I have been bursting at the seams to share this news with you, Dear Readers, and it’s finally safe to tell… In just a matter of days, we will be the first store in the US to stock the new diffusion line “Rituel” by Carine Gilson, as well as a very small selection of her more expensive basics collection. Comprised entirely of only the best French lace and silk, her chemises, camis, bras and knickers are all lovingly hand-stitched at her factory in Brussels. Impeccably constructed, these underpinnings are the very definition of fine lingerie. Unlike many of her competitors, she is still producing in a small, environmentally-conscious manner like the artisans of yesteryear (you should have seen her shudder at the word “mass-produced” when I questioned the price point!) She even contributed to the microfinance economy system last year through a lingerie fashion show for a philanthropic organization. An inspiration to aspiring business women everywhere, Carine is currently celebrating the 20th anniversary of her eponymous line. Today, to fulfill the increasing demand of many customers, Carine Gilson puts her expertise and all her design skills in the development of products meant to complete her couture line. This is quality lingerie in sensual materials with a more accessible price point. “Rituel” symbolizes the pleasure each woman will be able to experience daily wearing this comfortable line with a perfect cut.
I had been well-acquainted with her name prior to opening Lille, but I felt the need to resist the temptation to stock the shop with such luxurious pieces in the middle of a recession. That being said, I couldn’t resist popping into her shop while in Paris with my husband last September. We actually stumbled upon it quite serendipitously while looking for a place to dine, and he insisted that I go in, if only “just to look.” Of course, the seductive beauty of the shop lured me into “just trying a few things on” and I ended up purchasing an impossibly gorgeous deep forest green bralette and tap pant that now holds a special place in my lingerie wardrobe, glowing like a precious jewel in the center of my glass-topped case. In the course of my visit, after I mentioned that I owned a lingerie shop, the lovely shopgirl suggested that I meet Carine, who just happened to be right across the street. She thought perhaps I’d like to view the new diffusion collection? I nodded my head vigorously, my mediocre French skills failing me as a bubble of excitement welled up in my chest. This was an appointment that I had not even planned, but it turned out to be the most fulfilling of the entire trip! I am sure you will be as thrilled as I was to see lace lingerie in such amazing colors: Ambre, Bleu Glacier, Sisal, Natural (the exact color of every vintage piece of lingerie from the 20s and 30s) and, of course, basic Black. Miraculously, most of the collection retails for $130-200, with just a few pieces over $200. Our order should be arriving in the next two weeks. Be sure to stop by soon to check it out!