The 2nd annual Contours International Lingerie Awards (CILA) were held in the Grand Ballroom at the exquisite Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York last Monday, August 6th. This gala event, celebrated and recognized the creativity and design within the intimate apparel industry. This brainchild of Contours publisher, Ben Yedder, also highlighted and honored the influence this industry has on mainstream fashion.The event featured over 80 designers from 8 countries competing in 19 different categories. An international panel of judges selected 5 finalists from each category whose designs were displayed in the runway show. The jury is composed not only of buyers and designers, but also consumers.
Upon entering the ballroom after a cocktail party, guests took their seats around the runway where models were already placed on stage wearing designs from the competitors. Following dinner, guests were treated to the runway show and the presentation of awards. The competition in each category was tough indeed, particularly in the Best Fashion and Best D+ competition. That one is closest to the heart, of course.
Perhaps what stood out in my mind the most, that many others attending the event also mentioned, is that women of all shapes and sizes were represented in the runway show.
One line, Best Plus Size award winner Tia Lyn (also appearing at the trade show), is an all-inclusive line that spans sizes small to 3x. This vintage inspired line features a variety of chemises, gowns, camisoles, and panties.
Also a contender for both Best Plus Size and Best D Plus finalist, Empreinte, is seeking to become more of a presence in the U.S. with its beautiful and well constructed pieces for fuller figure women. This 60 year old company based in France offers numerous options in sizing (up to a G cup) as well as high fashion and glamour. I am most impressed with the delicate embroidery and variety of moods the collection fits.
Best Fashion was probably my other just-can’t-pick-my-favorite category of the evening. With TLP favorites Marlies Dekkers, Madame V, Chantelle, and Elle MacPherson and one of my trade show finds, Lou, it was stiff competition! Lou will be debuting this fall with parts of the collection arriving in both September and November so check your local boutique. Perhaps my favorite part of the evening might have been when the team from Marlies Dekkers was accepting their award and shared their design philosopy. They design pieces to please women, but if it also happens to please men, then that’s great. I like their way of thinking!
Overall, it was a phenomenal evening of great food, great conversation, and GORGEOUS lingerie. You can drool over all the beautiful pieces like I did! See the video coverage of the show at Zoozoom.com.