As the lights dimmed in LA’s Staples Center for the 2014 Grammy Awards, the boisterous crowd cheered. They knew what was coming. Beyoncé was about to hit the stage with an explosive performance, and deafening excitement grew with every second. Queen Bey finally appeared, back to the audience, moving and singing sensually under cryptic black and white lights. She was sporting a cropped, wet-look bob, and black patterned tights under what looked like some kind of body suit. But what exactly was she wearing? We all wanted to know.
British designer Nichole de Carle knew. She didn’t have to wait for Beyoncé to turn around to appreciate the sexy structured Onyx Tuxedo she customised for her. As a body contour design specialist, she’s mastered the art of marrying technical skill with artistry when it comes to celebrating women’s curves. And Beyoncé was the icing on the cake when it came to making the most of her architecturally-inspired designs: “It was a match made in heaven,” she’s quoted as saying. “Beyoncé is talented, beautiful, and strong – the true embodiment of the Nichole de Carle woman.”
But it’s not just Beyoncé taking a liking to these artistic, yet modern lines. Celebrities including Jesse J, Cheryl Cole, and Nicole Scherzinger have all donned the designer pieces, as well as fans across the globe that find beauty and confidence in the carefully-constructed lingerie and swimwear.
Brands Exclusive is thrilled to share Nichole de Carle’s lingerie and swimwear with its members this week. Discover more about her beautiful designs with our interview below, or shop the designer pieces for less, on Sunday.
“Well-fitting lingerie gives a woman the confidence to walk taller. It slims the silhouette and enables her to express her personality. It’s very empowering.” Nichole de Carle
Describe the Nichole de Carle look. Who is it suited to?
The Nichole de Carle London style is artistic yet modern, taking traditional luxury materials of silk or lace and creating opulent designs. I have always been fascinated with architecture and view lingerie as architecture for the body. It creates the foundation for an outfit, accentuating a woman’s natural shape and adding a layer of personality.
Our customers are international and broad, from fashion students to corporate lawyers, but what unites them is a strong sense of their own style, a vibrant personality and a love of well-crafted products. It’s about dressing for aspects of a lifestyle and personality, rather than an age or income bracket.
You specialised in body contour design during your couture fashion studies. What’s the number one lesson you learnt about designing beautiful pieces for a woman’s body?
I learnt how to lay the foundation of an outfit, marrying technical skills with artistry. Well-fitting lingerie gives a woman the confidence to walk taller. It slims the silhouette and enables her to express her personality. It’s very empowering.
Where do you turn to for design inspiration?
I love to travel; taking in art, architecture, and culture from around the world. From the carefree beaches of Brazil, to the café culture of Paris or the buzz of New York, the women I meet inspire me. I design for their lifestyles and their figures.
Trending: lingerie as outerwear
Tell us about your lingerie design process. How do you take an idea from creative spark to completed item?
When I’m travelling and going between meetings I always take snaps on my phone. This could be a woman in a café styled elegantly, a quirky bit of graffiti in East London or the detail of a building. Then when I have more time I sketch. These sketches are used to create a technical design, which is sampled in my design studio. A first sample is fitted onto a person and refined: a feedback loop that continues until I’m completely happy. Making lingerie is really a mix of art and science, the technical aspect is important but the emotion felt when a woman wears my product is everything.
Why do you think celebrity performers are drawn to your creations?
I understand how to create a visually strong piece of bodywear, but one that allows a woman to build into her own wardrobe. Often it is how these pieces are styled which sets them apart. Every woman can take pieces from my collections and build their own fashion story. We work closely with celebrity stylists, which has been instrumental in building up a good reputation in the industry. Their clients trust we will make unique pieces; beautiful, well-constructed and memorable.
Tell us about the collection we’re featuring on Brands Exclusive?
This first sale with Brands Exclusive really shows how varied the brand is and includes some of my favourite designs. The iconic Signature collection is a must-have in your lingerie wardrobe. It’s more structured with pieces that can be styled as part of a fashion forward outfit. With the ‘lingerie as outerwear’ trend being so strong, it really is an accessible way for people to have fun with their lingerie wardrobe.
Then there’s the more ‘everyday’ from the Opal collection. I recommend two knicker options to match your bra so you have options depending on what you’re wearing. For example: The Opal Balconette with a thong for underneath jeans, and the high-waisted knicker to give shape underneath a pencil skirt. And then there’s the vibrant swimwear, which is great for holiday styling from beach to bar.