Thursday, 31 May 2012

What Katie Did gets ready for the Diamond Jubilee

What Katie Did's Portobello Road boutique is getting ready for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee with a very British window display! In the surrounding area the Salvation Army and the WI will be fundraising on Portobello Market this Saturday 2nd June. They will be serving tea and cake and will be giving away sample packs of Clipper tea. The Museum of Brands will be recreating a 1950's market stall along with showing archive photos close to where they were originally taken. We're open as usual on Saturday and Sunday (closed bank holiday Monday and Tuesday). Come on down to Portobello this weekend andcelebrate with us!

What Katie Did lingerie window

What Katie Did lingerie window

What Katie Did lingerie window

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

What Katie Did's Bullet Bra in the Evening Standard

London's Evening Standard published a feature yesterday about the trend for erotic literature, which was started by the self published book '50 Shades of Grey'. The feature was accompanied by a Tony Nylons picture featuring our Maitresse Bullet Bra and Fully Fashioned Stockings.

What Katie Did Maitresse Bullet Bra

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Rankin shoots What Katie Did Vintage Lingerie

Rankin is one of our favourite photographers so we're thrilled to have him shoot What Katie Did for his new magazine 'The Hunger'. Helena Christensen shows just a hint of suspender straps in a shoot called 'One of the Boys' (styled by Wayne Perry): we'd recommend our Maitresse Suspender Belt to get the same look.

If you're planning to visit our LA boutique, take a moment to visit Rankin's Gallery which is just 5 minutes walk from our store.

What Katie Did suspender belt

Monday, 28 May 2012

Marlene Von Steenvag in What Katie Did lingerie

It's the last day of London's World Burlesque Games and I have to say we were looking forward to a duvet day. However, Marlene Von Steenvag was over from Berlin to peform and we just couldn't resist shooting with her. A few hours after performing she arrived at Steve Hart's Slough studio looking far more awake than we did!

Marlene started hear career in Cabaret and and gradually slipped more and more towards burlesque adding her distinctive poetic and fairytale glamour. Today Marlene travels Europe peforming full time, she's a regular at Germany's only dedicated burlesque club, Queen Calavera (in Hamburg) and hosts her own event: Salon Kokett, in Berlin

Morticia Corset

Marlene in our Morticia Underbust Corset, Maitresse Bullet Bra, Maitresse Knickers, Seamed Fishnet Tights and Long Gloves.

Maitresse bullet bra

Marlene in our Maitresse Bullet Bra, Maitresse Suspender Belt and Fully Fashioned Stockings.

Glamour Corselette

Marlene in our Glamour Corselette, Long Gloves and Fully Fashioned Stockings.

Cabaret Bullet Bra

Marlene in our Cabaret Bullet Bra and French Knickers.

Friday, 25 May 2012

What Katie Did Morticia Corset in The Daily Mail

The Daily Mail has been devoting a lot of space to Marks and Spencers' new comfy corsets (they don't resemble corsets at all but are body shapers which come under category 'corsetry' - I think someone along the line might have got a little confused). Yesterday they did a test to see if corsets really were comfortable to wear and included our Morticia Underbust Corset which they gave 7 out of 10 (beating Spanx, yipee!)

Although corsetry should be comfortable enough to wear all day (our Glamour Corselette proves it), steel boned corsets are a whole different matter and unless you seriously want to train your waist, corsetry is the way to go for daily wear.

Corsetry won't give you the dramatic lines of a steel boned corset but will easily nip an inch or two from the waist and hips. The best way to describe it is that when you look in a mirror you stand up straight with your tummy tucked in: corsetry will keep you like that all day in comfort. At What Katie Did we frequently get visits from brides who think they want a steel boned corset but end up with a Glamour Merry Widow or Cabaret Torsolette which is comfortable enough to wear for 16 hours without any practice.

If you'd like to find out our views on steel boned corsets, what to expect from them and whether they're suitable for you, check out our Corset Guide Here.

What Katie Did Morticia Corset

What Katie Did Morticia Corset worn with our Cabaret Bullet Bra.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Mosh models What Katie Did vintage lingerie

We were lucky enough to meet LA photographer Mitzi at the Grand National Roadster Show in January. She told us she was working on a shoot with super-pin up Mosh at Elvis Presley's Honeymoon hideaway in Palm Springs. Sounds good doesn't it?! Well, wait till you see the pics! They'll be hitting pin up magazines over the next few months but here's a little preview.

What Katie Did Cabaret Torsolette

Mosh in our Cabaret Torsolette.

What Katie Did Deco Lingerie

Mosh in our Deco Lingerie

What Katie Did Retro Bikini

Mosh in our 2012 Bikini.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

What Katie Did Lingerie in new Elizabeth Taylor Biopic

It's great to see Lindsay Lohan looking healthy and working on new projects. She's just been cast to play Elizabeth Taylor in a new TV movie 'Liz and Dick'. Lindsay says 'I have always admired and had enormous respect for Elizabeth Taylor. She was not only an incredible actress but an amazing woman as well'.

The costume department picked out period perfect lingerie from our Hollywood store a couple of weeks ago which can be seen in the picture below (Maitresse Bullet Bras and Glamour Girdle) - alongside Lindsey who's wearing a red velvet dress inspired by a Valentino number Liz once wore. Lindsay has been given final approval of all costumes so we have to keep our fingers crossed that she likes What Katie Did!

Lindsay Lohan and What Katie Did Lingerie

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Lingerie fit for Royalty!

I first thought about doing a Union Flag corset last Spring, to celebrate Prince William's and Kate Middleton's wedding. I thought it would be great as part of a window display, combined with lots of Union Flag bunting, but really didn't think people would be interested in buying it. I sketched a basic design and asked our factory to throw something together, explaining that it was only for a window display and that it didn't have ot be perfect. Well, they disagreed and were really excited a the challenge which resulted in the most fabulous (and it turns out, horribly expensive!) corset. We had it in our London boutique window for a couple of weeks and did take a few orders and that, I thought, was that.

When I was in our factory in January I started working on a range of Jubilee lingerie in red, white and blue, and started thinking about the corset again. I thought if we were going to do it, we'd really go for it! This time around we made it in the Extreme Laurie shape which takes 2" more from the waistline than last year's Sophia shape. We also made it in two cup sizes for a perfect fit. Finally, we made a slight change to the flag design, changing the waist panels from blue to red which helps enhance the female form. The resulting corset really has had a great response, surprisingly those outside the UK are most enthusastic!

The picture below, featuring Miss Miranda, was shot by Steve Hart in his Slough (UK) studio at the end of a very long day - not that you'd be able to tell!

Union Flag Jubilee Corset

Friday, 18 May 2012

Karl Lagerfield shoots Kirsten Dunst in a What Katie Did Bullet Bra

Bit of a bombshell this one! When the office of Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfield called about 18 months ago requesting our Jane Cheetah Print Bullet Bra for a new project we were in a bit of a quandry. The bra had been discontinued several months before and we'd already been a bit naughty lending archive samples to Vogue Paris when it was no longer availble (they begged!) You can't really say no to Karl and Carine so we sent it off and never expected to hear anything else.

It turns our the bra was worn by Kirsten Dunst for 'The Little Black Jacket' a book celebrating Chanel's famous black jacket. The book features 100 celebrities, actors, artists, singers and rock stars all wearing a Chanel black jacket in their own style.

The book can be pre-ordered from Amazon and you can see a preview of 20 images here.

As mentioned above, this bra is no longer available, but we have recently introduced a brand new semi sheer cheetah print bullet bra which we think is even sexier!

Cheetah bullet bra

Thursday, 17 May 2012

What Katie Did's Cabaret Torsolette in Lone Wolf Magazine

What Katie Did's Cabaret Torsolette makes it's first appearance in Lone Wolf magazine in a shoot styled by Thea Lewis. Our Cabaret Torsolette is a piece of light control shapewear made from sheer organza and powermesh. Like with all our shapewear, it incorporates spiral steel boning. This piece was inspired by a vintage torsolette a customer brought in to our London boutique and contains the same vintage features including a vintage stitch detail on the front and cathedral boning on the cups. Available in peach or black.

What Katie Did Cabaret Torsolette

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Miss Polly Rae's Burlesque Tips - Day 3: Your first show

You've rehearsed your act and your costume is all sparkly, but the preparation doesn't stop there. The show's promoter should email you a form to fill in with all the nitty gritty details - if they don't you'll have to email one over yourself - and bring a copy on the evening. You need to include everything the promoter needs to know including how you'd like the Compare to introduce you, where you start your performance (stage left, right or already on stage) and where pieces of your costume are going to be thrown (tip: always behind you, never into the audience!) so they can ensure it's returned to you complete. Polly advises bringing two CDs of music - and remember to put your name on both of them!

Miss Polly Rae

Once you've got a few newbie shows under your belt film footage of your performance is vital so you can get bookings at more prestigious shows. Polly insists that the footage doesn't have to break the bank and although it's much preferable to have film on a live stage with an audience it's not make or break. Polly reckons she can tell within 10 seconds whether an act is going to be good or not whatever the film quality is like. No good promoter will book an act without footage so it's time to rope in a friend with a camera.

Beatrix Von Bourbon in What Katie Did

Fans of Britain's Got Talent will certainly have not missed the charms of burlesque artiste Beatrix Von Bourbon who got middle England's knickers in a twist with her saucy pre-watershed performance (watch it on Youtube here). Unfortunately she's been knocked out in the semi-finals, but several prime time performances on national TV won't have done her career much harm! The Star interviewed her yesterday and we're delighted that she chose to wear our Padded Bullet Bra, Harlow Suspender Belt and Kate Knickers.

Beatrix Von Bourbon in What Katie Did

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Miss Polly Rae's Burlesque Tips - Day 2: Costumes

Today Miss Polly Rae is lucky enough to work with William Baker, Kylie Minogue's stylist for whom the cost of rhinestones is no issue for her West End Shows (although it still makes her swoon!) but for her other shows the costumes are down to Polly.

Miss Polly Rae

Polly's first bit of advice is that you don't need to spend a lot of money - but you do need to be ready to devote your evenings to hot-gluing and trimming! Whilst it's not possible to skimp on some items - for example a high street basque will not give yout the defined hourglass shape of a good quality corset - it is possible to transform cheap high street lingerie and shoes into showstopping costumes. Barnet and Lawson just off London's Oxford Street is Polly's haberdashery of choice where their basement is an Aladdin's cave of sparkly trims.

Polly's stockings of choice for peeling, whether on stage in the West End or the East End are our stretchy Retro Seamed Stockings which are far more affordable than fully fashioned and 'ping' off the foot with far more control than expensive Fully Fashioned Nylons.

From my personal experience I've learn't how seriously professional burlesque artistes take their costumes. Last year we took Slinky Sparkles to perform in Las Vegas and instead of painting the town red spent her days rhinestoning her costume (you can never have too many rhinestones!) Although Polly says that trims and rhinestones are 'icing' to your act, turning up in a untrimmed high street lingerie really is a no no.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Miss Polly Rae's Guide to Burlesque

To celebrate the start of London's Burlesque Games, Miss Polly Rae hosted an initimate salon in What Katie Did's London Boutique giving advice on how to make a career out of burlesque. Miss Polly Rae always knew she wanted to be famous, she just wasn't quite sure how she was going to acheive it! By chance she saw a flyer for Jo King's burlesque workshop and went along to a free taster session. Burlesque immediately appealed to Polly as you didn't have to have dance training from the age of 3, or be a certain age or shape. Over the last 6 and a half years Miss Polly Rae has become one of the UK's leading stars of burlesque with her own West End Show. Over the next few days we'll give you her top tips on making it in burlesque.
Miss Polly Rae
1. Get an Audience!
There is nothing like performing in front of an audience. It's where you'll really start to learn your craft. Nothing frustrates Polly more is hearing people say that their act is not quite ready, time after time! That's not to say it shouldn't be rehearsed to within an inch of it's life, but sooner or later you're going to have to get on stage. Let's face it, you'll alway find something that isn't quite right as an excuse to delay.
Don't go straight from rehearsals to stage. It's essential that you find a burlesque mentor, or someone you can trust, who will give you their honest opinion of your act. Once any kinks have been ironed out it's time to go. There are lots of newbie nights where you can perform, and as they're billed as newbie nights the audience won't be expecting Dita Von Teese.
Most professional burlesque artiste's acts are 'works in progress'. Their act will be constantly refined as the artiste decides what works best in front of an audience, whilst rhinestones and feathers will be added to costumes as funds allow.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

The Bullet Bra

The bullet bra gives the ultimate 1950s pin up girl silhouette. The bullet bra was actually available from 1939, but WWII put plans on hold so it wasn't until the early 1950s that the bullet bra put breasts centre stage. It's shape was even more extreme than that of bras in the 1940s and the spiral stitching emphasised the cone shape.

Claudia Schiffer bullet bra
Claudia Schiffer in What Katie Did's Maitresse Bullet Bra for Vogue Russia

For the less well endowed padded versions were soon available and 'gay deceivers' or falsies (develped by Warners in the late 1930s) became extremely popular.

Gwyneth Paltrow Bullet Bra

Gwyneth Paltrow in What Katie Did's Padded Bullet Bra for Vogue UK

Bullet Bra Brands

Maidenform was the brand that really put bullet bras on the map when they launched their 'I Dream' advertising campaign in the USA. The campaign showed women in their bullet bras looking confident and indepent alongside lines including 'I dreamed I stopped traffic in my Maidenform bra'. The range included a spiral stitch bullet bra which soon became the breast shape of the 1950s. Maidenform's Chasonette bullet bra was finally launched in the UK in 1955 with the slogan 'What makes it so special? Spiral-stitched to round as it accentuates'.

Rihanna Bullet Bra

Rihanna in What Katie Did's Padded Bullet Bra for GQ UK

What Katie Did revived the bullet bra in 1999, starting with a cotton version, before moving on to more glamorous satin. The bullet bra was one of the first pieces Katie wanted to recreate as there was nothing available at that time that gave an authentic 1950s silhouette, and vintage pieces were few and far between.

Victoria Beckham Bullet Bra

Victoria Beckham in What Katie Did's Padded Bullet Bra for Harpers Bazaar UK

What Katie Did In The Press

The What Katie Did bullet bra was designed to be a niche piece, appealing to hardcore vintage fashion fans, but over the years the look has become more mainstream and What Katie Did's bullet bras are frequently featured in the press worldwide from Vogue India to Vogue Italia and everywhere in between!

Nicole Scherzinger bullet bra

Nicole Scherzinger in What Katie Did's Maitresse Bullet Bra for The Daily Mail

What Katie Did On Film

What Katie Did Bullet Bras are the first stop for wardrobe departments of the stage and screen. Our bullet bras first made an appearance on stage worn by London's Royal Ballet at London's Opera House, more recently they've been used by Glyndebourne Opera House for period pieces.

Kate Moss Bullet Bra

Kate Moss in What Katie Did's Padded Bullet Bra for Vogue Italia

Film appearances inlcude The Nowhere Boy, X Men First Class, and My Week With Marilyn where all the female cast wore What Katie Did bullet bras and shapewear under their costumes to get the right silhouette.

Claudia Schiffer Padded Bullet Bra

Claudia Schiffer in What Katie Did's Padded Bullet Bra for Paris Vogue

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

What Katie Did Padded Bullet Bra in Schon Magazine

For those of you who worry that the Olympics will bring month after month of boring sporty fashion, worry no more. Ellen von Unwerth has come to the rescue with an amazing Olympic inspired shoot for Schon magazine (Germany) featuring a newly platinum blonde Crystal Renn in our Padded Bullet Bra.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

What Katie Did have designed a range of vintage inspired lingerie to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The Jubilee collection comes in red (1st May), white (1st June) and blue (1st July) and comprises an underwired bra with vintage stitching on the cup, suspender belt and 2 styles of knicker.