好像無論性別和性向，現今世人對「女性內衣」的聯想，始終離不開造型窈窕、婀娜多姿的印象。說得更白一點，就像是某女王秘密的展台上，那些精緻得近乎完美的女性胴體，以及台下男性們一雙雙覬覦的眼神；如此的形象塑造，以及約而俗成的「凝望／被凝望」方式，已然成為行業間不肯打破的默契。也正因為有這樣的前提，所以才有Helene Morris和Steve Ferguson這對情侶檔設計師，以及Lonely這個內衣品牌的出現，設計出一款款依然精緻，卻對作為用家的女性們，更具有包容性的內衣。
“Lonely’s lingerie are designed for women who wear them as a love letter to themselves,” say Helene Morris and Steve Ferguson, the designer duo behind the brand Lonely. While this quote has appeared in multiple interviews, it actually reflects precisely and concisely how Lonely positions itself, and how unique it is compared to other lingerie-makers on the market. Buying lingerie is to please yourself, not anyone else.
Regardless of gender and sexual orientation, it seems that people’s general perception of women’s lingerie is still closely linked to slender figures and alluring appearance. Simply take a look at any runway show of a big name lingerie-maker, you’ll see a display of almost-perfect female bodies and the longing stares from male audience members; such stereotypical representation of the female body with accompanying male gaze is an implicit part of the industry that no one was willing to disrupt. In spite of that, the designer duo of Lonely decided to create their own line of lingerie with pieces that are equally exquisite, yet can cover a wider range of bodies and figures.
Since its establishment in 2009, Lonely has broken most of the prevailing rules and standard practices set by the major brands, one of which is their choice of models. To begin with, they didn’t go for an entire white-and-blonde-girl crew, but instead, they chose to work with African, Latino and Asian models. Some might consider that working with ethnic groups and minorities is just an act to demonstrate the brand’s “political correctness.” Lonely is doing way more than that; first, they insist that none of their marketing photos be retouched. Second, they don’t only hire people of different colors, but also recruit models of various shapes, ages, and features who are normally absent from mainstream marketing. Whether they are overweight, older, pregnant or with visible body hair, the models of Lonely are always pictured with a smile on their face; they simply glow with confidence and are comfortable in their own bodies. Knowing all of that, it’s not too much to say that the brand is redefining the definition of sexiness.
While the brand considers the various sizes and features of female bodies, the product quality and design receives just as much attention. Lonely’s lingerie pieces have a minimalist style with features that are hollowed-out and see-through. The end-products are lucid and appealing. One thing that warrants attention is that the sheer cover over the woman’s private parts is like a reminder to us that one should take pride in their own body and not be ashamed of it. The brand also stresses comfortability which means no padding in the bras and no uncomfortable thongs.
In addition to undergarments, Lonely’s swimwear is also much loved by those who seek comfortability and simplicity. Unlike those revealing swimsuits that only cover very limited parts of your body and skin, their swimwear plays the opposite role, and the designs are stunning. I must confess that when I first looked at their swimwear I wondered, “Shouldn’t swimwear be sexy and revealing compared to undergarments?” But after careful consideration, I realized it is indeed necessary to have proper coverage of the skin when out and about in the sunny beach. It’s actually thoughtful that the designers emphasize practicality over sexiness I reckon.