Lingerie wardrobe is a section where different characters who share their love for lingerie tell about their most favourite things and what inspires them. Our guest today is Daria Generalova, enterpreneur and marketing specialist.
“I always loved lingerie. Since my university years when I was jobless and penniless and eyed the shop windows patiently waiting for sales to spend hours in the fitting room painfully choosing between the most desired pieces.
This kimono robe was a result of one of such hunts in Etam, my favourite store of those years. It’s been many years ago but it’s still one of my favourites, and got with me to Canada when I was relocating to Vancouver (and it says something when you choose besties out of your wardrobe just enough to fit into 2 suitcases).
I wear it mostly as outerwear though, long sleeves look amazing but not that convenient for home matters – go try to cook some breakfast in it.
Relocation actually did a big hit on my wardrobe in general and on a lingerie one specifically. My padded bras seamed grotesque and out of place in a country where women favour practicality over a need to please mens’ eye. I just didn’t feel right wearing them so they went to the far end of my closet pretty soon replaced by comfortable tops of stretching fabric by Free People. I believe I had all colours of the same style to wear every day for at least a year.
But after I settled, I started to remember bit by bit my admire of fancier things. I couldn’t find anything I liked in Canada so I sought brands in Russia and Europe. One of the first was Moon Underwear whose practical yet sensual mesh lingerie quickly became my first choice when I need to feel confident and comfortable at the same time, especially on my trips and for public events.
Ukrainian Zhilyova lingerie became yet another favourite brand of mine. Working in a tech industry and being one of a few women amongst male colleagues, I had to change my appearance a lot.
Struggling to be taken seriously, I lost high heels and wore unisex clothes mostly. Not that I didn’t like these new looks but from time to time it was just refreshing to have something crying feminine underneath it all, hidden from other people’s eyes.
Sometimes getting things from Eastern Europe was tricky. I knew Belorussian Elvira Basko brand for many years, visited their studio in Minsk once, did some orders while living in Moscow. They sew lingerie by personal measurements so it usually takes some considerable time though the result is totally worth it.
When I did my order from Canada, it was around their high season, and there were some issues with shipping too, so it took several months in total to actually get my purchase. By that moment I lost some weight, and half of my order was just too big, I had to send it back for alterations. The package got lost and then found on its way to Minsk… long story short, it took about a year to wear my new lingerie, I got the missing half just yesterday but if only you could see those beauties… Worth it. Worth everything.
Some of my purchases, on the other hand, almost found me themselves. I was watching Naked Letters’ instagram for some time. Genuinely impractical but irresistibly feminine pieces caught my attention in spite of one of my friend’s jokes of “its shadows being more solid than the lingerie itself”.
I did the order while being in Bali on my vacations and was ready for a long wait while sheer things would make their way from Moscow to Canada. Out of the blue it appeared that the designer and owner of the brand was coming to Bali right the next day so she brought my order with her – I got both to meet the creator in person and wear my new lingerie right away.
Sometimes it’s just like all coming together when you meet your new favourite. I was ogling this corset for weeks on the website before to visit the Julina studio. It turned out that they didn’t have it ready to wear and it was available for a custom order only which was supposed to be pretty pricey… but it wasn’t for me.
They had only a tiny piece of this silk left, just enough for one corset of the smallest size, and the owner got so tired to decline orders for this style that she made one for me for cents on the dollar just to put it down from her website and not to deal with upset clients anymore.
Vintage Japanese Wedding Kimono
Same with my favourite find of all times, a traditional wedding Japanese kimono of hand painted silk. I came across it in vintage store in Vancouver after my long fruitless searches for kimono in Tokyo.
I spent even more time afterwards in attempts to find an obi belt for it. I found a variety in Kyoto, chose a shade checking with a kimono photo on my cellphone and bought a very simple yellow one.
Old sales lady who didn’t speak a word in English glanced on my photo, shaked her head tutting, pulled out a gorgeous belt of embroidered scarlet from under her counter and silently put it into my shopping bag. Fortunately the only Japanese word I knew was exactly the one to thank her for this unexpected gift.
Unplanned purchases sometimes become the luckiest ones. Well, it’s hard to consider it a pure luck when you go to New York during the Black Friday weekend but I didn’t plan to wander into the pop-up sale of La Perla when I suddenly saw the magic sign across the street… and I don’t exactly remember what was happening then.
After trying on the whole assortment of the store I emerged out of the fitting room with a pile of silk to find my husband (whose existence just happened to slip out of my mind for the last two hours) and a store assistant carefully drawing out his attention of my person crawling to the cashier.
It was dark when I went out to the street with my pretty sizeable shopping bags.
Silk Loungewear from Hanoi
I’m generally helpless when it comes to silk. Last year I spent several days in Hanoi between my business trips and I used this time to visit a local fabric market with a tailor.
Hours of running around the place, drawing sketches, looking up photos, and talking in pigeon English and gestures brought their results in form of a suitcase full of silk loungewear pieces which I mostly use as outerwear because they are just too beautiful to be worn at home only.
Lingerie As Outerwear
By the way it’s a good thing to live in Vancouver when you want to wear your pyjamas in the street (as a lot of people here including myself actually do). This city is crazy enough to allow its inhabitants to wear whatever they want and the only kind of reaction you risk to get is a bunch of compliments from strangers.
Countless events provide an excuse to dress up as if people here need any excuses. I still do. My favourite one is the Burning Man festival in the desert of Nevada which I attend for the last five years to wear all the crazy things I don’t dare to wear every day of my life when trying to maintain a look of a serious business woman.
I still have a lot to learn from Vancouverites, especially when it comes to self-consciousness and need of excuses. May be this summer I’ll gather enough courage to wear a rhinestone bra for a party in my real life for a change, no matter how it goes with my image.