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The Subtlety of Sex: Introducing Lascivious' New Collection
Nerve welcomes Chloe Hamblen's new luxury lingerie line, SS13.
BY KATE HAKALA
Chloe Hamlen, creative director of British luxury lingerie brand Lascivious, is a highly accomplished designer who has worked with greats such as the late Alexander McQueen and Marlies Dekkers. In 2004, she founded Lascivious, with the vision to create a sophisticated brand that meshed the aesthetic of sex with modernity. Here, Chloe shares her new indulgent and experimental line, SS13, and gives us a hint of what's to come.
I loved the naughty, lustful connotation of the word and the combination of a playful meaning juxtaposed with something darker, which perfectly encapsulated the provocative nature of what I wanted to create. I also still get asked what it means; so I like that it’s not too obvious. There’s still some mystery, and that balance between subtlety and a confidence in expressing sexuality is something I also try to bring to our designs.
Your new collection, SS13, is inspired by 90s fashion, with popping colors and cut-out shapes. What made you choose this retro theme?
I have a great fondness for the 90s- it’s the era I grew up in. I loved the music and the feisty women who were at the fore, and whilst it’s doubtful we’ll look back at it as a decade that gave us great fashion, I think there are elements that can be re-worked that give a playful nod but that still feel fresh.
While the line definitely has aspects of 90s wear, there's also something futuristic about it. What makes your lingerie modern?
I strive to retain a dynamic, directional feel to our designs- I have always wanted to innovate and produce contemporary, modern collections rather than looking backwards. As such we try to embrace new techniques, opt for non-traditional fabrics and experiment with new ideas in order to create pieces that challenge the boundaries of lingerie design.
The Tamzin Lillywhite for Lascivious designs are bold and armor-like—including a choker, shoulder harness, and cuffs. Do you think of the combination between strength and sexuality while designing your lines?
Absolutely. We try to create pieces which are playful but that will empower the wearer. I always want women to feel sexy and confident when they’re wearing Lascivious, and the Tamzin Lillywhite is almost the ultimate expression of this- it transforms the wearer into a powerful robot-cum-Wonder Woman figure!
Do you want to give us any hints about your next line, AW13, which comes out later this summer?
The new AW13 collection has been inspired by a trip I took to Vietnam last year, so there's an Eastern influence that comes through in some of the shapes and the colors; particularly a rose gold which can be seen throughout the collection and in a beautiful new collaboration we've undertaken. We also wanted the collection to have a sophisticated, luxe feel, so we've used some beautiful silks and created some loungewear pieces. We are also hugely excited to be launching our first men's trunk. The collection was shot by an amazing photographer called Szymon Brodziak- it's one of my favorites yet, but is definitely not work-safe!
Much of the mesh and provocative cut-outs from this collection were inspired by 90s women's wear. I can totally see this top in the background of a TLC music video.
This piece should be coupled with popsicles and a warm summer evening.
The lace, the leather trim, the cuffs. It's meant to be suggestive: "I design with both pleasure and play in mind," Hamblen told me.
While taking most of her cues from the 90s, I could still see Joan Holloway giving men heart attacks in this fitted and mod skirt.
"There are cut-outs and fastenings in the garments, but they're usually subtly concealed, so that you only have to reveal them if you choose to," suggests Hamblen. Also, the suspender belt is a completely underutilized garment.
If you're thinking of a powerful futuristic sexy space cadet, you're thinking right. Hamblen loves classic sci-fi characters like Barbarella and She-Ra. "A piece could be a cross between a fastening I've seen on a handbag, a leaf pattern, and the mood of a character like Barbarella."
Some of these pieces remind me of sexy spiderwebs. The binding aesthetic is understated, but still suggests these pieces would be ideal if somebody else was taking them off.