Straight from the Panache design studio
Last month we were privileged to get to speak to Panache’s amazing design team and ask them some probing questions about how to design a full figure bra and the origins of the Sculptresse brand. This is what they said:
What is plus size? We understand there is no international industry standard for this.
We refer to Sculptresse as our brand for fuller figures, as we find this a positive term in recognition of women of all shapes and sizes. Sculptresse to us is about offering lingerie that’s crafted for curves and fits beautifully giving our customers confidence.
Tell us about how the Sculptresse brand came into existence? Was there a trigger, or was it a natural progression for Panache?
Attitudes were changing within the fashion industry with more full figured ladies celebrating their curves, and a new body confidence was born.
These full figured women were no longer prepared to accept walking through racks of beautiful products only to be forced to look at a small section of non-descript, dated and un-interesting styles, just because they fit. They wanted the same choice of beautiful designs for all occasions, but they were more aware of the need for support and the importance of a great fitting product.
Women began the demand for more from their bras. We listened and soon Sculptresse was born, delivering beautifully crafted bras that fit.
We feel it’s essential to provide a beautiful, well designed and high quality products in line with market trends and at an affordable price.
How is designing plus size bras different from designing other bras?
The real differences are coverage and the choice of particular fabrics and elastics, taking in to account the additional requirement for comfort and support.
We carefully look at strap and apex positions to suit ladies of all shapes and sizes, as often fuller busted ladies are fairly narrow from shoulder to shoulder and don’t want to be constantly re-positioning straps.
Are the Sculptresse bras designed from scratch or based on the Panache and Cleo ranges?
We do start from tried and tested blocks, but these are re-worked to include the features and benefits that are required in the Sculptresse brand to ensure maximum comfort and fit.
We risk assess every style, every fabric and every component. The widths of laces and embroideries have to be relevant for the product and due to our size curve, all the components have to be selected for both width, comfort and durabilty.
What are the main points of difference between D+ and plus size? When you design a bra, where do they differ?
When designing for D+ bras the size of the bust needs to be taken into account, whereas when designing for fuller figure, you have the additional requirement for a larger underband as well. In some new Sculptresse styles such as Estel, Dionne and Carmel, we have incorporated a new wing detail, which is double layered with a lightly shaping fabric and a higher, closer in, back apex for a smoothing and flattering finish.
What has the customer reception been like for Sculptresse?
We get really positive feedback from our customers, which makes all of the painstaking testing and trialing worth it. Our aim is to give our customers confidence and to make them feel great through supportive, pretty and functional designs. Some comments we’ve had on our social media include:
“Sculptresse are the only bras that properly fit me and don’t feel they are around my knees!”
“Chi Chi is my favourite bra, it’s amazing – shape and lift are second to none”
What’s next for Sculptresse? We have just seen the launch of the Sculptresse sports bra – will there be more new products in the coming seasons?
We’re always looking at new ways to expand the Sculptresse collection whilst meeting the needs of our customers.
One exciting new addition to the range is the Dana strapless bra which offers extra support up to a H cup, so Sculptresse ladies can wear strapless styles with confidence.
New for the AW18 season, Lula and Carmel are designed to be comfortable, supportive and beautifully crafted. Made with cushioned, softer wires, softer elastics and cushioned hook and eye fastenings, Lula and Carmel provide added comfort and support without compromising on a stunning finish and feminine design.