Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Victoria Dagger in Evgenia Photographed by Alyxander Ryan

In the intensely competitive world of apparel design, it's kind of amazing to see how indie lingerie operates as its own lovely, supportive bubble. Although you need a thick skin to work in any aspect of fashion, truly, I would hardly say I have one. Though I've gotten tougher over the years, I think a lot of why I'm still in business in an industry that is known for being incredibly catty is that indie lingerie design is an amazingly supportive niche, full of designers who are passionate about not only their work, but others' as well.

I've had the amazing privilege of working alongside some truly amazing indie lingerie rockstars over the past few years. And one of my favorite local designers, Marianne Faulkner of Pop Antique, is not only an incredible corsetiere and lovely friend, but also a drop-dead gorgeous model, also known as Victoria Dagger. Marianne is full of surprises - sweet as pie, but with a photographic presence and glare that can move mountains. As I've told her before, the first time I saw her images I thought "Man, this girl is a badass and probably totally mean" and what a surprise I got when I finally met her: a friendly, talented designer with a penchant for cocktails, cats and strong hugs. Seriously!

What a treat I got when Victoria announced she'd be shooting a stocking review for The Lingerie Addict and wanted to borrow some pieces from the Tempest collection. Her friend Alyxander Ryan shot the incredible images, and as always, Marianne owns it. I love the mix of brands in this editorial, too. The colorful stockings featured are by Gio, the pink robe is by Andres Intimates and cincher is by Sparklewren. A meeting of the minds indeed! This is how lingerie is done, and this is why I love this world so, so much.

Deco Garter Belt by Evgenia. Stockings by Gio.

Stockings by Gio.

Tempest Deco Camisole, Tempest Modern Knickers and Deco Garter Belt by Evgenia.
Robe by Andres Intimates. Cincher by Sparklewren. Stockings by Gio.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Night to Care Giveaway

I'm so excited to announce that Evgenia was asked to participate in A Night to Care, a fundraiser fashion event benefiting the DripDrop Foundation.

The November 5th event features four local female fashion designers' lines: Evgenia, Kajan Cake, Kaperett and Tokyo Gamine. The DripDrop Foundation's mission is to raise awareness and money to save lives and alleviate suffering from dehydration worldwide. A Night to Care will include a cocktail reception with a hosted bar, a fashion show and a silent auction, all in the glorious St. Regis Hotel's exquisite penthouse.

Each ticket purchase benefits the Foundation and all the good work they do worldwide. From now until October 25th, Evgenia fans and followers have an exclusive opportunity to win two (2) tickets to the event, a $500 value. Here's how:
  • Join the Evgenia mailing list
  • Comment below with just why you want to attend this event. Be sure to leave your email address!
  • Follow @evgenialingerie on Instagram and repost this image. Tell us why you want to attend the event and be sure to include the hashtags #evgeniacares and #dripdropfoundation. (Your profile must be public in order for your entry to be considered)
  • Follow Evgenia Lingerie on Facebook and repost this image. Tell us why you want to attend the event and be sure to include the hashtags #evgeniacares and #dripdropfoundation.
  • Pick your favorite piece of Evgenia lingerie from the online boutique and post a picture of it on Instagram - be sure to tag @evgenialingerie and hashtag #evgeniacares
You may enter one time per method. The winner will be selected at random on October 26th. Best of luck and can't wait to see you there!

Monday, August 17, 2015

EVGENIA Fall/Winter 2015/16 Behind the Scenes

Ever wonder how a photo shoot comes together? Once again, videographer Tim Prestoza of Low Tek Studios was on hand back in December to capture all the magic that went into the Fall/Winter 2015/16 Tempest shoot. Photographer Kelly Puleio, model Frances Tomei, hair stylist Lauren Rynders and makeup artist Risa Robins Moloney braved what was called the Bay Area's "storm of the decade" for this magnificent project which was inspired by the Octavio Paz short story My Life with the Wave.

Even though both my inspiration and the weather were moody, it's easy to tell we still managed to have a wonderful time. Check out the video and outtakes, and shop first pieces from the Tempest collection now!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Freema Agyeman Wears an Evgenia Lingerie Ribbon Corset in Sense8

About a year ago, I was contacted by a wardrobe stylist whose boss, the costume designer for Sense8, had fallen in love with an Evgenia Ribbon Corset a few months prior. Sense8 is the new Netflix original series directed by the Wachowskis, the brains behind The Matrix, so needless to say I was ecstatic to have my lingerie considered for the series' wardrobe.

Loaning and occasionally selling garments to stylists is a pretty normal thing, but most of the time it's safe to assume you'll never see the finished product. Stylists typically pull deep collections of garments for photo shoots and films, so the chance that your piece will actually get used isn't exceptionally big. So needless to say, imagine my surprise when 35 minutes into the first episode of Sense8, the gorgeous Freema Agyeman (as Amanita, protagonist Nomi's girlfriend) sauntered onto the screen in a perfect SF Pride ensemble, complete with an Evgenia Ribbon Corset.

I absolutely loved this cheeky outfit and I couldn't be prouder to have seen one of my favorite styles on such a beautiful actress. If you're looking to replicate this look, I only have two of this style of corset left in the red/black colorway, and you can snap it up on sale now here!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Shop the Evgenia Night Garden Collection at Bespoke Starting Friday!

The word is finally out!

The Fashion Incubator is proud to announce our month-long partnership with Bespoke, a sleek new coworking space in downtown San Francisco's beautiful Westfield Center.

Our pop-up space will be featuring current designers in residence including Blade + Blue, Kajan Cake, Pladra, Simple Pair, and of course yours truly, Evgenia. From vintage-inspired menswear to chic dresses and separates for women, to utilitarian activewear, to feminine lingerie pieces, we truly have something for everyone and are so excited to have dedicated shop spaces in this unique, tech-forward environment!

Check out Maghan MacDowell's write-up in The San Francisco Chronicle and pay us a visit on the 4th floor of the Westfield Center at Bespoke, right next to Bloomingdale's. Doors open to the public at 10am on Friday 5/29 and they close again on 6/30. Can't wait to see you there!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

My Mom: A 70's Beauty

In celebration of Mother's Day, I felt it fitting to share some pictures of my very first style icon.

My mom made many of her own clothes and many of mine when I was a child. She was my first sewing teacher and always encouraged me in drawing and creating. She was (and still is) always dressed perfectly, knowing just what to wear for every occasion. All bias aside, I've always felt that my mom is an exceptionally beautiful woman - when I came across these photos back in middle school, though, I realized I hadn't seen anything yet. The hazy prints showed her and my dad frolicking on the beaches of New Jersey and preparing for nights out with friends - indeed, she told me she'd been to the exclusive Studio 54 during its heyday. My mom spent her 20's in the 1970's, an era I'm usually not all that into aesthetically. These photos, though, paint a beautiful dreamscape, and lucky for me, my dad loved taking pictures of my mother.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom, and to all the mothers out there that make our lives beautiful.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Night Garden has Landed at Dark Garden!

The Evgenia Lingerie Night Garden collection has officially landed at Dark Garden, our longtime stockist. The Night Garden collection is the epitome of luxury: from fine lightweight silk crepe de chine to an exquisite French starry lace and our signature insertion lace bow detail. Each piece is made right here in the Bay Area.

Visit Dark Garden at 321 Linden Lane in San Francisco to pick out your favorite pieces!

Friday, March 27, 2015

EVGENIA Fall/Winter 2015/16 Teaser Video by Tim Prestoza

Fall/Winter 2015/16 took a moody turn from the airy Night Garden collection and videographer Tim Prestoza was on set for my December shoot to capture the dark beauty in all its glory. The Tempest collection was inspired by the Octavio Paz short story My Life with the Wave, and was shot by Kelly Puleio in Tomales Bay during what SF media outlets were dubbing "the storm of the decade". I hope you enjoy this video as much as I do - stay tuned to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

NYFW Red Dress Diary, Part II: Show Time

It's certainly possible that all the preparation in the world could have been insufficient to tackle my fitting with Carla Hall for the Go Red show. As I mentioned in my last post, my only fittings involved a dress form and someone significantly shorter than my model, so needless to say, I went into my Manhattan appointment feeling a bit beyond my depth. Then there was the issue that the dress I ended up making was somewhat different than my original design and I began to wonder if the final product would still effectively communicate my aesthetic.

Original sketch, second sketch, final gown

On the day of my fitting, I left my friend's apartment in Brooklyn early and braved the snow with my gown. Before my appointment, I made a quick visit to Manhattan Wardrobe Supply where I bought tough-as-nails double-sided tape and a few other last minute fitting essentials. My fitting was at Dani New York, a full service alterations workroom in the Garment District, coincidentally in the same building as my friend Angela Friedman's showroom. Natalia and Joe, the owners of Dani, were so welcoming. It's no secret that the New York fashion world isn't always friendly - Natalia and Joe were incredibly sweet to me, a rare, wonderful treat.

When Natalia asked me if I'd brought extra fabric, I had a moment of panic - What if the gown was too short? What if I had to add extra panels? I hadn't, in fact, brought extra fabric and began to worry that I had made a grave mistake. However, once Carla slipped on the gown, it all became clear: it was pretty damn close to perfect.

Natalia fits Carla.

There were, of course, minor adjustments that needed making, but nothing Natalia seemed to think was anything more than no big deal. It was satisfying to see that all the adjustments I'd made in San Francisco were the right moves to make. Carla is longer waisted than her measurements implied, so adjusting the bodice and yoke had definitely been the right move. The most significant change we had to make was to the length - the extra 6" Dorothy and I added were mostly lopped off in the front. When Carla told me she felt beautiful in my gown, I finally felt like I could breathe. All my hard work was paying off. Not only was Carla the perfect model, but she was gracious and sweet - such a delight to work with.

Lincoln Center, inside the fashion tents

And then the night arrived. I showed up at Lincoln Center with my heart in my throat. Navigating the fashion tents proved to be a little more complicated than expected, though I did end up getting some high fives from the gorgeous male models from the Band of Outsiders show. Once I arrived at the Go Red backstage area, I was blown away by the hustle and bustle of it all. My gown was ready for Carla and the celebrities were out in full force. From Laverne Cox to Hoda Kotb and Thalia to Ciara and Rosie O'Donnell, I was a little taken aback by all the familiar faces I'd only before seen on TV.

Carla and yours truly backstage

And before long, the other Incubator designers from Philadelphia and Chicago and I were ushered through the red carpet area, interviewed in a hurry and then sent to the front of the house to watch the show. And what can I say? It was amazing. Carla in particular had so much wonderful attitude and energy - it was a wonderful experience seeing my own work on the NYFW runway on such an amazing woman. See the whole show here on the Go Red site.

Carla on the runway

Sunday, February 22, 2015

NYFW Red Dress Diary, Part I: Drape, Sew, Fit, Repeat

When the board of the San Francisco Fashion Incubator asked me to create a gown for the prestigious Go Red for Women runway show at New York Fashion Week, I initially didn't know what to say. As the only lingerie designer in a program mostly populated by womenswear designers, this amazing opportunity was quite the surprise, and, frankly, a challenge I was at once thrilled and a little nervous to take on. While Evgenia's focus is lingerie, I'm not a stranger to making dresses and gowns - in fact, my education at FIDM was in womenswear.

Initial sketches, preparing for the first drape, padding the dress form

I was asked to submit three initial designs, the first of which was my absolute favorite - a 1930's-themed bias cut gown with star lace appliqués throughout. After some celebrity changes (my first assigned celeb had to back out due to schedule conflicts), I was eventually assigned to dress celebrity chef Carla Hall, a former model who stands at an astonishingly statuesque 6' tall. I was told that she loved my first sketch, was given her measurements and got to work preparing to drape my gown. Because the mannequin I was working with was scaled for a shorter woman, I had to pad her out a bit to fit one considerably taller. With the help of FISF's resident sewing, pattern making and apparel construction expert Dorothy Yuki, I created a totally new form on which to drape.

Carla had requested that I pare down the star detailing on the dress, something I was more than happy to do. My first sketches were on the more fantastical side and after some thought I wasn't sure how they would translate to the runway. A more measured approach to embellishment seemed to be more fitting for a Fashion Week show, so I removed the center sash star and a bunch of the star appliqués throughout the top portion of the gown. Because of Carla's past runway experience, I thought adding a sweeping skirt would create a beautiful motion during the show for a confident walker.

First bodice mockup

I actually did two separate drapes, one for my first assigned celebrity who as 5'2" and the second for Carla Hall. In all, I sewed the bodice four separate times, three times for Carla's gown. Many of the design elements I dreamed up proved to be a bit more complicated to execute than I'd initially thought. For example, the gathering at the bust caused some issues with the waist seam (see above) which I had to allow extra ease for. The hip yoke was cut on the bias to allow for maximum fit flexibility, but as any dressmaker knows, bias is a whole different ballgame and can be quite a challenge to work with. After meeting with Dorothy to make the proper pattern adjustments following my first draft, I figured it was time to move into my final fabric with only 12 days to go until New York.

Second bodice mockup with skirt

The second draft of Carla's bodice was a million times better with some minor, easy-to-fix issues. At that point, I drafted the skirt pattern and tried it out in some extra silk I had lying around. Dorothy and I agreed that we should allow an extra 6" for the bottom hem to allow for the possibility of sky high shoes.

Star appliques and snips

Once I was happy with the final skirt shape, I began cutting in in the final fabric and adding the star appliqués one by one with the help of my intern, Lux. Each of the four panels of the skirt had between 12 - 15 stars on it, each hand-basted, appliquéd by machine and snipped by hand with sewing scissors.

Second bodice mockup (left), fitting with Michelle Byrnes, final gown before finishing

Once the skirt was finished, I was desperate to try the gown on someone with similar proportions to Carla, but I didn't know anyone 6' tall with shared similar measurements. Then a friend suggested I call up 2013 Designer in Residence and kickass designer in her own right Michelle Byrnes. She's not 6' tall, but she's pretty darn close, and pretty close to Carla's body measurements. She came by the Incubator and we tried on the gown. There remained some small fit considerations, but it was clear I was getting a lot closer to the final product! I ended up lowering the waist seam, lengthening the bias yoke and extending the shoulders which yielded…

The final gown

…the final product! Per Dorothy's recommendations, I left large seam allowances at the side seams to manage any potential fit issues that would pop up. Remember, I didn't have a chance to fit Carla in person until my arrival in New York, at which point any major alterations would be out of my hands.

Next up, my final fitting in New York and the NYFW Go Red runway show!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sweet Nothings in Evgenia Lingerie

I'm finally coming down from all the crazy excitement of being in New York City for fashion week, but it's certainly hard to let go of the high. There's something really special about being in the US' most stylish city during the most stylish time of the year, and even a tiny San Francisco lingerie designer like myself walked away from the experience with tons of things to celebrate.

Of course, there were the expected victories: trunk shows, the NYFW runway show (more on that later), press events, etc. But there were also the amazing connections that were both forged and solidified during my stay, not the least of which was with Sweets of Sweet Nothings. If you've ever visited Sweets' blog, I don't have to tell you how incredibly gorgeous she is. Meet her in person, though, and it's a whole different ballgame. This lingerie blogger is not only physically beautiful (and commandingly tall!), but genuinely warm, friendly, charming and funny as hell. I spent some time with her during Underhaus' Completely Bare Market, where she was repping Harlow & Fox right alongside its lovely and visionary designer Leanna Williams. Leanna, Sweets, NYC lingerie designer (and equally chic and wonderful person) Angela Friedman spent much of our 3-day event in a summit of the mutual appreciation club. Chatting lingerie and fashion with these women was one of the big highlights of my trip back east.

Then Sweets came up with a great idea: why not shoot some of my pieces for her blog? How could I say no? And once I saw her in my Ribbon Corset and Deco Cami, both a perfect fit, we set a date and got down to it.

So, lucky me! While I was working the Fashion Incubator press event, photographer Lydia Hudgens took these gorgeous shots of Sweets, and there are tons more on the Sweet Nothings blog, so make sure to check them out. What's more, Sweets paired this set with the beautiful Celestial Truffle Cake pictured above which she made herself. She gave me an enormous slice of it after the shoot and I *may* have eaten the whole thing in one evening. It was that good! Her blog post has the full recipe along with the rest of these gorgeous pictures.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Modern Love Editorial by Antonette Streeter

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, what better way to plan a special date night for the one you love? Just in time for the most romantic time of year, photographer Antonette Streeter followed around models Laura and Devon (a super sweet couple in real life too!) for a date night out in San Francisco's North Beach. Laura wears Evgenia Lingerie paired with vintage pieces from her own collection. Lipstick by Elizabeth Street Cosmetics and styling by Michelle Byrnes.

Night Garden Bralette, Tap Short

Night Garden Bralette, Deco Romper

Night Garden Bralette, Deco Romper

Night Garden Bralette, Deco Romper

Night Garden Bralette, Tap Short

Night Garden Bralette, Tap Short

Night Garden Bralette, Ribbon Corset

Night Garden Bralette, Ribbon Corset

Night Garden Deco Cami

Night Garden Deco Cami

Night Garden Deco Tee