Feb 12, 2014 12:35
Jane Carrodus' ideas on what's appropriate to wear under your favourite clothing got us thinking. Why should any woman suffer the daggy horror of having an ugly beige bra strap sneak out from under a favourite dress? Why indeed - when there are beautifully made bras with gold studded shoulders, and french lace bodysuits to wear instead.
How did you get into lingerie design? What was your motivation?
''Back when I was in my early 20s, my girlfriend and I wrote down a list of goals and aspirations, one of mine was to be a lingerie designer. Other than that I didn't really pursue it any further. About 6 years later I landed a job a Peter Alexander as Design Assistant, and I used any spare minute I could to learn all I could. I worked with some pretty inspirational people there, most of all Peter – he saw that I had an ability to design and gave me the Intimates department which was a tiny percentage of the business at that time. I loved coming up with concepts for the quirky packaging and pretty things. By the time I left 6 years later, I was looking after a pretty large percentage of the business. Sometimes the designs I did for Peter Alexander were a bit sexy for the brand so it was a good progression for me to move into lingerie.''
What does wearing beautiful underwear do for your total look?
''If you are wearing something beautiful under your outfit, you hold your self differently and instantly feel confident. It's like wearing heels to work, I always feel more productive in a pair of heels and less motivated in flats. I really believe in lingerie being seen as part of an outfit too, when I was young it was quite shameful to have your bra strap showing. I’ve thrown out the old fashioned view of lingerie as being ‘unmentionables’ get it out and open that shirt a little I say! If your strap has beautiful lace on it, there is no shame on flashing that! No ugly clear plastic straps for KISSKILL!''
Underwear is one of the often neglected areas of fashion for many women, why do you think that is?
''I guess its where your priorities lie, sometimes girls want to spend their money on the outfit and spend less on the underwear. To some girls it is very important, it is very European to have quality matching lingerie. My customers consist of fashion forward girls who are styling up pieces as part of their outfit (the Bond bra has been a top seller), and also, die-hard lingerie addicts who collect beautiful quality lingerie, and of course, husbands and partners enjoy buying regular gifts."
Dressing for work in retail means looking your best every day, what are you favourite outfits for work?
''Now that I have opened a shop I'm really enjoying getting dressed up for work again. I was in a terrible habit of exercising then working in my gym clothes when I had the studio at home! My favourite oufits at the moment are one of my fluro sequin bodysuits with a pair of shorts and a blazer. Otherwise I'm normally wearing a pair of skinny jeans a loose tank that shows off whatever bra I’m wearing.''
What do you think your style of dress says about you?
''I'm a bit of a theme dresser, sometimes I’m super girly in dresses florals & lace, sometimes its rock chick with leather pants and a grey tee. I’m never in the latest fashion and often wear things I’ve had for years mixed back with something new".
Can you describe two of the outfits you wore for the shoot, and why you chose them?
"The Bec & Bridge black crop top with the KISSKILL Sienna studded shoulder pad bra. I love the spike shoulder pads & think it's a pretty unique design – this look was inspired by the MET gala ball in NYC earlier in the year which was a punk theme. Sienna Miller and Cara Delevingne both wore the most killer studded outfits by Burbury."
"The other is my grey tank with side studded ‘Cheyenne’ bra (coming soon) its designed to be seen and the tank is a cheap and cheerful number from Jay Jays, my friend works there and brought it for me before my trip in August to show the label in NYC – its says Brooklyn on the front."
Which items in your wardrobe work have you flogged to death?
''My Kookai black leather biker jacket & my white suede skinny jeans I have in every colour!''
What are your wardrobe fetishes - things you can't resist buying more of?
''I'm a shoe addict, I keep them all in their boxes and they are stashed in every corner of my closet.''
Jane, you get to meet a lot of women in the store and website, how do they react to the range?
"The women popping in that have never heard of KISSKILL are pretty excited to find a small boutique with its own designs, most boutiques buy in other brands. One lady came in last week and brought 2 bras straight away, I gave her my card. She called me when she got home – her husband told her to buy more! She’s now got a massive collection. I’ve got regular customers via the website from all over the world, one in Singapore that has placed several orders, heaps in the USA & even Saudi Arabia – I’ve got to know them all pretty well even if its just over email. I’m loving having the opportunity to get to know my customers. This is virtually impossible when you work for a big label."
Have you got any great bargains in your wardrobe you can talk about.
"I always wait for sales before I buy my shoes, Dolce Firme do beautiful Italian shoes and they have great sales. I always keep my eyes peeled for a studio sales in Melbourne".
Where do you love to shop?
"I always try and pick something special up when I travel. My sister brought me the high waisted printed pants when we were in NYC, they are from Alice & Olivia - a very cute store with some very cute pieces. The cool thing about that day is we saw the designer on her way to the shop as we were leaving. We crossed the road to have a look at DVF and Diane herself was walking out of the shop with two fabulous young male assistants carrying coatbags full of clothing. Only in America! I'm looking forward to getting back to Paris in January, I brought the lace top I am wearing in the shoot with the purple KISSKILL bra there from a label called Sandro. Women dress beautifully in Paris."
How would you describe your style in three words?
"Relaxed, youthful, glamorous"
How has your style evolved over time?
"I’ve cut back on the short skirts and dresses, and even embraced a flat shoe here and there as long as its fabulous!"
What are the big trends in underwear we should know about?
"The biggest trend in lingerie is bondage inspired straps across the cleavage etc. A lot of brands are doing this kind of look, at KISSKILL the Bond bra has been huge... leather and studs (well not real leather!) The Karlie leather look bra has been the best seller of the current collection by far. Lace and leopard print is always in fashion and I will always use it or come back to it."
What jewellery do you love to wear?
"I’ve got a cool gold rock ring I brought at a little boutique near my house in Elwood called Obdressed, she has great taste and has great accessories. I wear my Bvlgari pendant every day I’ve had it for a long time and I love it. I’ve brought some great pieces from new Melbourne label KITTE Accoutrement, Kitte is very creative and I love her pieces.
Can you share your favourite products, for skin and hair, and makeup?
"There is conveniently an amazing beauty salon next door to KISSKILL called Ella Beauty Room, I’ve have no excuse to let anything slide, they do all my waxing, I've had an amazing facial there too.
I got in trouble for buying bad quality skin care so invested in some nice products. A good eye cream, tinted SPF moisturizer are a must. My friend Teisha is the founder of organics label Indah and she creates the most amazing fragrances herself, they are solid too, so great to take away when traveling. Anyone into organic skin care should also check out another inspiring girl I know, founder of Hippie Luxe for all things wholesome and free of chemicals.
I stocked up on make up on my last trip at Sephora is a magical make-up wonderland, girls paradise and so much cheaper for my favorite brand NARS, their home brand is pretty good too! I’m a big believer in keeping my nails done at all times too, I think its really just finishes off your look.
What investment buys have you made?
"I just may have brought a gorgeous black Prada tote on my last overseas trip. But it will last me a long time right?!!! Oops"
Thanks to Rebekah Jewell at littleredphotography.com.