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April 05, 2017

Coming in Style at the Altitude Show

LAS VEGAS—Altitude Intimates, the first event sponsored by the newly formed Lingerie Industry Association, got off to a fashion-forward start this week at Planet Hollywood, drawing many of the same manufacturers that were mainstays of the International Lingerie Show. But though some of the faces were the same, there were other aspects of the Altitude Intimates event that differed from ILS. Foremost among these was a new format for the fashion show, always a centerpiece at ILS. At Altitude Intimates, the fashion show was held in the morning on the first day. After loading up with hearty brunch fare and a glass of champagne, buyers settled into seats along a runway that extended the length of the London Club at Planet Hollywood. As a DJ pumped out club music, models strutted back and forth wearing ensembles designed by Coquette, Dreamgirl, Elegant Moments, Gregg Homme, Leg Avenue, Magic Silk, Male Power, Rago, Ravewear, Roma, Patrice Catanzano and Impudique by Charlotte Catanzano. Offered right at the beginning of Altitude, the event served as an overview to what buyers would see during the two-day event. With the long runway lined by a row of seats, the show offered up-close views of the wares as well as a detailed list of style numbers. The lion’s share of the runway fare came from Coquette and Dreamgirl, with the first 25 items provided by Coquette. The Canadian company kept its palette to basic black, pastel pink, lilac and orchid, exploring mesh and lace in various combinations. Among the highlights were two babydoll ensembles. One had a full skirt with a pink knit lining topped by black mesh; the other featured a delicate sheer lace layer over a g-string, cinched with a black satin sash under the bustline. Magic Silk followed Coquette, starting off with a cream-colored teddy of floral lace with a midriff-baring cutout. The company also showcased fetish-tinged black lingerie and items from its Male Power collections, including a wet-look tank and mini short. More beefcake was on view in selections from Gregg Homme, including its Bonded 3pc—which featured black thong undies, a harness and a belt with a thigh strap on one side—and the Menz Jock, with elastic black bands framing the wearer’s buns.  Adding a high-fashion feel were items from a new French collection, Impudique by Charlotte Catanzano. As with similar items from Patrice Catanzano (Charlotte’s papa), these styles featured intricate detailing and feminine names for the styles, such as Sarah, Mia and Lina. One particular standout was the Elektra set: bra, suspender belt and G-string, with triangle-shaped fabric holding up the hose. In addition, the fashion show also featured club-ready dresses from Patrice Catanzano. Other notable items included a full bodysuit from Leg Avenue with faux garters and off-the-shoulder neckline; Roma’s mauve teddy with attached black stockings; and Raveware’s sporty black-and-white bustline-baring football “jersey” and garter belt with a lace-up front that resembles football pants. Twenty styles from Dreamgirl ended the show, beginning with a garter slip that offered a sexy take on the bandage dress. The company also showcased some of its teddies underneath skin-tight jeans (both shorts and full-length pants), and the selection of items covered a wide color spectrum, including soft gray satin, midnight blue, teal, deep purple, hot pink, and multiple shades of red. (Click here to see some highlights from the fashion show.) Later in the afternoon, the fashion show was reprised—a helpful arrangement for those who got a late start after the opening cocktail party on Sunday night. In between there was plenty of time to explore the Celebrity Ballroom, which housed most of the lingerie exhibitors. All of the regular members of the Lingerie Industry Association were in this main room—Allure, Coquette, Dreamgirl, Elegant Moments, Escanté, Fantasy Lingerie, Hoss International, J. Valentine, Mapelé by Espiral and Roma—along with many other companies, including several from Europe. Two other rooms featured exhibitors as well: the Melrose Room and the Sexy Studio. The latter featured most of the pleasure product distributors, though Entrenue, Hustler and Xgen Products were situated in the Celebrity Ballroom. Lingerie manufacturers seemed to be returning to the basics, metaphorically and literally. Basic foundation and shapewear pieces abounded, but with some flair, including lace panels, appliques and geometric shapes. Vintage was also a theme for many manufacturers, with corsets, hooded robes, skirts and layers of lace featured prominently. Rago featured its retro shapewear, including some styles seen at the fashion show. At the Burleska booth, creams and blacks were sometimes accented with lush velvets or touches of faux fur. Shiny brocade fabrics are used to catch attention not only of buyers, but customers as well. Hoss International also showcased corsets in myriad styles. The venerable Los Angeles-based brand, which was recently featured on a local news program, offers a full custom design service and is always adding new styles and fabrics. Another contender in the corset category made its U.S. debut at this show. Vintage Goth, based in London, highlighted its new spring line of velvet corsets in floral patterns. “Velvet is working very, very strong,” said a company rep. “That's why we did prints.”  Vintage Goth was not alone in making a foray into the U.S. market. Several Italian brands brought high style to intimate apparel. Outx, from Italy, offered neoprene gear for men and women. Also featuring the wet look was Eros Veneziani. A new company based out of Milan, Eros Veneziani offers “more sexy, original” styles for men and women, said its rep. Despite its name, Cotton Club also features Italian-made apparel. Imported by a Florida-based distributor, the brand offers elegant shapewear and other apparel at a higher price point. Standouts of its upcoming collection include laser-cut panties, black pencil skirts with sheer triangular insets, a lace shirt in dove (a brownish gray shade), and a bra and panty set in wintergreen (a deep forest green). More contemporary styles also could be found on the show floor. J. Valentine gave bling a new meaning with sheer robes accented by strands of tiny LED lights. Some pieces also were adorned with glitter stars that caught the lights and added to the shimmer. Other J. Valentine pieces were made from faux fur in vibrant colors, and the strands of LED lights made them stand out even more. And in the Melrose Room was a fresh new brand: High Jinx, a line of casual wear prominently featuring cannabis leaves and other visual elements suitable for what the company rep called a “420 lifestyle brand.” But what makes High Jinx stand out, she said, is that it is a line for women designed by women. “Most other gear are just men's T-shirts,” she pointed out, noting that High Jinx fills “a missing hole in the market.” Owned by DG Brands (aka Dreamgirl), the line was envisioned by Dreamgirl designers Julie Hunot and Lisa Dixon. Show organizers have announced that the next Altitude Intimates show will take place in September and will move to the Paris Casino and Resort in Las Vegas. Maps of the new exhibit space indicate exhibitors will be all together in one much larger hall, which could see the return of the big booths that characterized the International Lingerie Show. To see galleries of the items on the show floor, click here and here. For more information, go to AltitudeShow.com. Pictured above from left: the Elektra ensemble by Impudique at the fashion show; men's undergarments from Eros Veneziani; the High Jinx booth; photos by Hew Burney.

 
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