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STYLE

Slip into Your Wildest Dreams

Sensual Lingerie for Valentine's Day

February 9, 1999
Web posted at: 6:53 p.m. EDT (1853 GMT)

From Heather J. Twidale

'TRASHY' GALLERY:
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(CNN) -- Red hot plans for Valentine's Day? Lingerie makers have undies that fit (and they do mean fit) everything from raging passions to pale pink flirtations.

On the raging passion front is Trashy Lingerie, with one store in Hollywood, California, that has catered to its exclusive clientelle for 25 years (you need a membership to get in the store) and came up with bustiers for the likes of Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell for her "Exit to Eden" movie garb.

The recent opening of their Website has thrown the doors of their store open to the world (you can even buy a membership for $5 that gives you store entrée should you visit Hollywood.)

Trashy's contribution to Valentine's Day is the Zipper Bra for $100 in red cotton with white hearts (what else?). The 3/4 push-up cups have a zipper in the middle. "Zip it down and the breast falls out,'" explains spokesperson Mary Loomis. My!

"Technically, the bra does not have to come off.'" Enticed? There's more. A matching Zipper Misty Thong ($50) has side snaps as well as a middle zipper. Add the matching hair bow ($7) and off you go (where, we don't want to know).

Even more devilishly fun are Trashy's Valentine Cherub Horns made of red velvet, which sprout from a matching hairband ($40). The stretch red velvet Itty Bitty Thong ($20) can be added, along with a red vinyl cat o'nine tails whip ($10,) for the truly adventuresome.

But the prize for serving up Valentine's treats goes to the red heart top over a sheer tulle apron and red satin heart G-string. ($100 for the apron and $25 for the G-string.)

The sheer facts

In fact, sheer is a big theme in lingerie these days. At one upscale Atlanta boutique, the manager isn't surprised. "Men are attracted to sheer," says Sharron Sims of Intimacy. "It's 60/40. Sixty percent of the men who walk in want sheer; only about 40 percent of the women do."


SINFUL SECRETS?
What is the naughtiest piece of lingerie you've ever bought?
a thong
a see-through nightie
a push-up bra
a black-lace bustier
View Results
European designer labels at Intimacy include Lise Charmel from France and La Perla from Italy.

What distinguishes these from American offerings? "The laces are exquisite," explains Sims. "Levers lace, for example offers a background color and a foreground color woven in a beautiful pattern of leaves or roses. If the background is black and gray and the roses are red, it is very vibrant. The closer you get the more the color intensifies."

The price tag ($135 to $175 for a bra) reflects the relative rarity of such detail. "There are only 1000 machines in the world that can still do this procedure," says Sims, "this isn't typical mass production."

As far as color, "there is a huge rally around pastels," says Sims, with pink leading the way, followed by pale blue, ivory, pistachio.

Italian La Perla, however, has no holds barred on color. They favor navys, black, oranges, fuschias as well as a zebra pattern in chocolate and black. For shaping, supportive panels on the side "carriages" of the bra enhance cleavage by pushing the breasts together as well as upward. The price for this added science? $165 to $212 per bra.

'The Hollywood Kiss'

Cleavage is also top priority at Fredericks of Hollywood, who came up with The Hollywood Kiss for Valentine's Day. "It's a super push up bra," explains spokesperson Allison Olmstead. "Not only does it push up and 'shelve' [industry term!] the breasts, but it also brings them together so they 'kiss.'" The $26 bra comes in bright pink, blue, yellow, as well as pure white and black.

graphic
It's all water under this "Bra" at Frederick's.  

But the challenge at Frederick's is keeping another introduction in stock.The Water Bra, selling like hotcakes, according to Olmstead, was years in the making and is still being improved. The $36 push-up bra contains actual water and oil sandwiched between layers of lace or satiny fabric (black, red, and white in lace; nude, black and white in satin look.)

The benefit: "It adds a size but conforms to any shape so it looks and feels natural," says Olmstead. The high tech extra: the fabric is designed to reseal itself if accidentally punctured (by a... ???) to avoid potentially embarrassing leaks and, most dreaded, "shrinkage."

For a bit of Hollywood glitter with your Valentine's garb, Frederick's offers Body Glitter, a gel that smoothes clear, silver, gold, or red flakes over skin (a 4-pack is $7); as well as the glow-in-the-dark variety in hot pink, green, blue, and yellow. Slightly less daring is Body Shimmer ($5 in bronze and gold), reportedly used instead of hose by one designer to give the legs of her runway models a sensual shine.

Also hot: Marabou, that fluffy, feathery stuff that trims sheer baby dolls, teddies, robes, shawls, and the toes of dainty mules.

Attracted but shy? Try browsing Frederick's Website.

"You can take as much time as you want," asserts Olmstead. "It's not like being in a store and you get uncomfortable and just buy anything to get out. It eliminates impulse buying."

Oh, Victoria: angelic lingerie, devilish website

graphic
To get this look at home? Try the "Guippure" slip ($58) and the "Miracle," micro-lace bra ($36) and bikini ($20), both in coral blush.  

The other lingerie website newsmaker has got to be Victoria's Secret. The massive web rush (a massive shut out for many) to log onto their February 3rd live fashion show proved just how much this country loves lovely undies. (By the way, that very show will be running on the website for six months for those whose live attempts went bust -- so to speak.)

Those who did break through saw the introduction of the Dream Angels line, which includes heavily embroidered lace bras, baby dolls, and merry widows that let the skin show through.

Big trends at the 850-store strong chain? "We love sheer white fabric," says a company spokesperson. "We see the angelic trend with gossamer delicate white pieces in bras, panties, sleepwear and robes going forward to the millenium." Other hot hues? "Gray lace accenting our pinky corals and reds."

Advice for female lingerie shoppers from Intimacy? "We find that men, especially husbands, are much less critical of their wives' bodies than women themselves are," says Sims.

"Valentine's Day is a time to step outside your comfort zone and wear something wildly seductive. From what we've observed of our male shoppers, it will be appreciated."



RELATED STORIES:
Special - St. Valentine's day 1999
Parties provide sexy fashions for private home shopping
August 10, 1998
Victoria's 'Net Secret is out
February 2, 1999

RELATED SITES:
"Exit to Eden"
Victoria's Secret
Fredericks of Hollywood
Trashy Lingerie homepage
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