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Passionata's Playful Passion

Passionata's Playful Passion

Happy French Sexiness

Passionata Senior Stylist Christelle GaldemarPassionata launched its collections in the U.S. two years ago, after regaling European women for decades. Rooted in the bedrock of Chantelle's long-standing savoir-faire, this exuberant brand is already forging a loyal fan base in North America with collections that run the gamut, from the happy sexiness of everyday basics to sexy and superbly crafted fashion-forward stunners. We recently caught up with Passionata’s Senior Stylist Christelle Galdemar in her atelier in France to find out what's going on behind the scenes.

Lingerie Française: Tell us about how Passionata came to America after its success in Europe.

Christelle Galdemar: We really studied the American market and identified a number of key success factors that revolve around fit. American women have different needs than their French counterparts: They want straps that can be easily adjusted in one place, a band that fits tighter and straighter around the back, with straps a bit closer together between the shoulder blades. They also prefer more lining in their bra cups, with larger cup sizes but smaller band widths. We learned a lot about American women who, for example, are very different from French or German women when it comes to morphology. Every culture has it particularities.

LF: Victoria’s Secret will be coming to France soon. How do you define the difference between Passionata and Victoria’s Secret?

CG: For starters, we’re not interested exclusively in head-on seduction that’s just for the male gaze. Passionata is more mischievous and playful, and always designed with a twist that adds a bit of fantasy or whimsy. We want women to feel beautiful, radiant and affirmed in their sense of who they are, with a little of happy sexiness. That’s the difference between Passionata and Victoria’s Secret.  In fact, we use the term “playful sexiness” a lot. The Passionata woman is not, for example, obliged to always wear the perfect matching lingerie set. On the contrary, she might want to mix-and-match, say, a simple push-up bra and panties that have lovely little frills everywhere. To that end we have what we call “pretty panties” that play with different colors and patterns, but that can still go with any bra. We like that eclectic touch. 

GlamourousLF: As a designer, how do you start thinking about a new collection and what inspires you creatively?

CG: We start first with marketing input and identify various consumer needs, and then we look at trends – but not specifically at trends in the lingerie market. We look at all sorts of trends in the culture at large – from sociology and street movements to art and fashion. From those trends we then create our own stories and design four stories per season: One that is all about everyday basics, one that is classically sexy and usually in reds or blacks, and two that are very fashion-forward limited editions.

DO: Were there any surprises with particular Passionata lines when you launched in North America?

CG: Yes, Let’s Play is particularly interesting because we didn’t really design it with the American market in mind, but it was a nice surprise because American consumers really love it. The lace is graphic with lovely scalloped edge detailing and scalloped straps, and it has a matching hipster with a silky bow.

The Glamorous is another one that’s done well. It has gorgeous embroidery on transparent tulle that was specifically designed by one of our stylists; she started looking through archives until she found exactly what she wanted: this ultra feminine embroidery pattern with little polka dots, which we love at Passionata. These little polka dots create a jewel motif, which is a very Passionata contrast that creates a nice alchemy between form and pattern. And though a square-shaped decoltée wasn’t the market norm, it really took off and was super successful.

DO: What are your bestsellers?

CG:  White Nights and Lovely Passio are our biggest bestsellers. For starters, White Nights is one of the oldest lines in our collection. It was launched right when I came on board at Passionata ten years ago. It has an incredible history and I think we’ve made in just about every color imaginable! We tried to figure out why this particular line has done so well and we think it’s partly because it’s so richly designed, with interplay of different colors of lace, and beautiful guipure that features a tiny butterfly landing on a branch.

White Nights

Lovely Passio

Lovely Passio is also so well-designed, with French lace that’s traditionally associated with knitwear, and our trademark little polka dots.

LF: What can we expect to see in future collections?

CG: We’re interested in how society is changing, and we'll continue to take our cues from these changes. For example, is black still “the” color?  Lately, it's taken on certain negative associations, so now black is giving way to blue-marine. We'll continue to focus on how the world is changing around us, expressing our stories through our different lines with our trademark mix of happy sexiness, radiant seduction, whimsy, and well-being.  

Check out Passionata's arty and deliciously divine Spring/Summer 2016 Collection:

Beloved Sailor

Let's Play

March 08, 2016 
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