Writers and lingerie designers have a lot in common, because both are in the business of telling stories.
That’s why you’ll often hear designers refer to the “stories” in a new collection; as in, “This season we introduce six new stories.” (There’s even a lovely British label called Intimate Stories.)
Many customers might not really understand the connection, but it’s not a euphemism or affectation peculiar to this industry.
Lingerie designers, more than most people in other fashion categories, use imaginary narratives to help guide their creative process and find new stylistic direction.
Think of it this way: it’s a lot easier for a designer to conceptualize a new seasonal collection by fantasizing about plucky princesses or sexy superheroines or heartbroken courtesans than by simply saying, “This time let’s do something with green lace!”
Lingerie “stories” become powerful marketing tools too, resulting in the fabulous photoshoots, video campaigns and magazine editorials that drive the industry and keep fans enthralled.
This unique feature of the lingerie market works so well because lingerie, unlike shoes or jeans or scarves, is the fashion of imagination and possibility and, ultimately, romantic hope. It allows you to try on new personas, explore fantasies and even transform your own life story.
All of which is a way of introducing a great new contest idea sponsored by the award-winning UK label Fleur of England.
Designer Fleur Turner is inviting fans to write an original short story that captures the essence of her latest collection, called Heiress. It’s a sophisticated, vintage-esque line in platinum grey satin and embroidered tulle.
The Heiress range was inspired by the Pre-Raphaelite poet and wallpaper designer William Morris, which makes perfect sense for this very painterly brand with a keen sense of “story” behind each of its artistic collections.
But Fleur is more interested in hearing what YOU think is going on in the Heiress’s life. A dilemma involving rival suitors? A tryst with the hunky gardener or a soldier fresh from battle? Or perhaps something a little more E.L. Jamesian?
To help you get over writer’s block, Fleur has supplied an opening for the story — “The Heiress will enchant you with her timeless elegance and grace. She waits composed in her English country mansion …” — but you can probably come up with something better, right?
The winning entry in the Heiress contest will receive £500 worth of the brand’s lingerie, while five runners-up will receive a discount code worth 50% off purchases. Stories should be a maximum of 500 words long and must be submitted by Aug. 8. The winning entry will be published on the Fleur of England blog. Full details of the contest will be posted on the brand’s blog tomorrow.