Vancouver's Christine Lingerie makes silk sizzle

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You know you’ve hit the big time as a lingerie designer when Michael Douglas seeks out your label to personally order a Valentine’s Day gift for Catherine Zeta-Jones, Cameron Diaz rocks one of your silky little numbers in her latest film, and Oprah wears your signature pyjamas on the cover of O magazine—all of which leads to key pieces in your collection becoming wardrobe staples on steamy soap sets.

Yet with all that celeb cred, when it came to finding a location for her special holiday pop-up shop, Christine Morton of Christine Lingerie didn’t go Hollywood. Instead, she went back to where it all began: the North Shore. And it’s not the first time the luxury sleepwear vet has returned there to host a limited-time retail event.

“We did it in the summer,” says Morton, who’s been in business for more than 30 years and recently sat down with the Straight at her relatively new East Van boutique and design studio (by appointment only at 821 Powell Street). “Most of my career, I’ve been in West Vancouver because I’ve lived in West Van and I always wanted to be close to home and my kids. But a couple of years ago, I thought, ‘Well, they’ve all left—I can move somewhere else now.’ And then we found this place.”

Complete with a funky-chic storefront, her current digs are just a stone’s throw away from Gastown—a pop-up shop paradise. So why cross the Lions Gate to open her temporary shop? It’s not because the only people who can afford her premium price point live there. In fact, Morton is discounting an assortment of select high-end pieces (some as low as $49) at her West Vancouver location (2466 Marine Drive), which is open seven days a week until December 22.

“It’s just to sort of see everyone again,” she says. “It’s been really interesting because they’ve really enjoyed having the collection back on the North Shore and I got such a nice response from it and they’re excited. It’s like hometown-girl-makes-good sort of thing.”

So if you’re looking for a foolproof gift this holiday, Morton recommends her signature Coco PJ in a festive but foxy scarlet with black trim ($375; other colours start at $195).

“Silk pyjamas don’t sound very exciting,” she admits. “But you put them on the body and they feel wonderful and they look very sensuous on the body.

“With something like this,” she says, picking up the button-down long-sleeve top, “you can wear it at home to lounge in, and actually I wear these out as well. They make beautiful shirts—they’re gorgeous. It’s a great look. I mean, you’re really seeing a lot of that tailored look in ready-to-wear.”

If you want to go for something a little racier, the Diva Chemise ($240) in red silk with black scalloped French lace overlay is basically sex on legs. Plus, it’s a simple bias cut without a constricting under-bust, which makes it easy to find the right fit if it’s for someone else.

If you’re buying for a lady who feels pretty confident about her bod and likes to be on trend, think teddies.

“That’s something that’s coming back,” says Morton, who’s selling hers for $100 to $180. “I mean, we sold teddies years ago—everyone was wearing teddies in the ’80s, and we just brought it back maybe a year or two ago and it’s really becoming way more popular.”

But if you really want to kick it old-school, Christine’s silky nighties are the way to go. They sizzle with old Hollywood style, especially the Goddess and Glamour Gowns ($150 to $285). Wear them to bed if you want, but these classically femme fatale specials make for some pretty dramatic party dresses as well. Which could, of course, explain why Susan Lucci and co. can’t get enough of them.

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