Specialising in luxury lingerie and nightwear. Eva Lai launched eLai after graduating from London College of Fashion with first class honour in BA Fashion Contour in 2012.
Eva hopes to bring out the kind of seductiveness, which retains sophistication. It is classically elegant with a bit of kink and a scintilla of naughtiness!
“eLai” – creates luxury lingerie that is worn to be seen. It is statement underwear + provocative outerwear. It believes that fashion is liberating and even our lingerie should express our identity.
What inspired you to become a lingerie designer?
I have always loved drawing and sketching clothes even as a child. After watching the Victoria’s Secret fashion show at the age of 16 and fell in love with the glamour and playfulness of lingerie. I knew that lingerie design is what I want to do and have worked extremely hard towards this ever since.
What makes your designs different from others?
I’d like to think that my designs are sophisticated, but in a very naughty and playful way. I try to mix elegance with a sense of humour. I want each of my designs to reflect a certain personality. I handmade all the product samples to ensure that every little detail has been thought out properly.
Are there any celebrities wearing your designs and who are they?
No, not yet. But I’d love someone like Lady Gaga to wear my designs, someone who is so daring, and not afraid to go out in something like my Lisette sheer back pencil skirt and show the whole world her bottom!
Do you wear your own products?
Yes, but usually the initial underdeveloped samples. The limited amount of final products always have to be ready to be sent out for shoots etc.
What’s your favourite lingerie brand (not your own!) and why?
Agent Provocateur. I worked there for a year and the company has taught me so much. The brand represents a lot of things that I believe lingerie should be: luxury, sexy and daring. And the fun personalities of the team reflects onto the products.
Do you think there’s enough choice for D+ sizes?
No, definitely not. I understand why as it is a much harder job to create larger sizes bras. It’s not easy to make a bra that is supportive and delicate looking, it’s definitely a challenge. It is however something that I’ve started working on.
Are you happy with the way lingerie is sized? If not what changes would you like to see?
Sizing is sometimes complicated, and different brand size things differently. Which is why I love couture and made-to-measure service. Or at least bra alteration service for the 28 / 30 backs, which is what I do for my friends!
What advice would to give to an aspiring lingerie/swimwear designer?
Work extremely hard. You must LOVE what you do, because that is what will get you through the tough times. I’m a firm believer of hard work will eventually pay off. If things go wrong, it’s not the end of the world, it’s just knickers!! pull yourself together and fix it.
How do you get your inspirations for new collections?
I archive all the images that excites me as a designer, it can be a costume in a film, a fashion editorial, random thoughts in my head or something I think my boyfriend would like.
Do you use paper and pencil to design your first draft or is it all done on computer?
Paper, pencil (and colour pencils and watercolour) definitely! I love to draw. The colours can sometimes be another source of inspiration.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a designer?
Figure skater or a dancer. I almost went to dance school instead of fashion college.
What are you working on right now?
Sales and Press for eLai’s AW13 and starting to research for next season.
What makes a great lingerie model?
Good skin and a peachy bottom!
Find the latest news and pictures on the eLai facebook page.
Category: Designer Profile