perfect match.
While lace has withstood the test of time, methods used to produce the open fabric displaying opaque motifs have evolved, with linen thread being replaced by cotton and silk. Clearly, lace remains an authentic draw for lingerie buyers, who not only consider it timeless, but also sexy and elegant. A survey conducted in 2016, found it was the number one criteria when choosing seductive lingerie, with 35% of respondents choosing it over other factors such as colour and material. For many years, lace has been at the forefront of French lingerie, notably because it compliments…effortlessly.
Lace continues to take centre stage for lingerie brands, as it remains a favourite for seduction, while at the same time being light and comfortable to wear. Indeed, lacey bras have become an unavoidable object of desire. During the International Lingerie trade show, which will be held at the Porte de Versaille in Paris from 22 to 24 January, many exhibitors will be presenting their take on lace, including Ariane Delarue, Nénés Paris, Sans Complexe Paris or even V.O.V.A., to name but a few.
For example, Ariane Delarue has chosen a Leavers Lace from the 1900s for its black satin shorts and an embroidered cream lace to decorate the hems and collar of its silk kimono. Nénés Paris has chosen a floral italienne lace, made from 100% recycled polyamide and spandex, for its Margot Ensemble. Sans Complex Paris has rolled the dice on a delicate lace for its Arum collection, in a bid to make it more glamorous and refined, while Lithuania based V.O.V.A. has designed sleeping hats – or bonnets, with lace for their Liza model.