I've wanted to write about Harlow & Fox ever since I wore it for my very first lingerie shoot.
There can be no better way to lose your boudoir photo shoot virginity than wrapped up in luxurious silk pieces designed by Leanna Williams, creative director and founder of Harlow & Fox. I was apprehensive about uncovering all my older lumps and bumps, but I didn't have to worry. It wasn't so much about not showing too much skin, as showing it in the right way.
Harlow & Fox is an award-winning UK luxury lingerie brand dedicated to dressing the fuller bust. They don't target any single age demographic, but it's no surprise that more mature women (who might find themselves in larger bra cup sizes thanks to menopause) wouldn't fall in love with their timeless designs. Leanna shared with me her vision for the brand:
I’ve always envisioned my customer being a little older anyway, partly because the collection is based on a more classic, timeless aesthetic and likely therefore to be more appealing to the woman who appreciates that, and the value of beautiful textures and materials, over something more fast-fashion trend-driven. I think once a woman goes through life, she becomes more aware of her own taste, her own preferences, and what makes her feel good---instead of just buying whatever the latest thing is, regardless.
Women my age are mostly ignored by the intimate apparel industry, especially in fashion advertising. But I love wearing gorgeous lingerie and treating myself to fabulous pieces. Thankfully, Leanna understands my needs:
I’m a big believer that EVERY woman deserves to feel beautiful and special in her lingerie, but I think very often older women are neglected in the industry, and perhaps end up thinking that these kind of garments are not for them, which couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of silk and lace against your skin, and that’s something everyone can appreciate. The only difference is that women who don’t fit society’s stereotypical ideal of beauty/youth/body type don’t get to see themselves reflected in the imagery that’s out there, and don’t get to have that reinforced that they are just as able to wear such things and feel and look fabulous.
Leanna also takes care in constructing pieces that address the inevitable changes to a woman's body:
When designing the actual garments, there’s a lot of aspects that women have said they appreciate, such as the lace top cups accommodating softer breast tissue without having such a definite “edge” to cut in, the silk linings on bra cups and panels inside coordinates for that feeling of something luxurious right next to the skin, and there being a variety of coordinate options, most specifically with our bestselling Eleanor range, to have as much or little coverage as desired. I interviewed a lot of women when I was setting up the brand, of all ages, and many who were a little older did express they preferred having more coverage on areas like their arms, or tummies, and so I’ve tried to incorporate ways to do that in an elegant way, that doesn’t feel like covering up---with the vintage style tap pants which sit on the waist for example, or kimono sleeves with intricate lace detailing. Even with the sheer garments, I don’t think they feel quite as “exposing”, yet still have a lightness to them. I think it’s all about emphasising the natural beauty of the wearer, and making her feel like the best version of herself.
Here are some images from the latest Harlow & Fox collections:
This last set is one I wore for the TLA Tea Party lingerie shoot. The bra fit beautifully, and the French Knicker was very flattering on my older and less-firm bum. The Kimono is something that could double as outerwear---either over pants or a dress. This silk and lace piece is so exquisite you want to show it off!
If you're worried about how to launder these elegant pieces, never fear. Leanne has you covered with easy care instructions. Yes, everything can be washed by hand (which is how you should care for your other lingerie anyway).
I won't buy age-defying creams or age-defying bras to try to mask my years. Those products buy into insecurities about aging and keep older women hidden away and less visible. I'd much rather wear lingerie that, by its very beauty and design, renders me timeless.
What do you think of Harlow & Fox luxury lingerie? Which sets do you like best?