A 21st-century superhero of sartorial sensuality, artisan lingerie designer Louise Feuillère empowers women by building their bras, not burning them. Since she opened her adorable atelier-boutique on the aptly named rue des Dames in 2004, 35-year-old Feuillère has been perking up the private lives of her privileged patrons with her couture and made-to-measure lingerie.
From superfine cotton panties with delicate lace trimming to sexy waist cinchers with velvet-covered ribbing, Feuillère’s confections are masterpieces of sensuality, technique, comfort and form.
“Lingerie sets the mood for the day,” says Feuillère, a sprightly, petite brunette with a mischievous smile and large coy eyes. “It’s the first decision you make when it comes to dressing. When you think of its impact on our daily disposition, it takes on a dimension of well-being.” (Hear that, ladies? Forget meditation, buy made-to-measure!!)
One of only a handful of designers to practice the fine art of handmade lingerie, Feuillère won the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Craftsman of France) title for lingerie-corsetry in 2007. It took two months of quasi-monastic concentration to prepare the demanding MOF competition design—a 1950s-inspired nine-panel flounced guepière (a kind of corset) with lace-covered garters, two integrated mousse cups, a rigid breastplate and inlaid lace. The first time in over 30 years that the MOF was awarded to a designer for corsetry, her win was an amazing feat, especially for someone so new to the scene.
Despite her young age, Feuillère is custom fit for her role as the fresh face of luxury lingerie. Her credentials?
• Handmade heritage (Grandma was a crochet addict, Grandpa an artisan cobbler)
• A rich imagination and peculiar fascination for intimate spaces and their accoutrements (she says her apartment is one big bedroom)
• An amazing eye for line, texture, color and composition (she studied art history before earning a degree in fashion design)
• Insider expertise gleaned from the best (her personal coach and guru, Christianne Mogenet, is the oldest corset maker in Paris)
• A “St. Bernard” instinct for reviving sensuality (the right lingerie can be just what the doctor ordered!)
Feuillère’s encyclopedic range of intimates includes everything from panties, garters, camisoles and bras to corsets, nightgowns, slips and bathing suits. To achieve the sensation of second-skin comfort, she hand-cuts and assembles each creation using the finest materials. Feuillère prefers tightly woven Italian shirt cotton to the typical mesh netting for her corsets and bloomers, as well as lace fabricated in France and delicate embroidery from Spain. As passionate about ecology as she is about corsetry, Feuillère is busy working on an all-organic cotton-and-bamboo capsule collection in unadorned shades of nude.
Each design can be customized according to fit, fabric and color preference. But for a truly original wearable work of art, indulge in one of her made-to-measure masterpieces. The custom collaboration takes several fittings and weeks to complete, so be sure to plan in advance.
Price range couture: 220–420 euros; made-to-measure: 1,500–3,000 euros.