- Posted by Caroline Degen
- On 22. Juli 2016
In preparation for our 70th Birthday Party the BWC has been holding several events grooming us for the celebrations – from the ‚inside‘ (Wine Tasting) and ‚out‘ (Fashion Event) but also from the ‚top‘ (Hair and Make-Up)…to, if you’ll excuse the expression… ‚bottom‘ with A Dessous ‚Do‘.
A gorgeous-ly, giggly, girly evening was hosted by Joyce and her lovely daughter Siân, an expert on couture luxury lingerie. To help the ladies present to ‚bare all‘ and try on the beautiful ‚undies‘ collection from Siân’s French Dessous company Maison Lejaby, we were treated to a glass of pink bubbly and tempted by some delicious canapés.
The sitting-room had been converted into a mini show-room with rails of sensationally sexy negligees and classic, beautifully hand-made sets of underwear. A selection of stylish day and nightwear from Gattina and a range of luxurious lace-trimmed tops in several colours were on display.
In the depths of the cellar Siân had her products laid out in size and colour combinations for every taste and pocket, everything from bras, strings and bodies to nice sensible but pretty Bridget Jones knickers.
We gathered first in the sitting-room for Siân’s professional and informative presentation which she delivered with such humour and charm. Siân had spent most of her almost 25 year career in the ‚underworld‘ working for French lingerie companies but had joined Maison Lejaby only recently.
It was interesting to learn how the company, formerly Lejaby, had evolved. The brand was established in 1884 by making underwear for men, women and children. In 1930 Lejaby designed its first bra, a non-wired garment made with satin cups that sat under the breast. Not a sexy bra – more the ‚au natural‘ look!
We had learned on our visit to Cromford’s Textile Museum how the bra liberated women from the corset which had inflicted irrevocable damage to health over the course of many centuries. In the 1950’s Lejaby launched the bullet bra and that was when elastic and latex were introduced.
Siân went on to explain how a bra was made by hand using 54 pieces of different fabric to stretch, bend, ‚lift‘ and support combining craftsmanship with innovative design.
The present brand has 3 collections expressing the spirit of French couture using only the finest of materials. Maison Lejaby Premium, the main collection of affordable corsetry and swimwear – the Couture collection, high-end lingerie and swimwear and finally Elixir, a seductive large-cup collection that was re-launched in 2012 and now contributes to 30% of MLJ turnover.
After charmingly and patiently answering our questions about other techniques and makes such as La Perla and Passionata, Siân retreated with a glass of bubbly to the real ‚underworld‘, her Mum’s cosy cellar to assist and advise her eager customers. This is where the real retail therapy began! The ladies ‚all shapes and sizes‘ flitted hither and thither in various states of undress, to find their perfect fit.
This had been such a fun evening. Huge thanks must go to Joyce for such an original idea and for hosting this Dessous ‚Do‘ – and to Siân for taking time out of her busy working schedule to enable the BWC ladies to have this ‚brief encounter with the Underworld‘!
May 19th, 2016