The secret to feeling truly glamourous with a knowing confidence all starts with the right underwear; an item that is worn exclusively for your pleasure- what could be more delicious than that? The use of luxurious fabrics, excellent tailoring and dainty designs has made Alöe Loungewear the chosen label for everyone from Gisele to Kate Moss. We caught up with the lovely founder, Claire Judge, and the star of her studio- Knuckles the French Bulldog.
LF: Why did you choose to specialize in lingerie, as opposed to ready-to-wear?
CJ: I’ve always had a passion for lingerie and loungewear. I love the intimacy of undergarments – the gesture a woman makes to herself when she layers beautiful, silky lingerie underneath her clothes and against her skin. Wearing beautiful lingerie makes a woman feel sensuous. It’s her feel-good-factor, a gesture of love to herself (and to her lover of course)! I have extended my belief that a woman’s body should be wrapped in only the most luxurious fabrics to the Alöe ready-to-wear line, which launched in 2011. My knowledge of lingerie design has been carried through to the clothing collection, with great care taken to create a feminine and flattering silhouette.
LF: Why should having beautiful lingerie be important for a woman?
CJ: Lingerie is the foundation of a woman’s wardrobe so it should be beautiful! Lingerie sits against a woman’s skin. It’s her most intimate piece of clothing so it should be made in the most luxurious, fabrics and laces. I design each Alöe lingerie piece to be a keepsake. It is romantic; every piece is made in the softest, most luxurious washed silks and trimmed with the most delicate English laces.
LF: You’re known for your delicate designs, what’s the process behind the creation of a piece?
CJ: I always begin the process by choosing the fabric I intend to make the design in. I use silk for my lingerie and it must be super soft and have a luxurious finish. I spend a lot of time fitting the styles, spending hours with my pattern-cutter perfecting fit and making sure that the silhouette is flattering and feminine. Alöe is understated in style and is all about quality rather than a being a big fashion statement.
LF: Where do you get inspiration for your new collections from?
CJ: My designs are definitely influenced by my Anglo Chinese heritage. I love the subtlety, quiet elegance and understated sexiness of traditional Chinese women’s clothes. I inherited some beautiful silk Chinese cheongsam dresses from my mother and my grandmother and treasure these. There is something so sexy about a cheongsam! Inspiration can come from anywhere though. I can be inspired by a character in a movie or a novel, by a photograph I see, by a costume in a ballet, by landscapes when I travel… Life is an endless inspiration!
LF: What is the Alöe woman like?
CJ: The Alöe woman is confident, grown up, sexy and strong-minded. She knows her style and does not feel the need to follow trends. She has a quiet elegance about her.
LF: Your pieces have been worn by Kate Moss, Sarah Jessica Parker and Florence Welch, who would you love to see wearing one of your pieces today?
CJ: I’d love to see Chloë Sevigny wearing Alöe. I think she has great style.
LF: We completely agree! Finally, what does the future hold for you?
CJ: I have just finished designing a fantastic Alöe collaboration collection with an international high street retailer, which is due to be released in August 2013. I’m also working on a line of gorgeous silk pyjamas and silk scarves. I’ll just be happy continuing to see my styles worn by stylish women around the world. There’s nothing like hearing a woman tell me she has received so many compliments when wearing Alöe!
Interview by Talisa Zampieri