Lingerie Secret Santa 2016

It’s pretty terrible that I haven’t updated this blog in nearly 8 months, but there has been a lot going on in the meantime. So I’m reviving it for a rather excellent cause: 2016’s rendition of the Lingerie Secret Santa!

Lingerie Santa Pangolin, apparently now the Secret Santa Mascot! Illustrated by the wonderful Marianne Faulkner
Lingerie Santa Pangolin, apparently now the Secret Santa Mascot! Illustrated by the wonderful Marianne Faulkner

The Lingerie Secret Santa was started by me a few years ago, on the line of thought that the run up to Christmas is a hideously busy time of year for most indie lingerie designers and it would be nice to get a treat in that time.  So it’s now become a bit of a tradition that every year, a handful of knicker designers are wrangled together and paired up as best as possible to all bring each other some Christmas cheer! You can read my posts about the 2015 and 2014 swaps here.

Custom lingerie set by Karolina Laskowska, designed for the Lingerie Secret Santa 2016
Custom lingerie set by Karolina Laskowska, designed for the Lingerie Secret Santa 2016

This year I’ve been rather snowed under with work, so I only just made the holiday posting deadlines with my gift (hence the photos taken with my phone rather than a decent camera). Nevertheless, it’s something I’m pretty damn pleased with: a custom set comprising of a nursing bra and two knicker options, designed with adjustability and luxe comfort in mind for a new mum.

Cup detail. Custom lingerie set by Karolina Laskowska, designed for the Lingerie Secret Santa 2016
Cup detail. Custom lingerie set by Karolina Laskowska, designed for the Lingerie Secret Santa 2016

The main fabrics used are a cotton bobbinet tulle (for breathability), French leavers lace (with a small percentage of elastane, to allow for a flexible fit in line with the body’s changing needs) and a little sandwashed silk for incomparably luxurious softness.

Custom lingerie set by Karolina Laskowska, designed for the Lingerie Secret Santa 2016
Custom lingerie set by Karolina Laskowska, designed for the Lingerie Secret Santa 2016

Gold plated components allow the cups to be unclipped, and my signature adjustable bra band means that the garment’s fit can be changed according to comfort needs. The bra presented its own technical challenges, but I love how it turned out and I hope that its new owner does too!

Custom lingerie set by Karolina Laskowska, designed for the Lingerie Secret Santa 2016
Custom lingerie set by Karolina Laskowska, designed for the Lingerie Secret Santa 2016

I’ve yet to receive my gift from the swap, but rest assured that I will be shouting about it everywhere once it arrives.  In the meantime, I highly recommend checking out the other brands taking part in the swap for lots of lingerie gorgeousness:

Abigail Greydanus
All Undone
Alma Robles Lingerie
Betty Blues Loungewear
Buttress and Snatch
Elissa Poppy
Harlow and Fox
Karolina Laskowska
Kiss Me Deadly
Manoela Marandino
Nearer the Moon
Nubian Skin
Pillowbook
Playful Promises
She and Reverie
Sugar Lace Lingerie
Tight Laced
Toru and Naoko

Lingerie Secret Santa 2015

Lingerie Santa Pangolin, apparently now the Secret Santa Mascot! Illustrated by the wonderful Marianne Faulkner
Lingerie Santa Pangolin, apparently now the Secret Santa Mascot! Illustrated by the wonderful Marianne Faulkner

Believe it or not, this time of year is one of the most stressful for any independent brand. Having just weathered the likes of Black Friday/Cyber Monday, I would actually say the worst is over; I’ve resolved to not panic-sew any more stock this year and am feeling all the better for it. Nevertheless, with all the Christmas gift buying it’s still a very busy time of year for all of us lingerie designers, and one where we need all the additional cheer that we can get. That’s where the Lingerie Secret Santa comes in…

The Lingerie Secret Santa was an idea I had a couple of years ago; you’re probably familiar with the concept of a Secret Santa, where a group of people pick names out of a hat to give on person within the group an excellent gift, rather than everyone receiving something small. I’ve heard many a lingerie designer lament that despite their careers and love of beautiful underthings, they can rarely actually afford to buy themselves some lovely knickers. So I proposed the Lingerie Secret Santa: where everyone gifts some of their own designs and receives something beautiful in return. Rather than a randomised gifting scenario though, each pairing is carefully tailored to match up designers with something they’ll hopefully actually like and use, whether that be through sizing or personal taste.

The Lingerie Secret Santa is in its third year now, and it’s got bigger than I’d ever imagined – there’s nearly thirty designers involved this year! (and actually, I’ve had to draft in help from the ever wonderful Catherine at Kiss Me Deadly to help me manage to organisational email deluge – you can read her post about the swap here). Trying to pair designers up was an interesting and tricky experience this year; it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that minority groups are quite unrepresented in indie lingerie brands (and would you believe it, everyone involved is a woman!). Nevertheless, after much flailing in the direction of Catherine and some thinking outside of the box, we managed to get everyone matched with someone we think will really love their designs. Also, we now have a mascot in the form of a Pangolin. Catherine explained the origins over here but quite frankly, I feel there shouldn’t be questions about this anyway because PANGOLIN.

Daniela lace tap pants, socks and custom bralet by Karolina Laskowska
Daniela lace tap pants, socks and custom bralet by Karolina Laskowska

For my gift this year, I decided to go with one of my specialities: beautiful French Chantilly lace. My giftee is receiving a custom bralet, tap pants and boudoir socks in my signature ‘Daniela’ style – with a little bit of cheeky luxurious custom embellishment, in the form of black pearl beading and jet Swarovski crystals… I do hope their new owner loves them as much as I enjoyed stitching them! Can you guess who my gift is going to?

You can also see my gift from last year in this blog post – a custom set in vintage lace with pearl beading and polka dot silk.

Now that Black Friday madness is out of the way, I’ll be shouting about this event on social media a lot more! Follow the gifting loveliness with the tag #lingeriesecretsanta – I know that I’ll be drooling over the beautiful lingerie that’s going to be flying all over the world to lovely new homes. You can see a full list of the brands involved this year below!

Toru and Naoko

Sugar Lace Lingerie

Pamela Cooper Intimates

Edge Of Beyond

Uye Surana

Nubian Skin

Love Pillowbook

Ayten Gasson

Karolina Laskowska

Raven Dreams

Almeida

Playful Promises

All Undone

Kayleigh Peddie

Orchid Corsetry

Betty Blues Loungerie

Evgenia

Sandmaiden

Little Women

Nearer The Moon

Maraki

She And Reverie

Harlow and Fox

Kiss Me Deadly

Dotties Delights

Ava Corsetry

Hopeless

Ell And Cee

And finally – if you’re a lingerie designer and want to join the swap next year, please get in touch! (Please note that joining the swap is based on criteria such as social media following, functioning E-commerce and general lingerie enthusiasm!). And for those of you that aren’t designers, I hope you receive lots of joyful lingerie this holiday season!

Karolina xx