How Victoria’s Secret made me who I am today

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This wednesday, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is filmed. I was waiting for this moment since I’ve started the blog, because I knew I should share with you all my greatest lingerie-related history, of how Victoria’s Secret turned me into who I am today. It’s very personal, and I am not used to be this personal on the blog, but I feel the urge to share my life with you all, now, so I hope you enjoy reading a bit about me, too.

Behati Prinsloo was my favourite thing from the 2008 show.
Behati Prinsloo was my favourite thing from the 2008 show.

Brazilians are crazy about Victoria’s Secret. I don’t know exactly why, but I reckon that they do something we don’t have over here. When young, I didn’t like fashion and didn’t care about underwear, just wanted something that made me feel comfortable. However, when I was 14, in a trip to NYC, I asked my mother if we could go to VS. After arriving in the city and eating something in the (cheap) hotel we were, she took me to the huge store at 5th Av. It was closed.

As we asked someone inside the store, we got told that it was because of something I learned to love later: the Semi Annual Sale. Next morning, my family and hundreds of other women were inside the store, and while I was getting measured as a 34B (Spoiler: I wasn’t a 34B, but I had no idea what bra fitting was, by then), my father was buying me pink luggage, my grandma spotted a coat full of hearts and my mother found out that we could buy cheap small gifts that would be very useful, later. It was a great mess, I was in love with that store. The love continued to grow as I came home and kept looking at the website and watching videos from the shows, waiting for the next one.

Erin Heatherton in a fierce outfit and the most amazing glittery boxing gloves.
Erin Heatherton in a fierce outfit and the most amazing glittery boxing gloves, 2010.

A couple years later, I decided that being a model was a good idea. It would be a lie if I said that it was, after all, a completely bad idea, considering all the good things I learned about professionalism and how the fashion industry worked, but it surely brought me a lot of sadness. Combining my love for that store and my desire to become as successful as possible in my new career, I decided that I wanted to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel. I was pretty naïve, and by that time thought everyone was going to be nice with me because I had this objective, and that I was one of the few that wanted to be

Obviously wrong, I found out that almost every girl on the modeling world wanted to be one. Found out, also, that working as a model was not easy and made me very uncomfortable inside my body. I’ve passed through some bad experiences, one in special in which I traveled to the greatest metropole in Brazil and got told by the heads of some big modeling agencies that I was not suitable. There I was, skinny as I could, with a tiny tiny waist and some big dreams, away from home, crying because they told me a lot of girls made it… but not me.

Karlie Kloss in 2012.
Karlie Kloss in 2012, on the PINK section

As a model, you never know exactly what the client is looking for when you are in a casting. There is not an exact reason why you were not chosen, but the girl by your side did. You get told by everyone -models, clients, agents…- that skinny is good, and before you notice, your diet changes, you are eating less and less. I kept home, after school, drinking lots of water, working my abs and walking in high heels, so that I could “earn my wings”. I cried too, a lot, because every “no” sounded like “you are not good enough. not pretty enough. not thin enough”.

Every time I saw the video in which Chanel Iman got her first wings, I cried. I could say this was the saddest time in my life, crying with shame every time I tried to find out why I was not on my way to becoming an Angel, yet.

Chanel Iman, 2010. I cried a lot.
Chanel Iman, 2010. I cried a lot.

Meanwhile, I developed even more my love for underwear. I was a huge buyer of panties and bras, since I didn’t know how more complicated things like suspender belts, stockings or corsets worked. It was just a passion, I was a proud owner of over 100 panties and that’s all. I entered fashion design college, imagining I would work with fashion editorials or something related to wedding dresses.

By this time, two not-VS-related events happened: the first, I stood weeks eating the less I could and saw myself acting like a small trained animal, in line for ours for someone to choose, in a hurry, the most suitable of the girls (Hey, wait – this is what a casting looked like, every time I passed through one. But this was the first time I realized it.). The second, I got fooled by someone, ended up working for free. After some more crying, I decided this would stop. I gave up being a model, and my last words on it were a text message to a friend (we can call him Mr. Unders) asking if I could still be his VS Angel. He said I could and so that’s it, my dream was over.

Flavia de Oliveira, 2006.
Flavia de Oliveira, 2006.

So, I was left out in a fashion design school, trying to find new objectives and dreams, allowing myself to eat everything I loved eating, in a process of acceptance of my own body (thank you, feminism, for helping me with that) and with a growing passion for lingerie. I should start focusing on studying for being a lingerie designer, then!

Trying to put together every thought on lingerie I had, and after I found out that people blog about everything -including lingerie!- I decided to establish myself as a blogger while in college, so I could learn more and more everyday, being in contact with tons of amazing people inside the industry. It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Alone, I could never rise again.

Liu Wen, 2012. Not exactly nice to put "exotic" models in "exotic" costumes, but she absolutely rocked it.
Liu Wen, 2012. Not exactly nice to put “exotic” models in “exotic” costumes, but she absolutely rocked it.

Nowadays, I have risen. I could say I am happy, without putting all my expectations into a certain objective, but facing a direction in which I feel satisfied. I belong in this world, I love to be part of it, to be able to see, read and write about underwear. I still own and wear the VSFS robes, and sometimes -specially when the year is ending- I still feel I would be happy if I got there. But I remember how saddening the road was, and how I search for peace, now, and feel pleased by my decisions.

I thank you all. The ones who read, the ones who share, the ones who make. This blog is part of my life – one of my favorite parts, and I must thank you from the bottom of my heart. I surely am not a Victoria’s Secret Angel, today, but I can shine like one and even without wings, I found new ways to fly.

 

How Victoria’s Secret made me who I am today

I made something: Black Underbust Corselette

If you follow me on twitter, you probably heard me talking about my “corset course”. I am writing about it once a month to Stitched Up, Corsetry facebook group, too!

I’ve engaged in a new pattern cutting and sewing course, this time about corselettes and corsets.  Although these pieces are very different from bras, they are by no means easier to make. I have a nice tutor and she helps me through every step of the process. I’ve only made one corselette until now (she told me we could not call that a corset because of some differences on the sewing process, and the boning could be made in plastic, but I decided to do it in steel).

For my first piece, I wanted something very classical, so I bought all the materials to do a black denim underbust!

I drew a pattern based on my body!
I drew a pattern based on my body measurements!

After lots of cutting, understanding aspects of the pattern, sewing together, finding out I did something wrong, cutting the stitches, sewing again and lots of other small parts of the process, I could visualize my corselette coming together. The best part of designing or sewing, in my opinion, is the time we get excited to see the piece ready.

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A lot of pattern pieces together – and it didn’t look like an underbust at all by this point.
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But soon I did a bit of ironing and more sewing and it looked so beautiful!

So, it finally turned out to be something very, very beautiful!

That's me!
That’s me!

My waist is usually 63cm and I turned it into about 58cm. It’s a bit too much for someone not used to waist reductions, but I really like it! I am going to wear to a party this weekend, with a beautiful black dress, I am so excited! I really loved to share those pictures with you, so you can all see how my process on making lingerie items is going!

I am already designing my new underbust one. It’s gonna be a bit different this tim,e but you will have to wait a bit more to see how it goes!

I made something: Black Underbust Corselette

Personal Project: Sewing and Cutting classes

So, you must have noticed that I’ve been away for some days. And for that I apologize, since I couldn’t even make a post saying I would be away. College is not very easy, you see, and I had plenty of work to do. I won’t start describing everything I did because… it gets really boring, believe me.

Anyway, I am still finishing my industrial design project (which is a way to help people trapped in a flooding get to a safer place, but it’s kinda boring to explain), but I’ve finished my fashion design project!

I’ve wrote about it when I was sketching, but now it’s the time to show the pictures of it finished, with great inspiration by The Fratellis.

Just please notice that I was very tired from sewing the whole night and I didn’t have time to buy stockings, so the suspenders act like a detail, although I plan to buy stockings for when I am about to wear this. I will wear for a costume party by the end of the month!

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The complete work!
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Details on the back.
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The ruffles!
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I made this little collar to match the outfit 🙂

So, there it is! It was hard, but everyone seems to like it when I show, and this makes me happy. Good enough for my first cutting and sewing project!

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Finally, me on a polaroid because I am a polaroid addict (actually it’s a fujiroid but anyway).

Personal Project: Sewing and Cutting classes

Sketching: Inspiration

I study Industrial and Fashion Design in college. And although I’m still on the very beginning of it (it’s been only a year), I already have some classes on draping -which is, if you don’t know, the mechanisms to build a piece of clothing directly on a mannequin’s body-.

The semester is nearly ending, so it comes the time for the final works. And, for this class’ work, I must create an outfit based on a song. Thinking how I could bring the ideia the closest possible to lingerie, I chose a song about a showgirl.

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I’ve loved the “Costello Music” album for quite a while, and the pin-up illustrations, by Sam Hadley, were responsible for the first time I fell in love for the vintage aesthetic. So, ok, it was the perfect song and the perfect excuse to do lingerie-inspired clothing. I had to check out for pictures related to the sensations this song causes on me, which would be some teasing, something like a cute stripper, very sassy and naughty but with a bit of a fake innocence.

I really like the music video for this song, as well, because it’s full of girls and inspirations. And one of them, that passes very quickly through the camera sometimes, was the starting point for my search for styles. Here are some pictures I found that illustrated perfectly what I wanted.

Playful Promises has this "frilly knickers", which is a style I love.
Playful Promises has this “frilly knickers”, which is a style I love.
Chantal Thomass creates beautiful things, and this is one I really loved, inspired me a lot.
Chantal Thomass creates beautiful things, and this is one I really loved, inspired me a lot.

So, as I had to create things with the techniques taught in class, I chose a simple corset (probably with no structure, since I don’t know how to do it. But if I find out in a few weeks, maybe…) and a mini mini skirt. I wish I could make a short, but it wasn’t part of the things we learnt, so i had to choose the skirt. And frills. I love frills, they seem easy to make (or maybe buy, if I find in the colors I want) and apply in the skirt and corset.

I found this picture on tumblr, don't know the source. But the colors are exactly what I wanted.
I found this picture on tumblr, don’t know the source. But the colors are exactly what I wanted.
Angela Friedman's Ruffled panties in silk are absolutely lovely. I want this aesthetic and this much frills!
Angela Friedman’s Ruffled panties in silk are absolutely lovely. I want this aesthetic and this much frills!

After a lot of doo doo doo, doo doo doo of the song in my head, plenty of sketching and asking friends about how do they think it looks, I finally came to a final drawing. At least that’s what I think so, I still have a few weeks so I can change it if I feel like doing it. But, for now, I like it, and proudly present to you my Chelsea Dagger lingerie-inspired final work’s sketch!

I'm still learning how to work with watercolor, but I like it a lot!
I’m still learning how to work with watercolor, but I like it a lot!

So… what do you think!? I would love to hear feedback!

Sketching: Inspiration

You’ve got the power

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It’s lady Morgana, it’s Kiss me Deadly, it’s pretty and it’s feminist! Oh yeah!

I clearly showed my position last week when writing about how we should have fun and how this relates to luxury lingerie, without sexualizing them. How we should wear beautiful pieces on an everyday basis ans stop saving them to “special moments with someone else”. I didn’t realize how I contradicted myself until the day before yesterday.

At class, we were talking about clothes and the material used in every piece… eventually the conversation grew to undergarments (it’s amazing how my friends find a way to talk about undergarments when I’m around!) and the whole french study about bra and sagging. My friend 1 started saying how my friend 2 never wore any bras and 2 said that she wore, but she prefers sports bras, that she liked to wear beautiful lingerie only in special occasions with her boyfriend.

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This is H&M’s and it looks really cute and comfortable.

Oooh, my friend 1 looked at me, knowing how I was about to say that we shouldn’t sexualize lingerie and how we had the right to wear beautiful clothing everyday, etc etc. That’s exactly what I did, it’s kind of my modus operandi, but she looked at me and I suddenly shut up because I knew I was wrong.

I sit here by the computer talking to myself, reminding what my fight stands for. It stands for every woman being ok with herself, it stands for our right to choose whatever we want for ourselves. It stands for waxing (or shaving) if you want to or letting yourself natural if that’s your thing, it stands for wearing tons of makeup if that’s how you like yourself to look, for wearing clothes originally designed for men because they enjoy. I stand for anyone choosing whatever they want to choose and nobody having the right to say bad things about it just because their opinion is opposite. Of course this goes to pretty serious issues as well, such as religion, gay marriage, abortion… everything.

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Yes!

So, back to my friend 2 who wore sports bra to college and lingerie to her intimate moments, she was completely right. Right because she has the beautiful clothing, she knows her option to wear it or not… and she chooses not to. she feel good with what she chose and she is happy with herself. And plus, she really thinks her sports bras are very cute, which I must agree in some way!

Underwear can empower a woman. It can shape you, it can amaze someone else, it can work for your happiness. Either is by having your breasts free by the coice of not wearing it, either is by giving you the thrill to have something naughty or beautiful as a secret. And I feel it is my duty to remember everyone how they should be having fun underneath. Whatever this means to you.

For me, it means that I’m about to choose some beautiful lace garments to go out with my friends tonight, for her and for many other women it means not caring about what they are using on their everyday basis. For some, it’s g-strings, for many other, it’s boyshorts. And as long as I notice that people around me are happy enough to admit that they wear what they want when they want, I can assume that my only job is to provide them beautiful images and words, so they keep thinking I’m the nice lingerie blogger!

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Either you wear it everyday or you would never buy it, we can all agree on Agent Provocateur, right?

Oh, and as mentioned above, my opinion on the french study -that suggests that bra won’t make your breasts firm, in fact it helps with sagging- is the following: Women, please accept your breasts will sag. Ok? Ok. Now, you have all these options on bras and it’s time to choose if you are about to wear luxury ones, sports ones, t-shit ones or no bra at all. Decide for yourself and be fine with it!

You’ve got the power

Tulli

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This week, as I was scrolling through facebook, I saw a image announcing that Tulli was about to show their lingerie, which is mostly sold online, on a little store near my college. And they announced how they would serve champagne and brigadeiro, which is the best sweet ever. Irresistible, I had to go there.

You see, even though I loved their stuff on the website, it’s amazing to have the opportunity to touch the materials and see the actual color and the sizes. That’s what I did: I arrived there, alone, and started touching and feeling everything. It must sound weird but everything was so lovely!

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Holy lingerie! Everything was so pretty!

By talking with Carol, the designer, I found out her motivation to start deigning panties: she couldn’t find anything cute enough to feel beautiful but comfortable enough to wear everyday. At least not here in Brazil (If you are not aware, let me explain something: we have plenty of customs taxes here and we can’t import any item that costs more than $50 without paying those high taxes). So, as a fashion designer, she decides to make some herself.

“They are delicate and sensual just enough, bringing curiosity and desire. Made specially to the occasions when you wanna wear nothing but this piece” That is what was written on one of their tags. Of course, I knew that since I bought a piece!

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I bought this. It’s babydoll style, it has a nice colour, it has bows. It’s perfect.

With lots of beautiful lace, satin and colors, it’s clear that Tulli is a nice step forward on the brazilian lingerie market. Since the brazilian woman (not all of them, but most of) is not used to luxury lingerie or to wearing materials like lace on an everyday basis, the brand develops a nice work on bringing this to our eyes (and, I must state, with a totally accessible price!). They divide their pieces (besides the cute and beautiful panties, they have some tops and babydolls) in three lines: Basic, Fun and Special.

Not only this is wonderful, but they have a special plan for women who want to receive their panties without having to go out or who like the surprise factor. I was personally excited about the surprise factor. So, here’s how it works: you state whether you like thongs or not and they will send you one different piece every month – and they end up costing even cheaper than buying separately!

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I loved this one, too. The colors are so suitable with spring fashion!

So, what you think about the pieces? Would you apply to the one-panty-a-month plan or do you prefer to go to the store and buy it separately? 

*special thanks to Carol, who was so sweet to me and let me take these pictures!

Tulli