Continuing my coverage of the Curve Expo, this week I’m focusing on our familiar brands Claudette, Curvy Kate, Parfait, and Panache. Panache in particular was really good to us this year, spending oodles of time showing us the new collection and having the models put on anything we wanted.
As a reminder, everything we saw is scheduled for Autumn/Winter 2015, so these will be available for sale between September 2015 through February 2016.
Ah, Claudette. I love this brand. They’re so fresh, and they always listen to their customers. This year, for example, they’re offering several different neutral colors after consumers asked for them, none of which are called the politically incorrect “nude.” Colors include Blondie, a super-pale, pink-leaning beige; Sunkissed, a basic tan; Allure, a baby pale pink; Barefoot, a slightly brighter pale pink; Rouge Noir, a brownish plum; Gothic Grape, a dark, cool eggplant purple; Alter Ego, a darker mocha-esque tan; and New Classic, a light mauve-y purple; and finally a basic black.
Of course, since this is Claudette and their ethos is always fun, there are also a slightly toned down neon pink (“Elsa Pink”) and a lovely ocean blue (“New Wave”), both of which turn up as trim on all the other shades and as pieces in their own right.
I really wish I’d taken a photo of all the skin-like neutrals next to each other. The brand really does offer a nice range, from the ultra pale Blondie and Allure (good for my pasty self!), through the darker tan Sunkissed and Alter Ego, to the Rouge Noir, which I think could work as a “nude” for a lot of black women. I think it’d be really cool if Claudette took advantage of what they have on offer, and used models of a few different races in their lookbooks and photo shoots.
As for those colors, here are the Dessous bras with Elsa Pink trim in (left to right) Rouge Noir, Alter Ego, Elsa Pink, and New Classic:
And here is the Dessous with New Wave trim in Barefoot and Gothic Grape:
Claudette is also introducing their very first Dessous tee-shirt bra, which will come in black, Allure, and Sunkissed. It uses the same mesh band and seam structure as the classic Dessous, but with light padding and opaque fabric in the cups. Of course, they had to throw in a little whimsy too, so all the colors are lined with Elsa Pink:
Further, Claudette is adding the lace “Darling” to their offerings, which is replacing the old Bardot model, available in New Wave, Elsa Pink, Blondie, and Gothic Grape.
And finally, the Fishnet bra (one of my favorites, though I never reviewed it here . . . so many bras, so little time!) is coming out in Elsa Pink and Rouge Noir. I’m very partial to the Rouge Noir, shown here:
The Fishnet that I currently own has velvet straps, but the newer models have normal strapping fabric, though I did notice that the underside has a strip of satin-y material that makes it look extra comfortable:
Finally, we have Claudette’s biggest addition to the family—soft, stretch mesh coverups! These totally sheer, brightly colored garments could be worn as swim coverups, loungewear, or even outerwear over a camisole or bra if you’re feeling really brave. There’s a dress, pocket tee, and “cheeky all mesh hotpants.” They come in Elsa Pink, New Wave, and Gothic Grape, to perfectly match your Dessous sets.
I could definitely see wearing the blue or grape as outerwear with a solid black bra underneath and maybe a little biker jacket over the top.
Claudette bras cost $58 – $72, with the coverups going for $32 for the hotpants, $39.50 for the shirt (not bad!), and $52.75 for the dress. All their bras come in the same size range of 32-34 A, 32-38 B, 30-38 C, and 28-38 D-G (UK cup schema).
Sigh…Every year I lament that CK doesn’t work for me. While the bands and cups are fine, the straps are so wide that it’s unwearable (check out my review of the Eden bra for details). This collection is no exception, with loads of colors and prints that I adore, including a cherry print bra—cherry print!!
F/W15 is all about bright, pop-y colors. First up is the lovely “saffron” Dreamcatcher bra. CK does such a good job with contrasting trim. I love the teal here:
Next up is the Cherie, which I’m pretty sure made me gasp out loud. Ugh, why can’t this fit me??
More teal and orange shows up in the zebra-esque Madagascar set:
You know I’m a sucker for black, white, and red, so I’m also loving the Illusion:
And don’t get me started on the freaking adorable swimwear they have coming out:
They’re also introducing a nice basic black set, including high-waisted bottoms (though they’re a bit big on the model here):
But what I was really excited to see of CK’s offerings was the new Scantilly line. This is a more risqué and sexier side of the same CK customer, and it really hits that sweet spot of being sexy for the boudoir without being silly, over-the-top, or trashy-looking. Sadly, it comes in a slightly reduced size range of 30D to 38HH instead of going to the usual J or K cup.
Aside from the Scantilly collection, Curvy Kate comes in 28 (sometimes 30)-38 D-J (sometimes K), UK sizing.
Parfait by Affinitas
Parfait added some really classy and sophisticated prints and colors to their repertoire this time around.
First up is the zebra Ellie. With a tan underlay and black or pewter top layer, this is the most subtle zebra print I’ve ever seen. It comes in a molded cup or an unlined triangle wire bra.
Next is the Marianne, whose silver grass-like embroidery really appealed to me:
Next up is the rich, deep “cassis” Destiny, in a molded contour or unlined wire bra. The contour has a really attractive outer satin side sling:
The Jeanie basic bra now comes as a strapless bustier and a strapless convertible bra in black and tan. Additionally, the plunge molded and the unlined wire bra are coming out in Java, a super dark brown. Yes, another “nude” for dark skin! My photo makes it look almost black, but in real life it’s more like the color of coffee beans:
Lastly, we have something I’m inordinately excited to try: the Tess in freaking modal fabric. The Parfait rep told me it was cotton, but the lookbook says modal, which is my favorite fabric in the whole world. It’s a type of rayon made by spinning reconstituted cellulose, usually from bamboo or beech trees. It’s smooth and soft with a nice weight and drape, and is resistant to shrinking and wrinkling.
I don’t care at all what this bra looks like, I just want to put it on. Though I will say that I’m a fan of the charcoal grey color:
Parfait comes in 30-40 D-GG (UK sizes), with select items starting at 28 band and going up to a K cup.
We learned so many cool things at Panache! I was most impressed with the fact that they’re taking the Superbra line in a slightly more fun direction without actually skewing younger and stepping on Cleo’s toes.
At that point, let’s start off with the Floris bra. We were told that previously this bra featured “older,” more subtle floral prints. This season, they’re offering a much more modern print:
Along a similar line is the best-selling Jasmine, with a stiff lower cup and stretch lace on the top. Unusually, it’s only being released in fashion colors this season, no cores. They’re offering a rose floral against a black background, a super subtle teal and black snakeskin, and a Jackson Pollock-esque abstract print that I quite like:
The abstract looked really great on the model, especially with that royal blue lace and trim:
Next up is the Clara, which of course comes in black and tan, but the really exciting part is the pair of fashion colors being released—a gorgeous claret with charcoal lace overlay and a bright teal with navy overlay (only two of my favorite bra colors!):
I just could not get enough of the teal and navy when it was in front of me. I even managed to get a color-accurate photo for once!
More amazing colors are the cobalt blue and the black with teal embroidery Tango (anyone else sensing a theme with all these blues and teals?):
Next is the Fontaine, which is apparently not a new design, but it’s one I’d never seen before. It really caught my eye because it’s got such a low plunge and very triangular cups. Unfortunately, it only goes up to a HH instead of K-cups. Still, I thought the simplicity of the design and flat, square bow at the center gore paired with the girly raspberry color was a really nice combination. As I get older, I still want bright colored undies, but maybe in a slightly more grown-up style compared to Cleo’s ultra-cutesy look, and this really fits the bill:
Finally, there are two innovations that I’m super excited about:
Panache Superbra starts at 28 or 30, goes up to 38 or 40, and includes cups D-J or K, with some bras (mostly the molded ones) stopping at G, H, or HH.
Next, I’m really pleased to introduce you to Panache’s newest range, Panache Black. It’s taking the place of the discontinued Masquerade line. It’s a lower price point than Masquerade was, but higher than Superbra, and is intended to be more upscale and sexier than the Superbra range.
There are only five designs to start, but they’re really nice. They’re certainly sexy, but still quite subtle. My personal favorite was the Aria, available up to an H cup:
Another black and tan offering is the Esme, available up to a K cup, and matching high-waisted brief:
Aside from black, the other color in the collection is—my favorite yet again—teal!
I think Black is off to a really nice start and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes in the future.
Next up are some highlights from Cleo:
Lastly, two aaaaaadorable swim options from Panache (not Cleo):
Next week, I’ll wrap up my coverage of Curve with a massive Freya and Fantasie overview. You guys, there’s so much good stuff coming out!!