Gilda & Pearl lingerie

Custom-made sleepwear and slinky separates from a London atelier

Before F Scott Fitzgerald’s Bernice Bobs Her Hair, set during the dawning of the era of the flapper, women understood the importance of being buttressed – in other words the importance of sturdy undergarments. Although things have moved on from corsets, the appeal of bespoke underwear is not to be underestimated.

Enter Gilda & Pearl, a lingerie and sleepwear brand inspired by Hollywood golden-age glamour (“Gilda” comes from the Rita Hayworth character in the eponymous film-noir flick) that launched in 2008 and opened its first atelier in London just this week. By appointment only, here at Gilda & Pearl you can create bespoke designs to fit your precise form.

“There are usually two to three fittings before they are absolutely perfect,” says Diane Houston, Gilda & Pearl founder and designer. “A straightforward gift piece such as silk knickers or a garter will start at around £100, but we also work on very intricate commissions, which require a lot of pattern work, fittings and fabric sourcing.” The sky is the limit with these pieces, depending on how extravagant you want to be, but a fairly simple long silk bespoke robe, maybe with a trim of marabou or lace, would be around £1,800 to £2,500.  

Each one is hand-made and finished by Houston and her team using silk satin, Nottingham lace and French lace. Ready-to-wear collections, named after screen sirens or the films they starred in such as Marlene (from £69), Bardot (£59), Bacall (£69) and How to Marry a Millionaire (from £42, first and second pictures), are also available alongside the bespoke service.


For intricate and playful pieces with timeless glamour, they will not disappoint.  

For more ways to upgrade your lingerie, try the new style of sexy shapewear, or for him, take a look at La Perla’s new loungewear collection.


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