One of the lovely things about being where I am is that I’ve been able to meet in person a number of lovely people, including Shiori, who runs ‘Lingerie Addict Anonymous’ events in various cities in Australia when she’s traveling or at home. I was lucky enough to go to one of those events (where I got to see a number of pieces before they were released for the season, and try on a number of pieces I wouldn’t have had the chance otherwise).
At this LAA I also had the chance to meet the lovely Karolina – and her designs – in person. I tried on the lovely ‘Gifted’ playsuit in red…and fell a little (a lot) in love. For me, the stunner of the piece is the back, where all the different textures collide in such a lovely bow over your derrière.
While there wasn’t the opportunity to sit down and chat while we were all oooooh-ing and ahhhh-ing over lace and bows and dainty little things, I was able to keep in touch with the lovely Karolina and had the chance to pick her brain about the world of lingerie she’s become a part of in Australia:
How did you get started in the lingerie making business?
I studied fashion in Perth and Italy and had always wanted to start my own fashion label. I traveled for a few years and worked for various companies in both fashion and business administration roles to learn every aspect of small business. Then one day I found myself in a position where I felt ready to start my own business and I had always loved lingerie so it seemed like a natural step to design and make lingerie.
What is the core of why you create lingerie, the mission, so to speak?
I adore the extreme femininity of lingerie, what it makes women feel and how special it is to us. For me creating lingerie is all about celebrating how exceptional women are.
What is your favourite aspect of lingerie?
There are so many aspects of lingerie that I adore, but I’d have to say my favourite is the way the fabrics wrap the body and define a woman’s shape. It’s so empowering and gratifying.
What is one piece of advice you would give to every woman?
Be yourself, always.
How do you define sexy?
Sexy is being confident and comfortable in who you are.
What are you most proud of professionally?
It may sound unusual but I’m most proud of starting. Of taking the plunge and giving it a go. It’s such a hard thing for any aspiring business owner and many people never start out of fear.
What would you say are your favourite materials to work with?
I love using natural fibres like silk and bamboo. And any kind of soft, unique lace is a dream.
Favourite colours (to work with)?
My favourite colours change all the time. Currently I’m really liking sapphire blue and tangerine.
What is an indulgence or luxury you couldn’t do without?
Luxury lingerie of course! And ice cream.
How do you relax?
Cooking and in particular making desserts is very soothing. I’ve also found gardening, attempting to finish crosswords, reading and sewing really relaxing.
What/whom is your greatest inspiration?
When I meet and talk to other women and learn about their lives it really drives me to be the best woman I can be and also to create stunning lingerie that matches the wit, intelligence, spirit, strength and beauty of these women.
What did you want to have as a career when you were young?
I wanted to be an inventor when I was a child and in high school I wanted to be a fashion designer.
Who/what is your biggest inspiration in the lingerie industry?
In terms of designers Carine Gilson is right up there. Her lingerie is so gorgeous, incredibly well made and when you walk into her Paris boutique you are treated like a queen. She does classy and sophisticated so well.
Collaboration you’d love to do?
There are so many! I would love to collaborate with the Australian Ballet and also design lingerie for a theatre production. Working with a major couture fashion house would also be a wonderful opportunity.
Favourite piece from your own collections?
I really love the Ebbrezza set in both black and white.
Favourite piece from another designer?
I love the I.D. Sarrieri Atame Sheer Studded Corset.
What was the most difficult part of getting started on your own collection?
I like so many different styles so the most difficult part was focusing on my own vision and conveying that through my designs.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I guess there is no typical day which is what makes my job so stimulating. But I have tried to create a schedule to make sure I get the weekly necessary items covered no matter what madness is thrown at me. The mornings will generally start with a coffee and tackling emails, social media and marketing. Then sewing orders and product/brand development followed by any more computer related work. This way I create a bit of disciplined balance.
Thank you again for your time, Karolina! If you haven’t had the chance to take a look at her pieces, please do. She has some special pieces in production for Valentine’s Day, and her prices are usually from the mid-150AUD for a bra or brief and from the mid-300AUD mark for bodysuits.
Edited for clarity and length.
Unless otherwise stated, all photos copyright of Karolina Couture Lingerie.