INTERVIEW BY CARLOTTA BUOSI
Cicely Travers loves lingerie. And not just the mere though of having something beautiful hidden inside a drawer that never gets opened, but lingerie as a part of every-day dressing. Choosing knickers carefully, being mindful of the silhouette which suits you best can change the way you hold yourself, according with the British-born, Rome-based designer. Through her brand, Isosceles, Cicely aims to create lingerie which flatters through clothing, where what’s underneath almost becomes more relevant than what’s supposed to cover it up. Or maybe enhance it? Just as the images from her latest campaign - shot by Amy Gwatkin - Cicely aims to break all stereotypes about lingerie by wearing it, showing, enjoying it and putting the whole process on Instagram, for women to be inspired.
1. Cicely, what do you think women look for in their lingerie and can never quite find?
I think women want everything from lingerie. Fit, beauty, comfort, flattering, sexy, seam- less. I believe women should have a range of well fitting lingerie and should choose the correct lingerie for the ensemble.
2. What made you desire to create a beautiful but also functional lingerie line?
it gives me great pleasure to design and create beautiful lingerie, but I want it to be worn rather than used once and left languishing in the drawer. It wouldn’t feel right for me to make something that doesn’t have longevity.
3. How do you make lingerie iconic and what is iconic about Isosceles?
I think that to make any brand iconic you have to adhere to your aesthetic and not pander to trends.You must write your own rules. What I try to do with Isosceles Lingerie is have a unique signature and stay true to that concept.
4. Where does the design process start for you versus where does it take you in the end?
I start by sketching, I always have a notebook in case an idea pops into my head. I make a drawing and then I drape on the stand, cut out and make a prototype.There starts the process of trial and error. Sometimes I can spend anentire week on a pair of knickers that just wouldn’t work.
5. Multi-coloured lingerie: yes or no?
Definitely yes!But I appreciate that there is a place for the blacks, whites and beiges.
6. Total white underwear: yes or no?
Yes. I love white underwear, very sexy.
7. What are the biggest stereotypes around lingerie, in your opinion?
Thongs are not comfortable. VPL is bad.Women need to where ’T- shirt’ bras.
8. How do you plan to break some of them, if any?
I plan to break them all by wearing see through clothes and thongs, not wearing ’T- shirt’ bras and putting it all on Instagram. In fact, my new campaign has a female flashers theme: women exposing themselves in public. I find thatliberating.
9. What do you want your women to feel when wearing Isosceles?
Comfortable, confident and perky.
10. What do you feel, wearing your pieces?
Like I want to people to see them
11. All of your pieces are made in the UK. Tell us more about this choice.
I work with a wonderful factory called AJM in Wales, which is in a region that used to have many lingerie factories that closed down. The clever owner, James,used to work there and when the other factories started closing down,he started his own one. I love to visit when getting my samples made and I know that the people that work there are paid properly and not being exploited. We need to come up with alternatives for fast fashion, it is polluting the world and killing people and its not sustainable. Society needs to be more aware of what goes into making clothes.
10. What should we expect from Isosceles’ new collection?
Im really excited about my new collection. I have added a few new pieces that are very playful and I am using a new fabric made in Italy with an incredible stretch ribbon from Japan. I am especially proud of the look book campaign shot by Amy Gwatkin and the video she made, which is beautiful and was so much fun to shoot. It is definitely my best work so far.
11. What is that you love the most about your job?
Im a lingerie addict so I love to rummage through flea markets in Rome, looking for vintage pieces of lingerie, trawling eBay for 90’s La Perla and - of course - calling it research.
Special thanks to Charlotte Berghman and the British Fashion Council.