What Lies Beneath : Rose Fulbright’s Lush Lingerie And Lounge Lifestyle

A bookend style state­ment to our daily lives, linger­ie sets the mood for how we wake up in the morn­ing and go to sleep at night — a the­ory with which design­er Rose Ful­bright-Vick­ers whole­heartedly seems to agree. And so we dive beneath the sur­face with Jes­sica Laiter.

Although frowned upon if exploited in public, lingerie has helped to maintain feminism and fashion through the thick and thin of China’s historical happenings.

It’s not what we see on the sur­face that counts, it’s what lies beneath that really mat­ters — at least that’s what they say…. Far from the truth, how­ever, it is not.

Syn­onym­ous with qual­ity and lux­ury, the Rose Ful­bright brand has become a staple item in the Brit­ish woman’s rep­er­toire and is stead­ily turn­ing into a go-to brand for the soph­ist­ic­ated Chinese woman. After gradu­at­ing from both Par­sons School of Design in Par­is and The Lon­don Col­lege of Fash­ion, Ful­bright — who hails from a long line of  a long his­tory of cre­at­ives, artists, anthro­po­lo­gists, and archi­tects — decided to draft a suit­able retail con­cept, with her design­er details and con­cept devel­op­ment cul­min­at­ing  her eponym­ous Rose Ful­bright linger­ie label.

Although not tech­nic­ally a her­it­age brand, Fulbright’s use of fine silks and cot­tons are emblem­at­ic of tal­ent passed down from pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions. Many of her designs are hand-painted and rep­lic­ate paint­ings com­pleted by her grand­mother Susan Wil­li­ams-Ellis — founder of Port­meiri­on Pot­tery and renowned artist. With her own label done, dus­ted and launched in Lon­don back in 2013, Ful­bright found her­self en route to the Middle King­dom a mere six months later. And so our story launches itself from sketch book into actu­al design with a zig­zag stitch.

Yet as always, in order to com­pre­hend the cur­rent state of affairs, we must first dive and delve into China’s his­tory with linger­ie.

What Lies Beneath: Rose Fulbright’s Lush Lingerie And Lounge Lifestyle
What Lies Beneath : Rose Fulbright’s Lush Linger­ie And Loun­ge Life­style
Trop­ic­al Loun­gewear. Copyright@Rose Ful­bright

 

How Did The Han Do It ?

Linger­ie of the Han Dyn­asty was much more con­ser­vat­ive, designed almost like a back­less tunic. How­ever years later dur­ing the Tang Dyn­asty, one of China’s most romantic and bril­liant peri­ods of all time, under­gar­ments were designed to be trans­lu­cent, fully expos­ing a woman’s body, aptly reflect­ing the dynam­ic shift and change in China’s eco­nomy and cul­ture. For many years to come, linger­ie remained a sym­bol of sex and con­fid­ence. The most com­monly seen style of Chinese linger­ie is from the Qing Dyn­asty (1644−1912) known as the dudou, a back­less dia­mond-shaped hal­ter neck top, made from silk and embroidered by a bride-to-be in pre­par­a­tion for her wed­ding night.

Amid much mid-cen­tury tur­moil, China’s Cul­tur­al Revolu­tion (1966−1976) cre­ated a sub­dued, more con­ser­vat­ive soci­etal struc­ture and the rem­nants of that life­style remain very much alive with the nation’s aging pop­u­la­tion of today. Nev­er­the­less, the young­er mod­ern-day woman is inter­ested in bring­ing back the “ori­gin­al linger­ie inten­tion” and read­mit­ting this into their cul­ture — albeit under the West­ern gaze of sexu­al­ity this time around. As Ful­bright points out, “linger­ie was a means for dec­or­at­ing the female body, as opposed to a tool for shap­ing the body, as was the case in the West his­tor­ic­ally. There don’t seem to have been any fash­ions for cor­sets or bustles, per­haps until the 1940s when fash­ions became much more West­ern­ized, lead­ing to a mar­ket for stay-ups and garter belts.”

What Lies Beneath: Rose Fulbright’s Lush Lingerie And Lounge Lifestyle
What Lies Beneath : Rose Fulbright’s Lush Linger­ie And Loun­ge Life­style
Eden Col­lec­tion. Copyright@Rose Ful­bright

 

Des­pite the country’s con­ser­vat­ive under­tones and repu­ta­tion, beneath it all the women of China have ignited a not-so-silent rebel­lion with their love for lux­ury linger­ie. Although frowned upon if exploited in pub­lic, linger­ie has helped to main­tain fem­in­ism and fash­ion through the thick and thin of China’s his­tor­ic­al hap­pen­ings.

Despite a highly-sexualized erosion of traditional conservatism, China’s market for high-end lingerie has strengthened, not dissipated.

Hooking Up Past And Present

Linger­ie, for the mod­ern Chinese woman in par­tic­u­lar, has become an espe­cially import­ant facet of con­sump­tion and status. In line with Xi Jinping’s 2010s crack­down on osten­ta­tious dis­plays of wealth, linger­ie is the per­fect way to embody lux­ury without show­ing off to the entire world. It’s some­thing done for your own sat­is­fac­tion. Some­thing you can slip into with a slight smile and a nod to your own con­fid­ence and sexu­al­ity.

The final lay­er between one’s body and the out­side world, linger­ie is the most intim­ate item of cloth­ing a woman or man can buy. Unfor­tu­nately, par­al­lel to many West­ern soci­et­ies, the industry of mod­ern promis­cu­ity in China has undoubtedly been hyper-sexu­al­ized, with many men and women eval­u­at­ing their “sex appeal” as a determ­in­ant for self-iden­tity. Des­pite this erosion of tra­di­tion­al con­ser­vat­ism, the mar­ket for high-end linger­ie has strengthened not dis­sip­ated.

Lingerie_26874_dc1aed5e-dc37-4e24-a5db-54da80833a75_large
Clas­sic Linger­ie. Copyright@Rose Ful­bright

 

Although Shang­hai has always been con­sidered the Par­is of the East, the cre­at­ive juices in Beijing are often swept under the rug. As another epi­center for artist­ic tal­ent, the city’s com­munity accep­ted Ful­bright with open arms. She was even up for the accol­ade of “Best Fash­ion Design­er in Beijing” by City Week­end Magazine. Her pieces are time­less, and eleg­ant, treas­ured not trendy. Each of her sil­hou­ettes hugs the body with inten­tion to cel­eb­rate the curves and waves of fem­in­in­ity. Her use of silk, then, is an asset to the brand given China’s his­tory of silk pro­duc­tion.

What Lies Beneath: Rose Fulbright’s Lush Lingerie And Lounge Lifestyle
What Lies Beneath : Rose Fulbright’s Lush Linger­ie And Loun­ge Life­style
Burj Al Arab Col­lec­tion. Copyright@Rose Ful­bright

 

Hooking Up Britain And Beijing

Motiv­ated by her com­pel­ling urge to fill a gap in the linger­ie mar­ket for the “cool, soph­ist­ic­ated woman” —  where linger­ie is both fem­in­ine and seduct­ive — she launched the Clas­sic Linger­ie col­lec­tion (based on a 1930’s linger­ie sil­hou­ette). It sat­is­fies the com­plex­it­ies women deal with when sub­sequently try­ing to bal­ance girly fem­in­in­ity and super­wo­man seduc­tion. She went on to design many oth­er col­lec­tions in addi­tion to col­lab­or­at­ing with both the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai and launch­ing her first menswear col­lec­tion with the Brit­ish car brand Mor­gan Motors.

What Lies Beneath: Rose Fulbright’s Lush Lingerie And Lounge Lifestyle
What Lies Beneath : Rose Fulbright’s Lush Linger­ie And Loun­ge Life­style
Mor­gan Menswear Col­lec­tion. Copyright@Rose Ful­bright

Hav­ing relo­cated to Beijing just six months after the brand launched in Lon­don, Rose dove head first into a mar­ket she nev­er before explored. Non­ethe­less, dis­cov­er­ing China as an option provided sur­pris­ing res­ults. She quickly real­ized that the Chinese woman proves to be quite the risk-taker her­self. Des­pite a lust for Brit­ish labels, the brand speaks to the grow­ing refined styl­ing of Chinese women. Unbe­known­st to many, linger­ie is any­thing but a new con­cept in China. Just like their West­ern coun­ter­parts, the women of China have been wear­ing linger­ie since well before the Han Dyn­asty (221−206 BC) to make them­selves feel self-con­fid­ent, sexy and, as much as this may go again­st fem­in­ist inclin­a­tions here and there, to please the eye of our SOs. Who knew.

What Lies Beneath: Rose Fulbright’s Lush Lingerie And Lounge Lifestyle
What Lies Beneath : Rose Fulbright’s Lush Linger­ie And Loun­ge Life­style
Burj Al Arab Sat­in Dress. Copyright@Rose Ful­bright

Guilty as many, includ­ing myself, are of cat­egor­iz­ing China as a per­ceiv­ably oppress­ive soci­ety, one may be pleas­antly sur­prised to find that Chinese women have long enjoyed a freedom uncom­monly found in oth­er coun­tries and — dare we go there — in the United States.With the above-men­tioned pop­ular quo­ta­tion of “hold­ing up half of the sky,” women felt empowered and lib­er­ated by this type of sup­port in many ways and were act­ive par­ti­cipants of the com­munity. Wear­ing linger­ie was, and is, just another way of express­ing one­self and autonom­ously tak­ing con­trol of one’s iden­tity and role. How­ever, in China’s most recent his­tory, given their soar­ing-sky-high edu­ca­tion­al status and their trail­blaz­ing entrance into the highest regions of China biz life, women have evolved sig­ni­fic­antly over a short peri­od of time. As have their per­cep­tions of how linger­ie should look and be worn.

 

The Rose Ful­bright brand stands for longev­ity, lux­ury, qual­ity and ver­sat­il­ity ; some­thing for all to try on and stand behind. With the sky being the lim­it, the label will be adding a life­style com­pon­ent, incor­por­at­ing accessor­ies for every­day life such as kimono robes, silk scarves, wash bags, beach bags and interi­ors products. The prin­ted designs lend them­selves to products that can cross between fash­ion, home and travel. And so, the Ful­bright story con­tin­ues.

 

Written by Temper Magazine Contributor Jessica Laiter.
Edited by Elsbeth van Paridon.
Featured Image : Eden Collection by Rose Fulbright.
Follow Fulbright on Instagram : @rosefulbright.

 

Syn­dic­ated from Tem­per Magazine

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