Interview: Berkelly G., 2014 Lingerie Design Competition 1st Place Winner

by Estelle Puleston

Have you heard of our annual lingerie design competition? We recently interview the 2014 3rd place and 2nd place winners and now it’s time to chat to our 1st place winner, Berkelly G., whose design pictured above will be available for you to buy early next year!

Unlike the 3rd and 2nd place winners which are chosen by public vote, the 1st place winner is always selected from all the entrants by Esty Lingerie, based on the judging criteria of “style, originality, presentation, ease of manufacturing and how you’ve translated the season into a wearable garment or set“.

I loved Berkelly’s design because it’s unique and creative, and not just in this competition – I’ve never seen another garment quite like it. It also has an unusual take on this year’s ‘seasons’ theme, using the transformative nature of spring as inspiration to create one garment that can be worn in all sorts of ways thanks to many different places to attach the chiffon ‘strap’.

Firstly, congratulations on scooping the grand prize! How does it feel to be a winner?

It feels amazing! I tried my best not to get my hopes up and ended up convincing myself that I wouldn’t win, so the night before the winners were announced I was actually feeling a little down and had to distract myself so I wouldn’t think about it! And of course when I found out I won I was so excited, I think I was extra happy for the whole rest of the week because of it. Winning has also given me an incredible amount of self-confidence when it comes to my designs.

Are you hoping for a career in design or in the lingerie industry?

Yes! My dream job would be to design lingerie for a living, but I’d be happy to work in other areas of the lingerie industry too. I’m hoping to move to the Los Angeles area, and will be looking for work within the lingerie industry when I do.

Do you have any previous experience in lingerie design?

Other than being a finalist in this competition last year and drawing in my sketchbook, no. However, I do have experience with costume design. I took courses on costume construction and costume design at my college and worked in the theater’s costume department for a few semesters as well.

What made you choose spring as your season?

Well, I wasn’t sure what season I wanted to choose at first so I decided to try to think up designs for each of them, but when I came up with my design for spring I knew it was the one I had to go with; I didn’t even bother thinking up designs for fall and summer. I did already have an idea in mind for winter but I didn’t like it much, it never even made it to paper.

Your customisable design is very unique! How did you come up with it?

I was thinking about the competition while falling asleep, and I was thinking about the different seasons, just going through each of them in turn trying to come up with something as I was drifting off. I came up with my previously mentioned winter idea but was hitting a brick wall with the other seasons. I couldn’t think of anything at all.

As I was getting really tired I started trying to think of images of spring; I was thinking of butterflies as well as those stop motion videos that show a flower going from bud to bloom and – this sounds a little stupid, but it’s true – it just came to me while I was imagining the butterflies and flowers. It was very sudden, one second I had zero clue what I was going to do and the next I had this amazing design in my head. It was the complete design too, I didn’t change anything aside from the color between coming up with it and submitting it.

I’ve never had inspiration hit me so quickly or so strongly before, I actually felt pretty stunned when it happened, usually this kind of thing takes a lot more effort and work.

Finally, are there any lingerie designers/brands you’re influenced by, or simply love?

There are so many brands I love, this would be a very long list if I included all of them so I’ve had to whittle it down to just my absolute favorites. Agent Provocateur was the first brand that made me fall in love with lingerie and I still always find designs by them that I love each season. I’m also always impressed by Made by Niki, Karolina Laskowska and Hopeless Lingerie. I’ve always really liked rough textural elements in art, and I’ve found that in lingerie design that translates to loving embroidery, so FRKSlingerie is another favorite.

Did you vote for Berkelly’s design? What do you think of the customisable idea she came up with?

Estelle


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