Elizabeth O’Brien is not one of the De Montfort University students taking a direct approach to becoming a lingerie designer. Elizabeth combined fashion design studies with a lot of self-teaching about lingerie and undergarments – resulting in a very personal and very passionate way of working with lingerie.
We had a sit-down with the aspiring lingerie designer and asked her some questions.
Elizabeth, how did you get involved with lingerie design?
I have always liked the structure and mystique of lingerie and after the first year of my BA (hons) Fashion Studies degree, I realised that underwear was where my passion and strengths were. I then started reading history and the changing meanings behind underwear and started to direct as many of my projects as possible in this direction. Most of my construction ability is self taught, through books, experimentation and logic.
What are your lingerie-related dreams?
I dream about providing women with the highest level of customer service, to develop a loyal and regular customer. Along with a product that gives the perfect fit and provides women with confidence. I also hope to become as ecologically sound as possible because in today’s climate I think it is important to consider your impact on the planet and the people within it.
How would you describe your work?
My work is very feminine and considerate of the senses. All the fabrics I chose are soft to touch and gentle on sensitive skin. Although most of the colours I use are pale, I also like bright and rich colours, so what I produce depends on concept and my mood. I love detail such as beads and fabric manipulation; this being a strong feature to my recent all white collection, where I used marble shibore and pleating as well as my beaded jewellery technique. I feel it is important for women to embrace their body and find confidence within it; I love curves and often try to enhance them within my designs. I try to design lingerie that is sexy in a feminine way.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully in five years I will be managing the design or buying sector of a company; I am highly organised so I have always felt my strengths would be in management, once I had established myself in the industry and was confident in making decisions for the brand. I have also always wanted my own stores where I could deliver a great and personal service to the consumer but I don’t foresee that happening for quite a long time.
Want more info on Elizabeth O’Brien – elizabethobrien.weebly.com.