Spring Lookbook: Luxury Silk Sleepwear. It’s Spring 2018, and here at Brighton Lace, we’re celebrating!
We’ve just launched our Silk Sleepwear collection, handmade with Limited Edition luxury Italian Silk and beautiful white English lace – this is our most indulgent collection to date!
From our gorgeously soft Silk Robe with sheer lace sleeves to the Rosie Crop Top sleep set – our new silk and lace sleepwear has that oh so feminine feel. This is the kind of nightwear you’ll want to wear on your honeymoon or to with a new lover…and it’s got the feel-good factor too because it’s all produced with precious remnant fabrics.
Enjoy the silky browsing – you can click on any image to shop the new collection.
Happy International Women’s Day to all the incredible women out there. We love you all!
In light of #MarchMeetTheMaker and IWD we thought we’d give you the opportunity to learn more about the stories and motivations behind Brighton Lace. We chatted to Lou Michel – Brighton Lace’s founder on her journey as a female entrepreneur, her passion for social equality, women’s rights and ethical fashion, and how she wants to empower women through her underwear.
What was your motive for starting Brighton lace?
Lou: I have always really loved colour, particularly how shades of colour look next to each other. Both my parents have worked in the fashion industry for many years and through them I developed a passion for design, fabric, and print. Brighton Lace started on a market stall five years ago. I was dyeing lace vests I’d sourced from a knitwear manufacturer in the north of England and customers were asking for matching knickers – that was when the underwear started!
What was your journey in starting your own business?
Lou: I’m a creative person and I love the idea that you can earn your living through what you make. Before Brighton Lace I had a raw chocolate company – I can’t describe the joy l experience in running my own business – holding a creative vision and just going for it! Of course, running a small business is stressful too. I’m still learning all the time about how best to juggle the many hats I have to wear each day, but I love being my own boss and I’m proud of how far we’ve come. I wake up in the morning and immediately I think of what we’re currently working on, or what our customers are saying, how best to respond to particular problems…every day is different.
What do you love most about working within a three-woman team?
Our little team of women is lovely. We all work from our separate kitchen tables but when we’re designing new collections we get together. – that’s always where the magic happens. We definitely share a collective love of colour and fabrics, but we do also have such individual tastes – it’s quite funny. I’m more of a ‘minimal is best’ kind-of-girl, but both Lou and Louisa are majorly into vibrant colours and prints – they push me out of my comfort zone!
And working with other women must also naturally create spaces for conversations about female body positivity in the ways that you promote Brighton Lace?
Lou: Yes. We constantly consider different body types and tastes, particularly in the research and design stages. I always like to ask the team’s opinions, I find so much insight there, you know; “Would you wear that?”, “How would you style this?”, or “What colour do you think I should dye the detail on this lace?”. I think that is one of the great things about working with women – it always feels like such a team effort and there is an open feedback loop which allows us to respond quickly to customer suggestions or upgrade to new solutions when they’re needed.
Tell us about Brighton Lace’s ‘enjoy being you’ motto and why this is important to you?
Lou: I’m passionate about women’s empowerment – in all aspects of life, and Brighton Lace is very much an expression of that. The vision for the business is to make beautiful lingerie that supports women to enjoy being themselves, spreading the message of body positivity, supporting myself and all women to love the bodies we live in. That’s why, as a company, we specifically focus on making soft lingerie. We don’t ‘add’ much to our pieces, they are simple, pared-back, designed to celebrate what is there already. We don’t use padding or wires in any of our designs, instead we keep the focus on the beauty of each lace we work with, and the natural beauty of the shape of the woman who will be wearing it.
How do you want your lacies to make women feel?
Lou: Comfortable in their own skin, ready to get up in the morning and give to the world! Having lovely underwear is such a great way of celebrating yourself. I like to think of our lacies as little everyday celebrations.
Given how many women are exploited at the expense of fashion, ethical fashion can be seen to be a feminist issue – in light of this, is it important to you that you have created an artisanal brand that is ethical in its practices?
Lou: I don’t think ethical fashion is just a feminist issue, it’s a global issue. We know how much the fast fashion costs the earth, we know about the polluted rivers, the exploited people (mostly women) around the world who are forced to eek out a tiny living working all hours of the day and night, we know what their working conditions are probably like, and we also know that the items they make will probably just end up in a landfill a few years down the line. Change is long overdue.
I think what is currently a niche issue [ethical fashion] is fast becoming a normal issue because it has to be. For me, it’s like organic food, what is the most natural and most beneficial for the planet and for it’s people should be the most normal, and empowering people, providing a decent wage and a decent working environment, using materials that are either produced sustainably or recycled is just an obvious. We literally cannot go on abusing the place we live and the people we live beside. We’re all in this together.
Do you have any advice for any women looking to start their own business and be their own boss?
Lou: Absolutely. Do what you love and the rest will follow. Of course, there are going to be bumps along the way, but there’s nothing like getting up in the morning and working on something you love with a passion, creating something that feels like a contribution to the world and having amazing customers confirm to you that they love what you produce.
You do a lot of collaborations with other female designers and women led brands. Tell us more about the power of these collaborations and why you think they are so significant?
Lou: Yes, a lot of what we do behind the scenes are projects with other women across the fashion industry. I’m so pleased to be able to collaborate with fellow designers, women who run magazines, sustainability campaigners, charity organisers, and not forgetting all the amazing female entrepreneurs and fellow small business owners. It’s a bit of a passion of mine to work with inspiring women who show up in the world in meaningful ways, and who like to share their skills generously.
I’m a great believer in #collaborationovercompetition. The internet has changed the landscape for small business, it has made what was previously impossible, possible. It allows us to be intimately connected to a global community and work together on amazing things, regardless of where we are in the world. I also love the fact that we can be part of a social change conversation even though we are a small brand.
Who are you currently working with?
Lou: We collaborate with people all over the world, in fact, I’ve just sent some pieces to a wonderful husband and wife photography team who are about to shoot in Death Valley! There is another collaboration happening in a few weeks in Barcelona too. It’s amazing really, a testament to the power of Instagram. I haven’t met any of these photographers in ‘real life’ but we love to regularly collaborate. We pool our skills and make exciting things happen together, and we literally couldn’t do this without each other! That just couldn’t have happened even 15 years ago.
We’ve just celebrated 100 years of getting vote – why is this important to you?
Lou: We’ve come a long, long way in the last 100 years. I think about grandmothers and all they must have been though. I think about my mum and the immense changes that have happened in her lifetime. I find it incredibly moving to consider what the women just in my own family must have experienced and fought for so that I can enjoy the freedoms I do today.
I feel immensely grateful, for all that has gone before, for the women who have repeatedly spoken out when no one wanted to hear. It’s thanks to them that today I can be can be a woman in business, I can employ other skilled women, deal with suppliers, work with people across the industry and show up in the world with as much right to a voice as anyone else.
This years theme for International Women’s Day is #pushforprogress in ending gender parity and motivating and uniting friends, families and colleagues etc. to be more gender inclusive. Why do you think movements such as this are so important?
Lou: Honestly, in the maker’s scene that I’m in, I don’t experience much inequality, although I do hear from friends in the corporate world that sadly it’s still prevalent. To me, gender is no longer the issue of the day, it’s humanity that feels so much more significant. It’s about respect for each and every individual, it’s about better support and care for one another. We are all such amazing beings, each blessed with our own individual talents, and I believe sharing those skills to support unity, find solutions and make collective change is what is so needed at this time on our planet.
It’s Valentine’s day – a time traditionally for couples to celebrate their undying love for one another, and more recently thanks to the coining of ‘galentines’ and ‘palentines’, a time for showing the love to those who mean the most to us. However, there is one person that often gets overlooked – the most important person in your life to show love to… you.
Self-love comes from the inside and creates within you a pillar of strength and confidence that cannot come from anywhere else. It is a state of appreciation of ourselves that is essential to living well and being truly happy without having to rely on the people around us.
You are you enough, and you always will be! Every being is special regardless of background, qualifications, jobs, perceived successes, relationship status etc. and we should appreciate ourselves for the joy we bring by being in the world. Self-love starts with being kind and gentle with yourself and appreciating who you are inside and out – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Lock away your inner critic and make a pledge to be your own Valentine this Valentine’s day!
Here are our 5 favourite tips for showing yourself the love every day:
#1 Speak to yourself how you’d speak to a friend.
Thinking self-love is the most important way to learn to love yourself. Do you speak to yourself in the same positive and supportive ways you’d speak to a friend? Do you console yourself with kind words when you’re upset? Tell yourself you’re doing a great job when you’re feeling defeated? Compliment yourself and celebrate the daily wins? Many of us engage in daily self-criticisms and talk negatively too and about ourselves – no wonder we’re left with low self-esteem. These are totally undeserved and are things we would never say to anyone else! Next time you’re beating yourself up about something, take a deep breathe and recite back to yourself the lovely things you would say if you were interacting with a friend. ‘Don’t be silly, you look amazing’, ‘Don’t worry about it, everything rights itself out in the end’ ‘Don’t be down, you’re doing such a great job!’. And if you’re feeling sad then that’s ok too, you’re allowed to feel down from time to time, don’t push it down, give yourself time and space to recover.
#2 Self Care time is imperative
Spend time with yourself, doing the things that you love to do and if that means cancelling or putting off plans with other people, then do it! So many of us find ourselves ‘too busy’ to find time to relax and partake in an activity that is just for ourselves. Whether your thing is relaxing in bed with your favourite book, cooking your favourite meal, soaking in bath oils or dancing around your bedroom if your favourite underwear – make a space in your calendar for self-care time every week if not every day. Meditation and leaving the busy world behind to go out into nature is also a great way to unwind. Loving yourself means looking after your mind as well as your body, and taking time out to reset and recharge is imperative to your personal wellness. We also have a Valentine’s gift for you in the form of a Brighton Lace Valentine’s playlist that makes perfect background music for all self-care activities.
#3 Be kind to your body
Stand in the mirror every day in your favourite lingerie and just take a minute to appreciate the wonderful person in front of you. We all often participate in negative conversations with ourselves about our own bodies – setting unrealistic goals and expectations. But with self-love comes a self-appreciation, acceptance, and assurance surrounding our physical being. Give yourself a pep talk look yourself in the eye and tell yourself you are an incredible human just the way you are. This also encompasses eating nourishing foods, exercising regularly and resting when you feel like your body needs it.
#4 Learn to put yourself first
Of course, it shows that you are a caring and charitable person if you put other people’s needs before yours, but if this is something you are doing too regularly it can take a great toll on your own wellbeing. Instead of saying yes to everything and taking on more than you can cope with, you should be showing self-love through putting yourself first. In the end, you can’t love and support other people if you are not loving and supporting yourself. Do things that make you happy, follow your passions, develop yourself as a person, and say no if someone asks something of you that you don’t want to give. You don’t owe anyone else anything, but you do owe it to yourself, to show yourself love.
#5 Don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself
You can’t be it all, and you don’t have to be. Modern women are especially hard on themselves and we often feel like we have to be the entrepreneur, the caregiver, the socialite and the charity worker all at once, and if we can’t do all these things then we are failing. We’ve all tried to cram an unrealistic amount of work into a day and got angry at ourselves for not completing it, scheduled in multiple social dates into a busy week and then feel guilty for backing out of plans last minute and constantly compare ourselves to the way we perceive other people to be. But it doesn’t have to be this way, you just need to remember that we’re all only human and we’re all different. Avoid the compare and despair cycle and show yourself love and compassion instead.
Make a Valentine’s day promise to yourself, that from this day forward you will take steps towards making self-love a part of your daily routine. Don’t forget to check out our Valentine’s playlist on Spotify – the perfect soundtrack to your new beginning.
Here at Brighton Lace we’re really into collaborations, especially with other small businesses that we love. We got together with Pick Up Sticks Vintage and The Emperor’s Old Clothes to bring you “Winter Stories – combining snuggly knits and beautiful handmade fashion with our latest lingerie.
Morning coffee in our lace camisole, handmade culottes and vintage kimono.
Toasty tea party moments.
Snuggly Sunday’s at home.
If you’ve had a long week, a long month or are getting yourself ready for a busy time ahead, taking time out for yourself is essential to relaxing and recuperating. Quite frankly, you deserve it! We can’t all be busy all the time and indulging in some much needed pampering time can leave you feeling on top of the world, ready to take on life and its challenges. Of course everyone unwinds in different ways, but for a lot of us, taking time to relax by ourselves in a calm environment is fundamental to this – but something we don’t get the opportunity to do very often.
#1 Leave your worries and stresses at the front door
We all have an endless thoughts swimming around our heads, from our worries to that never-ending to do list. But every once in a while we need to take these weights off our shoulders, and place them on the pavement outside the front door, leaving them to be dealt with another day. The world isn’t going to crumble, nothing bad will happen and everything will be the same in the morning. We all deserve a carefree night of switching off, relaxing and re-charging our batteries. Take a deep breath as you walk through the door and expel all those stressful thoughts.
#2 Run a hot bath with candles and bubbles and your favourite feel-good music.
And just lie there… for as long as you like. Create a beautiful atmosphere in your bathroom with scented candles and a relaxing playlist and let it become an oasis of calm. Revamp your bathroom into a DIY spa and you won’t regret it, just close your eyes, clear your mind and concentrate on the smells and sounds around you whilst you float in the foamy warm water. Soaking in a hot bath can help reduce everything from anxiety to muscle aches, so it’s the perfect way to unwind.
#3 Put on your favourite lingerie
Post bath – dry yourself in the fluffiest towel, cover yourself head to toe in your favourite moisturising lotion and slip into your favourite outfit. This could be anything, but when comfort is the main requirement, there’s honestly nothing nicer than lounging around the house in a lovely lingerie set. Brighton lace lingerie is made from the softest lace and is free from any underwiring, clasps or heavy seams, meaning that except for those sneaky peaks in the mirror to admire how great you look, you’ll barely know it’s there. If it’s a little bit chilly, our lacy bralettes go perfectly with your comfiest pair of sweats – as seen on Ella from @storiesbehindthings.
#3 Cook your favourite dinner
Buy yourself those expensive ingredients and whip up a delicious meal. Cooking for yourself can be so relaxing, especially with a glass of wine to aid the process. And don’t forget a big old helping of your favourite dessert! For those who’d rather not do the cooking, for the ultimate pampering order from your favourite takeaway instead.
#5 Create a relaxation haven
Grab a load of cushions and blankets and snuggle up on your sofa or bed – read a book, do some drawing, sewing or put on your favourite film. Take some time out to do something for yourself. We get so caught up in the whirlwind of work, responsibilities and socialising that doing the activities that are purely for ourselves often get sidelined. Whether you are rekindling your inner creativity or getting immersed in your favourite plot line, opt for the activities that make you happy and and let you unwind into a deep state of bliss. And don’t leave the beautiful fragrances and chill out playlist in the bathroom, continue evoking this of tranquillity throughout the night.
And don’t forget an early night to help you feel fully rejuvenated the next day!
Do you relax in your lacies? Tag #brightonlace in your photos to be featured on our Instagram. Also check out our Brighton Lace Spotify for some great feel good playlists!