Gabrielle Lynam-Smith, roving lifestyle reporter at Glory Days, gets her wiggle on and unleashes her inner bombshell in discussion with House of Satin's Rosie Heagney.
Whether you’re channelling a Land-Girl, Bardot or Monroe, a modern woman needs the right silhouette – the nipped-in waist, the bust, the slight sass that nudges your look into something you could paint on the side of a 1940s aircraft. From waist-cinchers, corselettes, and French knickers to lace control wear, House of Satin's designs span Gatsby-inspired loungewear through to the sexy sixties boudoir.
Product developer, Rose Heagney is passionate about vintage lingerie, and as a seamstress and designer she understands how beautiful well-designed underwear can make women feel gorgeous.
“The cut of vintage lingerie was designed to flatter a figure of any size, and it enhances, rather than hides the female form', she says. “Vintage lingerie features attention to detail, traditional methods and stitching, a flattering fit and quirky adornments.”
Rosie says it’s all these qualities that House of Satin offers to ladies who buy their vintage inspired lingerie.
“We love the way lingerie makes you feel glamourous.”
The original business started in 1948, after World War 2, as a small bridal wear shop in Derby, England. It was one of the first to offer brides the lace and satin gowns they had so dearly wanted during the hard, rationed times of war. Leftover pieces of luxury fabrics from the gowns were used to make brassieres and garter belts and soon the lingerie was outselling the bridal wear. At the centre of Britain’s lace making region and near its finest textile mills, access to quality material was direct and the business flourished, taking on orders from well-known high street brands such as Marks & Spencer, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge.
After many successful decades, Britain’s clothing manufacturing industry began to decline, which saw a number of high street brands taking their manufacturing orders abroad and most of the nearby mills and factories in Derby’s historic textile industry closed down. It was a struggle for the business to stay afloat. But stay afloat it did, evolving with the times.
By 2012 the factory was producing mainly satin nightwear and the way the fabric had to be cut resulted in a lot of waste so the workers got their heads together, devising a plan to utilise these off-cuts of fabric. This involved breathing life back into the vintage lingerie patterns that were still held in storage. They began creating authentic retro bras and suspender belts and due to the massive revival of vintage fashion at the time, this went down a storm and the brand House of Satin was born!
They couldn’t make their vintage ranges fast enough and this popularity came with problems beyond keeping up with demand. The vintage patterns were sized so differently to today’s lingerie and, as the fabrics being used were off-cuts from nightwear, they weren’t as well suited to lingerie as they could have been.
But lesser problems had been overcome before and the problem solvers got busy. They sourced luxury satin and laces and sent their vintage patterns to be resized to modern standards, ranging from a UK size 6 to a UK size 18 and bra sizes from 32A to 42F. They also decided to throw in a few added garments such as thongs and pants to complement the vintage collections. And they do it all using the original machines and sewing and cutting methods that the original company started with all those years ago, offering their customers something special and luxurious.
Their beautifully re-designed website showcases their full range of collections. Whether you’re feeling like a wicked Maîtresse ‘Tea Rose’ or a Rockabilly ‘Cherry Blossom’, their range includes styles for any vintage clothing style, from low cut and backless dresses to high-waisted trousers.
But this is only the beginning of their next chapter, House of Satin has big plans and many more original vintage styles on the way. They want to share their ongoing story with you so have a look at www.houseofsatin.co.uk and keep up with what's happening in their beautiful world.