Earlier in the week I had the pleasure of being invited to Fräulein Annie’s photo shoot for her AW12 collection. Some of you may remember my last lovely encounter with Frauke Nagel and the huge respect that I have for her company. It felt just like I was meeting a friend when I saw her again!
When I arrived at the delightful Claire Pepper’s studio I was confronted with the sight of the striking model Lisa being artfully made up and having her hair done.

Whilst this was being done Claire was busy setting up the lights with her assistant and so Frauke took the time to show me her books that she has put together for todays shoot. They were filled with stills from Hitchcock films, elegant hair and make up styles from the era, gorgeous models in artful poses that made the most of angles, silhouettes and shadows. I was blown away by how much time and thought had gone into creating these scrap books and what a great thing it must be to have them on hand to just flip to for reference. The images were beautiful and classic and you can see the love and time that Frauke pours into her brand to get everything just right and keeping in with her theme. We discussed some interesting bra size issues and I was interested to learn a bit more about the process.
Frauke talked of how making smaller bands/bigger cups is always risky, especially for a new brand such as hers. For a factory to make a different size every worker has to adjust their machine which takes time, and if a company just wants to make a few sizes just to test how it will fare with their customers then the workers may refuse to produce the quantities. And when you think how many bras sizes are out there, well…

This one bra style comes in a whopping NINETY different sizes!


I know I am guilty of demanding that a brand simply make something in my size but when you really think about it you realise how much must go into the whole process. The cup placement, the strap positions, the elasticity, the cup support…companies are aware of the demand but to actually set the wheels in motions is a whole other story. You may think that a big company has the money to throw at extending sizes but it’s not quite that easy and I may now go a little easier on Freya and my quest for larger Decos!

Frauke and I must have talked for over an hour and yet the photographers and MUA were still busy getting everything perfect. You can tell that everyone involved outs their heart and soul into their jobs. Claire would spend a very long time considering shots, lighting, positions, props and sometimes even walked away from a scenario to come back to it later as she was not completely happy with the way the light fell or the awkward pose. She and Frauke do very little photo editing and the photos you see are pretty much the originals! I was fascinated by the reflective boards, many different lights, angles, positions in the room…taking photos is such an art! The MUA kept tweaking Lisa’s hair and make up, rubbed more foundation into her legs, Frauke would check the product was on show properly, that the scene was perfect – and the attentiveness of everyone really showed as the perfect model made it work! Some of the pieces were sample sizes that were a tad big for small yet curvy Lisa and has to be pinned on, now I understand why Pepperberry does it!
All in all it was a wonderful educational fun day! It helped me see just how much goes into every aspect of lingerie designing, from the initial idea to the photos and how it really is something you cannot do lightly!

Please support Frauke and her wonderful brand, she is so passionate and wonderful and she really thinks about everything! She does make her bras in the traditional way and by that I mean her bands comes up 1-2 sizes smaller than modern day brands. Everything she does is so carefully throughly planned and executed and her label is a labour of love. She knows what women want and need – very much demonstrated with the FOUR different styles of bottoms that she creates to go with every bras! She is definitely one to watch and her classic timeless pieces will hopefully one day find their way into my underwear drawer, whether that is via me shrinking or her expanding!
Follow and support her on Twitter here and on Facebook here.
Figleaves stock some of her range as do a few other places. Help support this wonderful woman who is so keen cater for and please us fuller chested women. Don’t stress if she does not yet make your size, just look forward to what may come.

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