Oh, Lola: Lingerie designer Laura Mehlinger shares her inspirations for her cutting-edge brand Lola Haze.

Lola Haze founder Laura Mehlinger

Lola Haze founder Laura Mehlinger

In the world of fashion, there are designers and then there are innovators. I consider Laura Mehlinger to be firmly entrenched in the latter category. The Harvard graduate has brought a fresh perspective to glamorous lingerie with her Lola Haze brand, which defies categorization. Her retro-inspired intimates include camisoles and rompers that can easily be layered under ready-to-wear pieces for ensembles that take a woman from daywear into evening looks. Inspired by the title character in the classic novel Lolita, Laura’s designs reimagine classic lingerie silhouettes with a thoroughly modern design aesthetic that combines rich fabrications in unexpected ways that are both romantic and edgy. Her customer looks feminine and glamorous in dainty chemises, slips and camisoles paired with panty styles designed to flatter the wearer in fresh ways. Lola Haze features luxurious fabrics such as silk charmeuse, combined with unique applications of lace or mesh, in designs that make a woman feel like a siren. Black, sheers and sheen are common themes throughout the collection. If you want to sparkle and seduce, Lola Haze is a brand for you. I recently caught up with the globe-trotting Laura to get some insight into what motivates her design process for Lola Haze and she gave me a sneak peek into what her fans can expect in the Spring/Summer collection.

Margo Andros: Laura, Lola Haze is truly unique in the market. What inspired you to create the brand?

Laura Mehlinger: I’ve wanted to design lingerie since probably before that was a reasonable interest. When I was a child, I taught myself garment construction and how to draw and design, and then decided to focus on another love, English literature, at Harvard. While there, I combined my love of fashion with academics and created a line of womenswear—which was a bit unconventional on that campus. After university, I designed womenswear for the Gap before starting Lola Haze. I named Lola Haze after the title character in the novel Lolita, which I wrote my thesis about and which continues to intrigue and inspire me.

Margo: How would you describe your design aesthetic?

Laura: I find quirkiness—visual and otherwise—inspiring and am driven in my designing by the idea of surprise. I think true style is the ability to mold juxtapositions: elegance and kitsch, innocence and seduction, playfulness and sophistication.

Margo: Who is the Lola Haze customer?

Laura: I design not for one particular customer, but for any woman who is playful, confident, loves the transformative power of clothing, and dresses for herself. I love lingerie because it dances between public and private domains. It can be a woman’s own secret that makes her feel special or something beautiful for display. She can wear Lola Haze as innerwear, loungewear, or outerwear.

Margo: What are your favorite fabrics and colors?

Laura: I love to color block and mix fabrics, often silk charmeuse or chiffon with stretch lace or mesh. This creates more visual and textural interest, I think, and has the additional design benefit of feeling luxurious while offering exceptional fit and comfort. I also focus on artisanal hand-crafted elements to make a garment truly special, like individually hand-dyed items and hand-painted details. Lola Haze is designed and produced with love in New York City.

Margo: What direction is Lola Haze taking with its 2013 Collection?

Laura: When I was designing Lola Haze’s Spring / Summer 2013 collection I traveled from New York City to Tokyo. In both places I found myself staring at peoples’ clothes on the street. My neck was exhausted by whipping from left to right as every outfit crossed my field of vision.

In Tokyo, more than New York, each girl was devoted from head to toe to a single fashion identity, though these identity groups were discrete and varied. So a funny visual thing would happen. In one visual field, I might see a neo punk girl, a Harajuku girl, and a new romantic girl brushing past each other. Together, they created a sort of style pointillism in which each person’s style expression contributed one pixel to a greater picture of a complex, vibrant city.

“The City,” Lola Haze’s Spring / Summer 2013 collection, takes its inspiration from the streets of two great cities, New York and Tokyo. I wanted to capture a variety of bold styles and unify them with hallmarks of Lola Haze’s design. Throughout the collection are body-revealing cut-outs, color-blocking, and pattern mixing.

The Philanthropist Group, opulent with mixed patterns of black lace, ivory silk and gold chains, represents a modern take on classic eveningwear. The Swagger Chemise and Teddy demand attention with their body-con silhouettes and architectural cutouts between the starkly contrasting black, white, and gold fabrics.

The Bomb Group includes a robe, chemise, teddy, bralette and thong. Its electric fuchsia, turquoise, ivory and lime bodies, punctuated with silver or black geometric elastic, were inspired by the layered colors and bold individualism of New York’s graffiti walls. The City Nights Chemise and Romper, made of color-blocked silk chiffon, are flirty, playful, and light as the air of a city summer night.

Margo: It all sounds very modern and cool. I can’t wait to see it. Thanks for the scoop on the upcoming season.

Laura: My pleasure, Margo. Thanks to you, too!

Ladies, you don’t need to wait until spring to stock up on some Lola Haze. We have a great selection of styles on ThePinkSlip.com that will make you look thoroughly glamorous and hip. Here are some of my favorites!

XOXO,

Margo

Charleston Chemise by Lola Haze

Charleston Chemise by Lola Haze

Liquid Lace Romper by Lola Haze

Liquid Lace Romper by Lola Haze

Vionnet Chemise by Lola Haze

Vionnet Chemise by Lola Haze

Whisper Slip by Lola Haze

Whisper Slip by Lola Haze

Embrace Cami and Short by Lola Haze

Embrace Cami and Short by Lola Haze

Basic Instinct: Guys, this is what women really want when they get intimate apparel as gifts.

Gift Ideas from PinkSlip.comThere’s a big assumption that when women get underwear as a gift they’re expecting it to be super glam, very expensive stuff. I’m not going to say that most women would turn down the latest luxury set from La Perla, but the surprising reality is that they do respond well to thoughtful gifts that serve practical purposes. So guys, don’t shy away from helping your ladies stock up on their favorite basics this holiday season. This week is Men’s Week at MARGO’S MUST-HAVES and we’re looking at the world of lingerie from a man’s point of view. Hopefully you read my post on Monday about the key questions you should ask yourself before buying your lady intimates as a gift. If not, check it out pronto! If you already have your “Lingerie Facts List” handy, however, you are ready to charge up some serious holiday cheer for your special gal. At this point I want to give you some tips on what works well based on my ten-plus years of lingerie retailing. When I say women like basics I’m not suggesting you buy a bunch of beige panties and wrap a bow around them. What I mean is that they appreciate practical gifts as much as they like the showy ones. The key, my friend, is to strike a good balance between practicality and “fabulosity!” This means a package gift. Instead of going for one over-the-top expensive item, get her a few gifts at different price levels that satisfy both her basic needs and her fashion sense. I’ve counseled men to do this for many years and they never failed to return after the holidays to thank me for steering them in the right direction. My magic formula includes dependable basics, cozy and cute items and one “wow” item. Here are some examples of gift ideas that fit into these categories very nicely.

#1 Dependable Basics.

Hanky Panky V-kini Panty

Hanky Panky V-kini Panty

Hanky Panky V-kini panty

Believe it or not, women don’t just need panties, they love them. Women who like fashion love to collect bottoms in all colors, shapes and styles. Hanky Panky has a loyal fan base that can’t get enough of their cute designs. Known for their epic thong, Hanky Panky created the innovative, and super practical, V-kini, which gives women the flattering look of a thong with the full back coverage of a traditional bikini. You can’t miss with this one, fellas.

Cosabella Cutie Lowrider Thong

Cosabella Cutie Lowrider Thong

Cosabella Cutie Lowrider thong

If you take advantage of Pink Slip’s “Buy 4, Get 1 Free” offer, make sure to include this adorable thong from Cosabella. It has an ultrasoft, wide-stretch lace band with seamless crotch panel that lies softly on the inside thigh for ultimate comfort and is fashionably low rise. It’s not called Cutie for nothing!

#2 Cozy and Cute.

Colette babydoll by Eberjey

Colette babydoll by Eberjey

Colette Babydoll by Eberjey  Designed in stretch-to-flatter sheer honeycomb lace, this romantic chemise flatters all body types by clinging softly and features a full skirt in super-soft fabric. It makes a dream-worthy nightie but works just as well as loungewear. Eberjey is an expert at designing intimates that bring the sexy in subtle ways. The Colette Babydoll has it all.

PJ Salvage Waffle Robe

PJ Salvage Waffle Robe

P.J. Salvage Waffle Robe

When she has a bad day, slipping into this cozy microfiber waffle robe from P.J. Salvage after a relaxing bath is the perfect tonic. Just imagine the two of you cuddling up in front of the TV with a glass of eggnog and a slice of warm apple pie. That’s what I call a classic American comfort moment!

PJ Salvage Owls in Autumn PJ

PJ Salvage Owls in Autumn PJ

P.J. Salvage Owls Pajama Set

Make her feel like a teenager again with the beyond-adorable Owls in Autumn flannel pajama set by P.J. Salvage. She’ll look so relaxed and cute in it, I imagine you’ll have quite a fun pajama party! Wink.

#3 The Wow Item.

Empreinte Lilly Rose Bra

Empreinte Lilly Rose Bra

Lilly Rose Full-Cup bra by Empreinte

The wow item has to leave her with her mouth wide open in surprise. It’s a statement piece that is beautiful, highly feminine and will stand out in her lingerie wardrobe. For this holiday season, I really like the Lilly Rose full cup bra by Empreinte. Designed for the full-busted woman, Lilly Rose features an elegant chantilly lace floral design across a three-part molded cup, with two-tone fabric on the bottom and sheer embroidered mesh along the top. In a romantic red and ivory color combination, it’s perfect for the holidays.

Go with any combination of these ideas and I promise you will hit all the right notes during the holiday season.

XOXO,

Margo

Cute & Cozy: P.J. Salvage designs fun and fashionable sleepwear that makes a great gift for juniors and the young at heart!

The weather in New York City has been strangely mild this fall, aside from the days when Hurricane Sandy hit us, of course. It’s taken a while for the temperatures to drop but just after Black Friday, we started to feel a bite in the air and the winds began to pick up. All of a sudden the last few leaves on the trees in my neighborhood, so beautiful in shades of gold and burgundy, have fallen off their branches, causing residents along the block to emerge with rakes in hand. Fall has finally arrived and winter is just around the corner. As the temperatures dip at night, people start to bundle up and if their favorite pair of pajamas are starting to look a little ratty then it’s time to stock up on some nifty-looking new ones. I think p.j.s are a great gift to give for the holidays, especially for young girls. They love fun, colorful fashion that makes a statement, even if they’re just hanging out in their rooms chatting with their friends, updating their Facebook profiles or tweeting away about Twilight or “The Vampire Diaries.” Out of all the brands in the market that do novelty prints, my favorite is P.J. Salvage, a line based in California that has developed a following among celebrities like Gwen Stefani, Felicity Huffman and Jack Osbourne. The brand is popular among stylists for TV shows and has been featured in “Ugly Betty,” “Desperate Housewives” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” just to name a few. Paying meticulous attention to every detail, P.J. Salvage prides itself in superior quality, luxurious fabrics and chic style.  If you’re on the hunt for great gifts for your sister, daughter or a friend, check out these super cute options from the P.J. Salvage assortment on The Pink Slip.com.

P.J. Salvage Scooter Stars Nightshirt

Scooter Stars Henley Nightshirt

The theme of this fun and fashionable V-neck nightshirt is traveling in style. Scooter Stars showcases a very cosmopolitan doggy enjoying an international scooter ride surrounded by the flags of Italy, England and The good old United States. It’s cozy in thermal/cotton/rayon blend. 

P.J. Salvage Monkeying Around nightshirt

Monkeying Around Nightshirt

Who doesn’t love a cute monkey? I guarantee she’ll go bananas for this pretty V-neck Henley nightshirt with a Button Front that’s covered in fun-loving apes just hangin’ out on tree limbs. The monkeys are even ready for winter in cute little knit caps and scarves. Adorable.

P.J. Salvage Doggy Drinks lounge pant

Doggy Drinks Lounge Pant

The designers at P.J. Salvage are real dog lovers! This velour thermal drawstring lounge pant is a good choice for the college student in your family (or maybe mom herself) since it does a hilarious play on canine cocktails showing different breeds with their most likely drink choices.  A Chihuahua is matched to Tequila, a Pug with Pinot Grigio and a Dachshund is rendered with a German beer mug. It goes great with a matching top.

P.J. Salvage Ski Jammies

Ski Jammies Thermal PJ set

Off to the lodge for a family ski trip? Don’t forget to take along P.J. Salvage’s Ski Jammies thermal p.j. set. These are cozy and soft in a cotton/poly thermal blend and have a cute little draw string to boot. The top is great for layering under a vest or plaid shirt for a ski bunny look.

Give the gift of warmth this holiday season and if you like any of these cute styles for yourself, go ahead and indulge yourself! I promise not to tell.

XOXO,

Margo

Black Friday is Fashion Friday: Ten great gift ideas for the holidays.

I don’t know about you but I’m so glad the holidays are here. The world needs a hefty dose of cheer right about now. We just emerged from a grueling presidential election, are recovering from a devastating hurricane and are facing a looming fiscal “cliff” unless our government figures out a solution by year’s end. Let’s face it, we’re stressed out big time. Still, the holidays give us an opportunity to slow down, take a deep breath and be thankful for the good things in our lives. Sometimes it’s hard to do that but we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to try. One of the best things about running my lingerie store for so many years was the interaction I had with customers who were buying gifts for someone special in their lives. Sometimes it was for a wife. Sometimes it was for a sister and, believe it or not, occasionally I’d get employers and employees buying for each other! Buying for others brings out the best in you. It’s good for the soul and it’s great for the economy, too. Intimate apparel and loungewear happen to be great options for holiday gifts. They’re pretty, useful and offer great value for quality. A well-made bra, pajama set or robe can give a woman years of use. For Black Friday 2012, the Pink Slip is offering 25 percent off all items on the site through November 25 so you have an opportunity to treat your loved ones to the most beautiful intimate apparel brands from around the world! To start you off on the right foot, I’ve come up with a diverse list of items that will satisfy the different needs and tastes of your friends and family. Some of them are cute. A few of them are sexy, but all are guaranteed to put a smile on someone’s face this holiday season.

Comfy Gifts

PJ Salvage Waffle Robe

PJ Salvage Waffle Robe

What’s cozier than a plush robe? P.J. Salvage is known for using luxury fabrics and envelopes a woman in comfort in soft microfiber waffle knit with a satin trim.

Eberjey PJ set

Gisele PJ set

Eberjey is great at designing sweetly elegant intimates and loungewear and this pajama set from their Gisele collection is a sophisticated choice.  It’s inspired by classic men’s pajamas but sized and shaped with a feminine look in a Modal/Spandex jersey with contrast piping.

Cute Gifts

Lola Haze Embrace Cami & Short

Lola Haze Embrace Camisole

A woman can really get her girly on wearing this gorgeous romper that doubles as a cute top that can go with jeans or skirt for a cute day look. Designed by cutting-edge brand Lola Haze, its elegant, curved lace inserts on the sides highlight your own curves, while the silk charmeuse feels wonderful against your skin.

Eberjey Leonora Chemise

Leonora Chemise by Eberjey

Leopard print is always fun and this chemise from Eberjey’s Leonora collection is simply purr-fect! The soft and light A-line chemise in sueded soft jersey features stretch-to-flatter mesh, a lace neckline and an underbust applique.

Sexy Gifts

Arianne Jade Teddy

Arianne Jade teddy

Ravishing in red, this very flattering teddy from Arianne features rose and vine jacquard fabric in rich colors with beautiful lace accents along the bustline and leg openings. Underwire cups are lined with padding to gently enhance the bustline.

Arianne Marilyn Padded Bustier

Arianne Marilyn padded bustier 

This bustier from Arianne has bombshell appeal in delicate floral lace and boning for excellent shape and fit. It has underwire padded demi-shaped cups and a lace-up front for a vintage, sexy detail. The Marilyn bustier coordinates with the Marilyn Bikini to complete the look.

Romantic Gifts

Mary Green Satin Doll Kimono

Mary Green Satin Doll Kimono

Silk is always a sure bet for luxurious glamour and Mary Green’s Satin Doll Kimono delivers it big time.  This gorgeous kimono has scalloped lace trim, 3/4 length sleeves and sexy side slits on for a true satin doll look.

Mary Green Satin Doll Chemise

Mary Green Satin Doll Chemise

This silk stretch satin chemise is a great layering piece for wearing under the Satin Doll Kimono. It features a scalloped lace trim, gathered triangle cups trimmed with lace and a side slit. Cut on the bias with adjustable straps, it has a great fit.

Functional Gifts

Hanky Panky lingerie wash

Hanky Panky lingerie wash powder

The designers at Hanky Panky were kind enough to create a great alternative to washing intimates in soap or detergent. The Hanky Pank Lingerie Wash Powder is a gentle but effective fabric wash specially formulated to extend the life of stretch fabrics and delicates. It’s non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and biodegradable.

Nu Bra Feather Lites

Nu Bra Ultra feather lite bra

Nu Bra, the masters of creating solution products for intimate apparel, have perfected their adhesive bra cups for an item that’s a thoughtful stocking stuffer for the woman who likes to wear sexy dresses. The Ultra Feather Lite Bra is 70 percent lighter than Nu Bra’s original silicone padded gel cups and with fabric outer shell. It’s perfect for providing support under backless or strapless dresses.

I hope these suggestions prove helpful. Wishing you and your loved ones a great holiday season!

XOXO,

Margo

Take it Easy: Ditch the sweats and look more stylish at home in Eberjey’s irresistible loungewear.

Giovanna by Eberjey

As the pace of life quickens, we ladies tend to slow down when it comes to looking our best in the home. We work hard to juggle a lot of things in our hectic lives: work, family, love life (if we’re lucky) and an ever-shrinking pocket of free time. While we’re spinning so many plates in the air, it’s inevitable that eventually something falls between the cracks. In many cases, that thing is maintaining a sense of style while we’re lounging around the house. A woman might feel compelled to lower her fashion standards when she’s chilling in her abode after a long day of putting out fires at work or tending to the little ones but I’m of the mind that there’s a fine line between going casual and not making an effort, even if nobody’s looking. This is especially important if you’ve got a significant other. To me, a big part of feeling good comes from looking good and treating yourself to comfortable at-home wear that reminds you, and your loved ones, that you are a beautiful woman. A special one who deserves the best. When it comes to the best in loungewear, one of my favorites is Eberjey. This fabulous brand was created in 1996 by Ali Mejia and Mariela Rovito with a philosophy that the layer worn next to a woman’s heart should express happiness, love and confidence. Years later, the ladies continue to design world-renowned intimates and loungewear that delivers on this mission in a big way. Join me for a little tour of just a few of the options in the Eberjey loungewear collection.

Giovanna
With a romantic name like Giovanna, you would expect glamour and elegance of design and Eberjey doesn’t disappoint. This top and pant ensemble, notable for its pretty lace and scalloped edging, is made in a jersey that feels oh-so-good against your skin. Available in a rich burgundy, which is so hot this season, it’s a look you deserve to treat yourself to.

Gisele

Gisele
This adorable camisole and pant are pure perfection, striking the perfect balance between cute, cuddly and downright sexy in its minimalist flair. How could gray sweat pants compare?

Gisele Sleep Shirt

Gisele Sleep Shirt
There’s something very sexy about tossing on your guy’s PJ shirt but Eberjey gives us our own boy-inspired shirt without letting our man forget we’re every inch a woman. The Gisele Sleep Shirt is a great option if you want more coverage than a nightie would provide yet want to forgo a full set of PJs. Styled as a button down with a chest pocket, it’s inspired by a man, but shaped for a woman.

Gisele Tunic

Gisele Tunic
By now you’ve probably guessed that the Gisele collection is one of Pink Slip’s faves. But really, how could we resist? Eberjey offers so many different silhouettes that let a woman relax in style and the Gisele Tunic is a case in point. Slightly exotic and most definitely comfortable, it’s a wonderfully glamorous piece with a pretty lace trim at the neckline, sleeves and hem. Made of Modal and spandex jersey, it’s heaven to get your beauty sleep in.

Lady Godiva Robe

Lady Godiva Robe
If we can’t get you out of your favorite tee, at least glam things up by slipping into Eberjey’s Lady Godiva robe. The super soft Modal/spandex jersey fabric will make you feel cozy and the romantic lace trim on the hem brings nice attention to your legs. As for the tee, we dare you to try one of Eberjey’s camis. You might never lounge in t-shirts again!

Don’t think we have anything against sweatpants, mind you. We just think they’re better left to those times when you’re working up a sweat at the gym. When you’re curling up with a good book, however, treat yourself to loungewear that enhances your literary adventure with comfort and style.

XOXO,
Margo