Six exceptionally elegant lingerie and nightwear labels

From overtly glamorous to quietly beautiful – these purveyors have it covered

Clockwise from top left: Carine Gilson lace-trimmed silk-satin slip dress, £1,000. Lucile & Co Maison de Grande Luxe balcony bra and lace-front briefs, £265. Vannina Vesperini bespoke slip, from £130
Clockwise from top left: Carine Gilson lace-trimmed silk-satin slip dress, £1,000. Lucile & Co Maison de Grande Luxe balcony bra and lace-front briefs, £265. Vannina Vesperini bespoke slip, from £130

Lucile & Co

Heritage lingerie brand Lucile & Co – founded in 1890 by Lady Duff Gordon, the designer, raconteur, acclaimed style writer and charismatic London society figure – equates the importance of bespoke lingerie with an immaculately cut Savile Row suit. Lucile’s modern services rest firmly on its founder’s belief that “lingerie should be luxurious, graceful, refined and, above all, should capture the essence of seduction and sensuality”. Each commission (from £350) involves several consultations, with the first meeting outlining personal style and preferences, as well as measuring and fitting. Clients are guided through every stage of both the creative and technical process and have the opportunity to adjust the garment’s fit, select the perfect lace or assess which silk suits best. For a quicker lingerie fix, there are Lucile’s elegant ready-to-wear collections, which are still designed and made in the UK – but also available to buy online. There’s a handy Gentleman’s Guide on the website, as well as a sub-section of Gift Sets including the Maison de Grande Luxe balcony bra and briefs (£265), which echoes original Lucile designs in a floral combination of silk and lace interwoven with gold thread. lucileandco.com. WILL NICOL

Lingerie D’Elia

Lingerie D’Elia, based in an elegant little shop near the Spanish Steps in Rome, makes to order, with a traditional atelier in Florence – the last city in Italy practising the old craft of cutting and stitching fine Valenciennes, or Swiss laces, into other fabric textures. This is uncompromising lingerie: for bias-cut satin, lace-trimmed nightdresses or slips, French knickers, long, wrapped robes or fresh, tucked and lace-inset linen camisoles and slips, it is unparalleled. The colour palette in store – soft, skin-flattering neutrals and pastels – is beautiful, but the joy of bespoke is that you can choose from a wide selection of other colours not on display. You can also change lengths, have unorthodox sizes and order as much or as little lace insetting as you like. Prices vary from about £320 for a linen slip with simple lace to over £1,000 for an elaborate satin and lace nightie. Perhaps best of all, there’s no longer any need to travel to Italy for a fitting with the three-decades-old company. Customers can make appointments with the firm’s London fitter to be measured at home and the garments will be sent from Florence within a few weeks. Via Sistina 119, 00187 Rome (+3906-488 1909; lingeriedelia.com). London, 020-7823 4560. AVRIL GROOM

Aimée silk robe with appliqué embroidery, £1,700
Aimée silk robe with appliqué embroidery, £1,700

Carine Gilson

Carine Gilson’s craft-based handmade pieces using silk from Lyons and handwoven Chantilly lace from Calais are among the most luxurious of all. She makes slips (from £830) and nightgowns that are so exquisite they could often work perfectly well as eveningwear. carinegilson.com and see matchesfashion.com. LUCIA VAN DER POST

Sabbia Rosa 

Sabbia Rosa, which claims 60 per cent of its customers are male, made headlines when Serge Gainsbourg, shopping for Jane Birkin, was one of its first customers in 1976. Not much has changed: its bestsellers are still lace-trimmed camisoles (from €220) and slips (from €280) – easier to buy as gifts than a fitting-essential bra – in a range of 30 colours and prints, though more can be ordered bespoke. 73 Rue des Saints-Pères, Paris 75006 (+331-4548 8837). AVRIL GROOM

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Aimée 

Adventurous customers are seeking out fresh, surprising lingerie pieces that stand out. “The materials I use belong in that seduction world,” says Aimee McWilliams, who set up Aimée with her creative partner Simon Paul Benton, a fellow Central Saint Martins graduate. They design the brand in London but manufacture in France. McWilliams spent her formative years creating couture gowns for Givenchy and Balmain, which explains why her robes (from £795), loungewear (from £395) and bodies (£495) are infused with a sense of occasion. “I want my lingerie to be the most opulent, seductive and attractive,” she says of her intricately crafted lace and silk pieces that could also double as eveningwear. “Even if it’s just for an audience of one, I think my pieces should be seen as a total look rather than something just worn underneath. It’s playing with boundaries that adds an air of mystery and makes it more desirable,” she says. aimee.studio. CLAUDIA CROFT

Vannina Vesperini 

Vannina Vesperini is a Parisian label that takes bright silk and lace colour combinations (slips, £159) to a new level and offers an online app to create your own (from £130), complete with an embroidered monogram. These pretty camisoles and slips can double as eveningwear – dessus-dessous in French. They look equally alluring under a strict black tuxedo. vanninavesperini.com. AVRIL GROOM

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