Lucky me, I had the opportunity to interview lingerie designer Julianna Rae! As regular readers of this lingerie blog know, I’m a huge fan of Julianna’s lingerie, so I was as excited to interview her as I am proud to share her comments with you!
Julianna, can you tell us a bit about your choices — what prompted you to make camisoles, tap pants and real nightgowns?
So much of lingerie seems to be about dressing for someone else. We wanted our line to be about indulging YOURSELF – what WE want to wear. I think well designed camisoles, tap pants, and nightgowns make us feel glamorous, pretty and good about ourselves. And when you feel good about yourself, you look truly beautiful.
You hit the nail on the head that there is always pressure to go with the trendy pieces and looks! And we sure get a lot of “who wears tap pants??” So we had to go out on a limb and stick to our beliefs. We thought if we could offer beautiful pieces that accomplished our goal of making one feel better about themselves, people will love our items and so far, so good! (And, the good news is, a lot of people are trying our tap pants and telling us how glad they are they discovered them and that we make them!) But, if we were proven completely wrong, we would have re-evaluated – we certainly know we don’t know everything.
Your color palettes are soft and feminine, and you still offer the classic pale shades for beneath blouses as well as basic black. Color is really important not only for “mood,” but for practical reasons. Maybe this isn’t a question… Or it’s like the one about your lingerie pieces. I adore the classic and classy offerings! Is there anything you’d like to say about the colors you offer in your collection?
I love colors and the myriad of shades they come in and how one can have an emotional response to them. It’s like words – a lot of words mean they same thing but they each have their nuances. So for example, the color palette for our most recent collection reflected understated elegance. The colors are traditional lingerie shades – a blue, a rose, a lilac, a black, an ivory – but the silk is a subtle but intense shade of those colors with the lace being a light contrast to bring out the depth in those colors.
I think you’ve been reading our customers’ minds! Our customers have been asking for both! Many of our customers tell us they love wearing our shorter silk chemises as slips as well as nightgowns so they have requested that we make all our silk chemises with an Ivory option. We are going to be doing that for the styles we think can cross over to being a full slip. I have some great ideas for half slips that I will be working into our future collections.
Here are the top 3:
- Studying women’s bodies: all the different shapes, sizes, and how they move. I design to work with the differences of women’s bodies and not to the idealized female form or one female form. I think that really helps our lingerie look beautiful on so many different women and makes it accessible to so many women.
- Making comfort an integral part of the design: a garment should be beautiful as well as comfortable. There are many design ideas that I love that I have to throw out because I know they won’t be comfortable. And then I have to work harder on each design idea that I do carry through because I have to tailor it just so to make sure it is comfortable while maintaining the look that I am after. I want our customers to love wearing our designs so much that putting on our pajamas or nightgowns becomes the favorite part of their day!
- Not designing for myself: while I love the pieces I design, I don’t design for me – I don’t think anyone would want my closet!
What was the most surprising thing you learned or discovered along the way?
I know we all try to find things that fit and look good on us and once we find something that works, we might buy a few of them. But I have been completely (and pleasantly) surprised by how many of our customers have purchased everything we have made which really tells me that finding something that fits well really is a challenge. I’ll have to design faster!
Thanks so much for making the time to talk lingerie with us! Is there anything you’d like to add?
Thank you for the blog! I think it’s wonderful that so many people share my passion for lingerie.
We do share your passion for lingerie, Julianna — thanks for making the beautiful classic pieces that you do! Readers, if you shop at Julianna Rae’s store (and why wouldn’t you?!), please do say, “A Slip of a Girl sent me!”