A NYblk Collaboration with Andrée Ciccarelli
The experience of collaborating with Andrée Ciccarelli was really wonderful, and I couldn’t be more excited to bring you these photos. However, it was a real pleasure to sit down and discuss her collection, as well.
First, Andrée is a sharp young woman with an exacting eye for lingerie and the body. Her sensibilities are easily seen in a glance at the collection. There is a lot of black, and a lot of sheer lace. These aren’t your grandma’s undergarments… Or maybe they are, but they assuredly weren’t mine.
When asked what she finds attractive or sexy, Andrée says,“I think being confident is the most attractive, sexy and seductive thing in any person, woman or man. When someone can carry themselves well and is confident in their views, their look, their body, and their ideas, it’s so alluring and invigorating to me.” This idealism clearly translates into the designs she creates.
I also asked her to start from the beginning to tell us how she became interested in lingerie and undergarments.
“Ever since I can remember, I’ve always liked looking at and wearing lingerie. It’s my way of adding softness and a little femininity to my style! I also love the history of undergarments, of dressing and undressing… The details, the craftsmanship that goes into it, it’s so fascinating!”
I was interested in how much research actually was involved in creating a lingerie collection. I figured if I were a lingerie designer, I would just design what I wanted to wear myself.
“The research is mostly hands-on sewing and creating. However, I do a lot of photo research in the New York Public Library’s Photo Library to see what’s inspiring, traditional, and interesting, but a lot of the research is physically making designs (both successful and unsuccessful ones mind you!). As for taste, it’s a bit of both. I wear most everything I design, but not all. I won’t go near the very feminine pieces, like the kimonos. They’re way too dainty and pretty for me. I’m a sheer suspender panty paired with a giant sweater kind of girl. What I try to do is give a good mix of sensuality, beauty and edginess in all the pieces. I want someone to feel feminine but also badass and super sexy at the same time.”
While on set, Andrée was quiet in a way that many of my artist friends are when they are engulfed in thought. From the outside, one might mistake this quietness for lack of content. On the contrary, I knew this look to be exacting and at full attention to detail. There must be more…
“Again, My process is very hands-on. I start by finding interesting textiles, and then sitting down at my machine to see what I come up with. Then I draw and figure out the rest of the collection. I choose fabrics based on quality, texture and look. I love everything to be sheer so it’s a lot about finding new and interesting sheer materials and seeing how to mix and match them. The cuts are based on traditional silhouettes and traditional foundation lingerie pieces. I want the cut and fit to be exactly what you’d expect as you try them on. What I think that we do “uniquely” is the mixing and matching of traditional lingerie and techniques with contemporary shapes, fabrics and trimmings.” What I find incredible about these couture pieces is “everything is created by hand when, and as orders come in.”
“The whole view and idea behind the brand is creating well-crafted, sensual lingerie for women to wear everyday, or for special occasions. It’s lingerie that’s both comfortable and provocative, depending on what you do with it. It’s also very (emphasis on very) important that everything is hand made to order and can be customized fit wise. I want women to be comfortable in these pieces. That’s really my main mission.”
Further, there’s a comfort level with one’s body that comes with the confidence to wear these provocative pieces, so I asked Andrée who her audience or her customer was. “My ideal customer is exactly that, a confident woman who wants lingerie to match her personality and morale.”
Photography: Stephen Wilson
Styling: Alexis Barbera
Hair and Makeup: Kirti Tewani
Featuring: Brooke Perry @ FORD
All pieces are Andrée Ciccarelli.