The fascinating history of high-end lace lingerie

Lace being an integral part of each of our collections, we have made it a habit to call upon exceptional lace makers such as the Sophie Hallette house or the Iluna group to offer you the best lace lingerie.

Lace has become an ode to the woman's body, revealing the skin in a play of contrast. Each thread of lace tells a story of timeless beauty and elegance!

With this article, delve into the enchanting world of high-end lace lingerie. At the heart of this exploration, you can discover the very essence of lace and its crucial role in creating irresistible underwear.

The history of lace over the centuries

If you are not familiar with the history of this noble material, note that lace is not a recent invention. In ancient times, it was already the subject of mystery and fascination.

It was used since antiquity and has crossed the ages over the centuries to become to this day a symbol of timeless beauty. Today, designers and creators constantly reinvent it to appeal to an audience constantly looking for novelty.

However, the journey of high-end and modern lace lingerie was long and arduous!

Lace was once reserved for luxury clothing and haute couture. Feminine lace underwear gradually found its place in the fashion world from the 16th century onwards, adding a touch of elegance and seduction to the attire of the nobility.

During the Renaissance, lace became an integral part of adornment intended only for the upper class, positioning itself as a symbol of luxury and prestige.

Both women and men became enthralled with lace, displaying it on the collars and cuffs of shirts.

In the 17th century, corsets and nightshirts appropriated lace, adding a touch of sensuality and femininity to these garments. It became an indispensable element of lingerie to elegantly and sophisticatedly enhance the curves of the body.

However, this material remained very noble; its high cost and laborious production made it inaccessible to most.

In the 19th century, during the Second Empire, lace became widespread in different social classes thanks to the development of mechanical lace. Lace reached its peak at this time and was now worn under most ball gowns and corsets.

Stylistic revolutions of the 20th century: lace reinvents itself

Lace experienced a new renaissance, adapting to the changing trends of fashion and society. Bold creators reinterpreted it by associating it with avant-garde styles. Lace lingerie became a symbol of freedom and empowerment, allowing women to express their sensuality and individuality in a new and innovative way.

Today, lace underwear remains at the heart of the high-end lingerie industry, where this material plays an essential role in creating seductive and comfortable pieces.

From elaborate patterns to delicate finishes, each stage of the creation process reveals a unique craftsmanship.

Thus, ICONE has been working for years with passionate artisans producing more robust, sophisticated, and durable lace lingerie to enhance your wardrobe.

But who are these coveted lace masters ?

The lace artists, masters of elegance As you may have understood, ICONE aims to offer high-end lace lingerie sets by surrounding itself with the best artisans. The French lace present in many of our lingerie piece has been crafted by the Sophie Hallette house and Noyon Dentelle.

The Sophie Hallette house

The Sophie Hallette house creates French lace and tulle; it is a collaborator of the great names in fashion from yesterday and today. For over a century, it has passionately created works ranging from haute couture to luxury underwear.

Fun fact: Catherine Middleton wore a dress by Alexander McQueen entirely made of lace from the Sophie Hallette house for her wedding!

Noyon Dentelle

Noyon is a lace creator that has been making history since 1919, perpetuating its know-how from generation to generation. It is now the world's leading manufacturer of Calais lace.

Specialized in lace lingerie-corsetry, fashion, ready-to-wear, and haute couture, major brands trust them thanks to the importance artisans attach to blending creativity, reliability, and responsiveness in their creations.

Other workshops and couture houses have also made their mark on the history of lace lingerie, such as Jean Bracq and Solstiss...

Lace lingerie: innovation and timeless elegance

Technological innovations in lace lingerie manufacturing

The production of high-end lace lingerie is in itself a complex art blending tradition and innovation, where each stage of the creation process reveals a unique craftsmanship.

One of the greatest innovations in lace history is the Leavers loom.

When it appeared in the 19th century, the Leavers loom (lace-making machine) brought incredible innovations to the world of lace!

Indeed, the Leavers loom succeeded in mechanically reproducing the movement of the human hand identically. In the past, lace makers intertwined each lace thread on their knees!

Privileged in the high-end lingerie domain, Leavers lace remains the epitome of refinement in this field.

While it is certainly of rare quality, it is often imitated... Leavers lace artisans are therefore constantly obliged to renew themselves and offer new patterns.

Designers have pushed the limits of creativity by reinventing lace lingerie to meet the changing demands of fashion and trends.

You can observe the main innovations in lace yourself, visible in the embellishment of high-end lingerie through: embroidery, printing, painting, or even the creation of 3D lace with the addition of materials such as silicone (more difficult to find in stores...) by emerging designers.

The future of lace lingerie

The future of fashion and high-end lingerie, as we know, mainly focuses on respect for the environment and the world around us. Several creators and artisans in the industry are not hesitant to make changes.

For example, Jean Bracq is a historic specialist in couture, ready-to-wear, and wedding dresses.

To meet the evolving demand for lace, the company recently modernized its machines. Bracq favors responsible or recycled materials and places particular importance on their certifications.

The company maintains its commitment to high-quality, using rare equipment to produce first-choice lace.

Eco-responsibility in the lace industry translates into the use of sustainable materials, ecological dyeing techniques, waste reduction, local production, technological innovations such as 3D printing, and awareness efforts to encourage more sustainable choices!

We appreciate the innovations made by Jean Bracq, which is why every season, our commitment is also focused on offering quality pieces, respecting the strictest environmental and ethical standards.

In 2024, our production is entirely carried out within the Mediterranean basin, highlighting the expertise of passionate artisans with exceptional materials.

French embroidery

Some of our lines have been embroidered in the Leveaux embroidery workshops, perpetuating generational know-how at the forefront of refinement.

Leveaux's 100% made in France embroidery on tulle is the result of meticulous work carried out by passionate artisans using modern and efficient machines.

French lace

ICONE's French lace lingerie is designed to be more robust, durable over time, and of rare elegance thanks to the exceptional lace artisans of the Sophie Hallette and Noyon Dentelle houses.

Italian lace

To offer you exceptional Italian lace lingerie pieces, ICONE decided a few years ago to trust the Iluna group, a manufacturer founded in the 1970s and internationally recognized for its high-quality lace, specializing in elastic fabrics. Today, the Iluna group is among the top three global players in the lace sector.

As you can see, ICONE attaches particular importance to the choice of its partners, always located in the heart of the Mediterranean basin. Limited production ensures high-end, timeless lingerie pieces made for you.

Lace lingerie reinvents itself

Advancements in lace lingerie design, particularly in terms of shapes and arrangement, influence the entire industry!

Today, artisans' creativity is evident in the development of lace with a more relaxed style, the adoption of lace with floral or embroidered patterns representing the symbol or logo of a brand. This new era also incorporates environmental and social considerations, favoring the use of certified materials and organic cotton.

If this journey through time has fascinated you and you happen to pass through the town of Caudry, do not hesitate to discover the lace and embroidery museum. You will find various programs representing the textile traditions of the region through different events and exhibitions.

Now that you are well-versed in the history of lace in high-end lingerie, discover our collection of models in French or Italian lace.

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