Think Valentine’s Day lingerie and you’re likely plagued with images of Victoria’s Secret models strutting down a blinding, glitter-dusted runway in the skimpiest, laciest, and most difficult to don underthings imaginable. Scratchy fabrics, barely-there cups, and cheesy garter belts that tug painfully at waistlines have all become standard, and it’s enough to make a girl wonder: how can something meant to be removed be so unpleasant to wear?
But ladies, take note: sexy doesn’t have to mean uncomfortable, weirdly intimidating, or even fancy, for that matter. Just ask Gaby Bayona, a local wedding-gown designer who recently set out to offer a line of contemporary lingerie in a business that has its own share of over-the-top frills.
“Even though I’m in the wedding industry, I’m not very syrupy, for lack of a better word,” says Bayona, on the line from her Gastown studio. “I’m not into things that are really sweet and really froufrou. And normally with lingerie, it’s very sweet and froufrou.”
Bayona is the founder of Truvelle, a local bridal line that caters to iconoclastic brides-to-be, and she’s also a frequent collaborator with other talented makers.
Her latest partnership is with Toronto-based lingerie and loungewear designer Mary Young, and together the two have crafted a collection of fresh, romantic intimates, available from $55 at Truvelle’s flagship store (235 Cambie Street) and Etsy shop, that are a far cry from ruffle-trimmed bra tops and satin-bow-bedecked bustiers.
“Mary was just very modern. Her fit was really comfortable and really on-brand with Truvelle,” Bayona says. “When I saw her line, I was like, ‘Okay, we have to work with this girl.’ ”
Young’s demure cutouts and striking two-tone panels imbue Truvelle’s minimalist palette of creams and pinks with a clean, unassuming edge. Free of underwires and excessive padding, each item in the six-piece collection is made from a breathable bamboo fabric that places comfort and mobility ahead of kitschy, overplayed trends.
Low-key gals will love the Rooney bra, a sultry take on the classic triangle bralette that uses an elegant black-and-white lace trim, and the matching Rooney undies, which feature a figure-hugging, high-waist shape designed to highlight the body’s natural curves. The Ariel bra-and-briefs set exudes a similar understated allure, with its cheeky keyhole cutout, see-through lace bands, and super-soft fit.
“It’s bridal in the sense that we’re using laces and light colours,” explains Bayona, “but we’re also trying to make it a little bit different by having it a lot more modern and a lot more almost sporty and comfy than what you’d expect.”
The designer’s favourite piece from the collaboration is the Layn bra, a luxurious full-coverage bralette adorned with the same dreamy lace that decorates two gowns from Truvelle’s 2015 line. The intricate fabric also graces the sides of a sexy, hip-skimming thong.
“We also made a veil with it,” Bayona says. “I was like, ‘Oh, that’s so cool.’ We did a full package with one particular lace.”