I’ve been promising this feature for a while now and finally had time to sit down today and formalise the writing into such an article to do the product justice. Enjoy!
Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending the Open Studios at the Chocolate Factory in Wood Green to interview the amazingly talented designer Ayten Gasson and see behind the scenes of the creative process.
With me was the fabulous Laura McCluskey of Just-Married photography who is responsible for the beautiful images you see before you (she’s very good at this photography lark, you know!) So, here it is lovely readers, the article of such lingerie beauty it will take your breath away. And be sure to read on to the end because there is a very special giveaway to Retrospective Bride blog readers…….
Tucked away in a corner of north London is a treasure trove of luxury lingerie which provides an ultimate feast for the eyes and dares you to resist the temptation to touch the amazing fabrics draped around you or snuggled into hat boxes. Ayten’s beautiful studio is bursting with silk, lace and cotton, with lingerie and sleepwear settled on every surface. The quality of these products is instantly obvious, with every hanging item falling perfectly in place between each other on endless rails of peach, cream and olive silk. Here we chat about the inspiration and ethos behind Ayten’s lingerie ranges, our personal favourite bridal pieces and the design and manufacturing process of each piece.
Big decision for the big day
Beautiful, quality wedding lingerie is as crucial a part of your wedding wardrobe as the gown itself. This is an occasion for which you simply cannot compromise on quality or opt for comfort over style – there’s a time and place for spanks, ladies, but this is not one of them! With Ayten Gasson’s lingerie you won’t need to do either. Their luxury lingerie will have you feeling at your most beautiful, even before putting that dress on! And while most modern fashion doesn’t spare a thought for the ethics behind design and manufacturing, Ayten Gasson has taken social awareness and consideration of animal welfare to the core of her product. To anybody passionate about vintage, the longevity of fashion is a key element; it’s not about fast fashion with today’s clothing replaced in an instant – it’s about appreciating quality and design and making ethical decisions when investing in a product.
Inspiration & ethos
Ayten Gasson lingerie exudes vintage glamour, a style which combines the best of classic design with exceptional quality fabrics. There is no compromising here – the designs are the epitome of classic beauty and the silk, lace and cotton used in the lingerie are of the highest specifications. In addition, it is exclusively manufactured, where possible, in the UK, making this lingerie unique in the world of vintage inspired designs.
When describing the inspiration behind her designs, Ayten regularly refers to her mother and grandmother.
“I remember always seeing my mother in beautiful silk nightgowns and dressing up in them hoping to be like her one day.”
Both were seamstresses and obviously had a huge influence on Ayten’s personal sense of style and ingrained a passion in her for timeless designs. After graduating from St. Martin’s College, a buoyant Ayten believed her skills and experience would result in a successful career in UK fashion design, only to find that the industry had all but upped and moved abroad. Being disheartened by the lack of UK producers and manufacturers, Ayten applied to the Prince’s Trust who recognised her very obvious talent and awarded the funding to start her lingerie design business and give UK manufacturing a new lease of life.
Ayten described the 1920s as her ultimate design decade for wedding styles and I can see why with her lingerie evoking images of silk column dresses – the ultimate in feminine grace.
Lingerie and sleepwear ranges
Since beginning her business in 2005, Ayten has created vintage inspired silk lingerie ranging from sleep bras to more structured pieces, camisoles, and bed jackets. However, the most popular design is the silk teddy (of which I have two and can personally guarantee everybody would love). When considering sleepwear for your wedding night or honeymoon, this really is the piece for you. The fabric has the most delicate of touches and the vintage inspired design means it is exceptionally comfortable while remaining elegant and beautiful.
“We modelled the original teddy design on a vintage Vogue bathing costume pattern. It created the perfect retro style for that vintage fit.”
Each delicate feature, such as the Nottingham lace trims and ribbon shoulder ties, is finished with absolute perfection. Receiving an Ayten Gasson piece is an experience in itself – each one wrapped in tissue paper and presented in a beautiful lingerie bag tied with ribbon. Once you have unwrapped the beautiful bundle, the quality really speaks for itself.
The Happy Silk Worm
Ayten’s conscience, it seems, guides her in developing new ranges and while social awareness around production is at the heart of this business, animal welfare, too, is a concern. Producing higher welfare silk has long been an issue but new advances in silk production has meant Ayten has been able to launch a “Peace Silk” range using organic silk to manufacture the camisole and tap pant set and teddy. With increased animal welfare standards, there is no compromise on quality and the peace silk ranges feel every bit as beautiful as the non-organic pieces.
Something old, something new ~ Bridal boxes
The latest addition to Ayten’s ranges are the simply gorgeous gift boxes incorporating combinations of silk eye mask, pant, garters and soap bar/bath bomb. Each box contains unique pieces, with the pants each having a vintage button from Ayten’s grandmother’s personal collection sewn onto them.
“Each button comes from my grandmother’s collection meaning every pant is unique and a one-off piece. I did ask before using them!”
Presented in a beautiful presentation box with the handmade soap or bath bomb adding another sensory treat, this is the ultimate gift for brides to be or dutiful bridesmaids. Each one is made to measure, and being available in small, medium or large, it’s pretty much foolproof even for the groom to buy!
Which leads us nicely on to the very special giveaway I have for one lucky Retrospective Bride reader:
Not just a very talented designer and inspirational person, Ayten also happens to be an exceptionally lovely person who kindly offered a special giveaway to RB readers: a beautiful lace trimmed Ayten Gasson garter. This one-off piece is as individual as you are, made with the delicate silks and lace which makes this lingerie so exquisite. For your chance to win this fantastic piece of Ayten design, all you need to do is subscribe to the blog and leave a comment. I will randomly select the very lucky reader to win the ultimate in “something old, something new” – you even hit the “something blue” with this one!
An absolute pleasure to meet and an inspiration to all, Ayten really is a jewel in the UK fashion industry and her lingerie is simply timeless glamour. Ayten Gasson lingerie must be part of your wedding wardrobe – that is all.