I was fortunate enough to receive an invitation to im Lingeries, exclusive soiree, to launch the opening of their new luxurious boutique at Melbourne's Crown Casino. For those not familiar with this store, they have for nearly thirty years, taken Australian women out of their cotton tails and fitted them into designer lingerie from all around Europe. im's founder, Irene Michael, started the business in 1984 after a lustrous career as a swimwear designer. im introduced to Australian men and women, designs that were not only beautiful and luxurious but also comfortable and supportive. There didn't (and shouldn't) have to be such a marked difference between underwear and lingerie. These two words we Aussies seem to consider as completely separate things...
I have been a client of im for over ten years and first discovered this treasure trove of lingerie back in the late 1990s at their original store at the Casino. Back then they operated both the La Perla as well as im store in Melbourne and as a teen I'd peruse the stores and dream. I dreamed of one day owning one of these amazingly desirable lingerie pieces, as I truly hadn't seen anything like them before... It took me a couple years to decided it was worth the investment and I made my first designer lingerie purchase as a 21st birthday present to myself. I have never looked back since... The store and their well trained staff have helped me amass an amazing collection of designer lingerie over the years. There is no boutique that can beat this one for variety. I do blame them for my lingerie addiction. Damn you im, damn you! (and thank you)
I didn't know what I was in for when I headed to this event. I get to attend quite a few lingerie parties due to the industry I work in, however I have never encountered anything like this before. We were greeted at the door by handsome men in black suits and were walked down the stairs to find trays of G.H. Mumm and delicious canapes. The foyer was filled with celebrities as well as VIP clients of im. The store itself was a sight to behold with white marble floors, mirrored panels and murano glass. Copper hangers with the im logo displayed lingerie from all my favourite designers. La Perla, Lise Charmel, Aubade, Parah, Ritratti, Bordelle, Christies, Naory, the list goes on and on.
We mingled with other guests and talked about some of our amazing purchases over the years (one who bought the corset I had wanted and was wearing it that night! You know who you are...) Like minded people with a passion for high end lingerie and fashion. It was an event that exuded pure class and sophistication even with some guests wearing their underwear as outerwear! Those who didn't have their wares on show were happy to give a flash of a bra or suspender strap, just to prove that they too were wearing im lingerie that night.
The event was hosted by Crown's own Anne Peacock (who looked absolutely amazing in Jean Paul Gaultier for La Perla) and clients who attended the event ranged from their early 20s into their 80s. The boutiques broad variety of brands and styles cater to all ages as well as all body types. Some clients told me they had been shopping with im for the near 30 years they have been selling. I hate to say this, but some of their collections may be bigger than my own! And you know what? I loved knowing I wasn't alone... I felt at home.
Throughout the night im showcased three boudoir style parades each with a different theme - Innocence, Desire and Romance. Stock currently available in store as well as not yet released collections, were all on show. No catwalk at this event, in the foyer they had arranged black and gold arm chairs, large mirrors and crystal covered candelabras for the six female and two male models to lounge amongst. Stunning. All the while we were also being seduced by the amazing live performance that was the Raah Project.
(Photos courtesy of im)
|Jean Paul Gaultier for La Perla|
|Lise Charmel and Derek Rose|
|La Perla Black Label|
|La Perla Jean Paul Gaultier|
We were fortunate to also be the first in Australia to see Italian label Paladini's award winning lingerie and sleepwear from 2013. Gianantonio Paladini was this year awarded the highly coveted "Creator of the Year" award at Salon International de la Lingerie in Paris. The pieces on show were one off, pure couture artwork and unfortunately not for sale... The photos of these amazing hand beaded creations just don't do the workmanship justice... They were simply phenomenal up close.
The Mumm was finished off, the new Aubade perfume samples were sprayed and gift bags were collected at the end of the night. I had an absolute ball and cannot wait till they host another event. My most desired pieces from the night will have to be featured on another post, as #1 I still need to buy them and #2 there is an interesting story behind some...
Have you been to an im store before?
If you haven't, check out one of the boutiques around Australia.
What do you think of this lingerie event?