A crowd of 350 plus rocked to the music as women of all shapes sizes, and colors strutted their stuff on the runway. On a typical Friday night in New York City, this was anything but typical! The chic space at Mezmor Studio was the perfect choice for Dream 2007, a young, hip lingerie fashion show presented by Between the Sheets, featuring the work of the talented FIT intimate apparel students. If this event is a forecast for the future of the intimate apparel industry, then our wardrobes are sure to be filled with fresh, fun, and fierce pieces for years to come. Between the Sheets is the brainchild of designer Layla Lâ€™obatti and was developed in response to the dissolution of the FIT Intimate Apparel Fashion Show. When I sat down with Layla after the show, I learned more about how she transformed her idea into a successful forum in which up and coming design talent can showcase their creations.
Tell me a little bit about Between the Sheets and how it originated.
Every year FITâ€™s Associateâ€™s Degree Program would have an Intimate Apparel Fashion Show. The year my classmates and I were to present our work, it got canceled. We were going to be the first class with out a show and we wanted a chance to showcase our work. So we pulled it together and here we are 3 years later.
Itâ€™s been interesting. The show has grown each year. All the designers and models all volunteer. We all wanted a chance to build our portfolios. So there is a lot of group togetherness with the event.
So what happens now that you are graduating?
Iâ€™ve learned so much about the industry through it all. I want to start my own business. I want to turn BTS into a line featuring young design talent. I guess Iâ€™ll start with my own collection first.
I want to focus on creating a brand that supports a healthy body image. You noticed all types of women were our models, plus sized, different ages. My philosophy is that lingerie is for all women and a way for them to feel good about themselves. Thatâ€™s why I was standing there as each model came out just to tell them how great they looked and just encouraged them.
Iâ€™d like to see the brand showcase individual philosophies and eventually move into production. My passion is to share these philosophies with everyone.
Where do you get your inspiration?
From things I find beautiful although that can sometimes be things like this weird weather lately. I can find beauty in lots of unusual places like how sunlight hits water in a gutter. I like to see the beautiful in the ugly and transform it. I translate it through my designs, which interpret how I see the world.
How did you decide upon this great location?
We wanted a place that was big that had an atmosphere that fit our theme. This actually was the space I wanted 3 years ago. It was my dream space, but we were just not big enough then. We were so excited to have it as our venue this year. So it is really fulfilling my dream. (Thus the title of the show â€“ Dream 2007)
Anything else you want our readers to know about BTS, you, etc.?
Iâ€™m the ultimate multi-tasker. A Jane of all Trades. Iâ€™ve done a little bit of everything from the website to the graphics. Iâ€™m a positive person and just want to develop promote social awareness of positive body images.
The show was a dream realized for sure. Each designer prepared a collection around the theme of â€œdreamâ€ from â€œSummer Daydreamsâ€ to â€œBoudoir Dreamsâ€ and Laylaâ€™s collection, â€œDreamcatcher.â€
I was impressed by the level of quality, professionalism, and detail in the designs. There were many times throughout the night where a particular garment or color scheme or element would strike me for its great attention to detail similar to that of my favorite high end pieces.
One of my favorite collections was â€œDreamgirls of the 50â€™sâ€ designed by Lorraine Wladessa because as you well know, I absolutely LOVE the vintage look. I particularly enjoyed the contrast between the vibrant red and rich gold used throughout the designs, unlike anything I have seen. The collection evokes that 50â€™s ladylike charm with serious sex appeal! I particularly loved the look of this bra and skirt combination which I thought of as a naughty secretary.
A contrast to the vintage 50â€™s feel was the â€œSpy Dreams: Undercoverâ€ designed by Caitlin Evans featuring this interesting number. This probably what Sydney Briscoe really wears behind closed doors! The simplicity of the black matched with the edginess of the chains is quite the combination.
Laylaâ€™s â€œDreamcatcherâ€ collection combined platinum and black, another striking color combination that gave an aura of elegance and sophistication. My favorite piece in the collection was the corset. Isnâ€™t it divine how it laces up in the back? Very sexy for sure!
This is just a taste of the juicy items featured in the show. Stay tuned for even more coverage of the show next week with more pictures and more commentary. Thereâ€™s so much more to say! I haven’t even done justice to the amazing, confident, and BRAVE models! In the meantime, best of luck to Layla and all the designers. Visit Between the Sheets for more information on all of the designers and their collections as well as those fearless and fierce models.