I’m Camilla Harrison and I am the creator of Camilla Constance Lingerie, which launched Spring 09 out of Brighton UK. The line centres around French lace and highlights the garter in many of its designs. The line was instantly named “One to Watch” and just appeared in WWD’s 2010 Intimates Guide.
What inspired you to become a lingerie designer?
I have always had the idea of highlighting the garter in a line. To me, there is such a beauty about Lingerie that evokes, what I think as, the essence of femininity. The moment I paired the vibrancy of satin garter with the delicacy of French Lace….I knew I had something!
What makes your designs different from others?
I love the garter and you will see it on everything. From camisoles to hold ups, it’s there! I run the company in a unique way, as well. I sell only samples, so everything is a one of a kind piece. Each designs stems from a solid commitment to luxury. To me, however, luxury is defined not as a high price, but as a way the garment makes you feel. It is that exclusivity and decadence I aim to bring to every piece.
Do you wear your own products?
No, actually I don’t. They are my creations for others and that is how I view my line.
What’s your favourite lingerie brand (not your own!) and why?
I would have to say La Perla. It evokes such sophistication, which you can feel by simply looking at it (let alone wearing it!). Their fit is amazing and I have never seen a piece I don’t absolutely love.
Do you think there’s enough choice for D+ sizes?
I would have to say no but brands are becoming much more size aware. On the flip side, there is a demand for the very, very petite sizes as well. I think brands need to find their niches, design wise, and learn to cater to all sizes. For me, this is a work in progress as I continue to develop who I am as a designer.
Are you happy with the way lingerie is sized? If not what changes would you like to see?
Yes, I think there is an emerging awareness of the need for diverse sizes that cater to all body shapes.
What advice would to give to an aspiring lingerie/swimwear designer?
Ensure the creativity, love of lingerie and commitment is there. Then go for it.
How do you get your inspirations for new collections?
I consider the line trend centric but the beauty of lingerie is the freedom to work beyond the seasonal trends. I love to collage my designs – that is – have the lace in front of me and just play with it. I think you can be inspired from anything, even subconsciously, but your designs will always, in some way, have to reflect who you are as a person.
How long does it take to create a collection, from the first drawing to the first off the shelf?
If I have my lace, I can create a full collection in a couple weeks.
How do you find new and different materials to use?
I subscribe to textile blogs and keep my eyes open to emerging or foreign companies through trade shows.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a designer?
Something creative and entrepreneurial, for sure!
What are you working on right now?
My online store and continually creating one-off pieces. And PR!
Available Online at Camilla Constance.