MariLupa launched in November last year, the result of a years-long labour of love by designer Rachel Kenyon. And though you may not have heard her name before, you’ve almost certainly seen her lingerie. Do the designs in today’s post feel rather familiar? That’s because Kenyon is also the woman behind cult British label Buttress & Snatch, one of my favourite luxury lingerie brands of all time.
Whilst MariLupa and Buttress & Snatch do share a similar aesthetic – Kenyon’s style is unique, stunning and simply unmistakable – this is not just the same brand twice. Whereas many Buttress & Snatch pieces have a definite retro vibe to them, that’s missing from the debut MariLupa collection. Well, except for the swimwear.
Instead, MariLupa simply focusses on being beautiful. Inspired by nature, there’s a touch of decadence to every piece, from the gathered silk draping on the Sea Silk bra to the crystallised finish of the Swarovski Diamond Mermaid bra, to the glittering foiled tulle and vintage beading of the Dragonfly knickers. The list goes on.
MariLupa also introduces a new element to Kenyon’s work. Alongside the bra sets and chemises are a series of knicker-harnesses, inspired by the ever-popular strappy trend but of course done with a luxurious MariLupa twist. Each one is made from gorgeous pleated elastic or topped with ruched silk satin, and features a semi-precious gemstone such as jade, pyrite or turquoise. The harnesses are shaped especially to look great atop the brand’s Francine high-waisted, ouvert knickers, but you can of course wear them alone or with something else instead.
There are also a collection ‘harnesses’ akin to the infamous pearl thong, but again made with strings of various semi-precious stones. There’s a style for everyone (you know, if pearl thongs are your thing), from the romantic, pink silk chiffon Venus harness with a rose quartz crotch, to the iridescent leather Diana harness with beads of black obsidian.
I adore MariLupa’s aesthetic, but it’s not actually my favourite thing about this brand. What I love most of all is Kenyon’s commitment to catering to a diverse range of bodies. The MariLupa sizing covers 28 to 42 bands and AA to H cups, and UK clothing sizes 6 to 22. How many other luxury lingerie brands can say the same? And with products shown on both core- and full-busted models, certain pieces available in a choice of two cuts for curvy and less-curvy bodies, and of course Kenyon’s 20 years’ experience in sewing lingerie and swimwear, I think it’s safe to say they’re all going to fit great too.
MariLupa is, in Kenyon’s own words, “the absolute antithesis of standardised mass production”. Every garment is handmade to order at the designer’s UK workshop, often using materials available in limited quantities such as antique lace and vintage jewels. Prices range from £92 to £256 for bras, and start at £46 for harnesses. It’s an investment for sure, but then every MariLupa piece is a wearable work of art.
The more luxurious, less retro-inspired pieces have always been my favourite designs from Buttress & Snatch, so I’m over the moon there’s now a whole brand dedicated to just that. If lighthearted, pin-up frills are more your thing though then have no fear, Kenyon will be doubling down on that aesthetic for Buttress & Snatch in the coming months. But for me, I’m really excited to see what’s next for MariLupa and I’ll be following this brand closely for sure.
What do you think of the debut MariLupa range? And if you were already a fan of Buttress & Snatch, which brand is your favourite of the two?