The past commands a certain fascination, and is often replicated in aspects of our modern lives. Just think of the pervasion of “KEEP CALM” mugs, posters and coasters throughout the High Street, the re-emergence of baking as a popular pastime, and our fixation with vintage clothing.

What Katie Did is the world’s leading brand of faux vintage lingerie and hosiery, replicating classic looks from the 1940s and ’50s using modern innovations. Last Sunday, the brand’s Portobello boutique opened its doors for an intimate gathering, in order to show off its dazzling SS13 Collection.

Like all the best events, the SS13 show began with a tea party, featuring homemade lemonade in bone china teacups and some darling What Katie Did cupcakes. After refreshments, guests were invited to step outside and – in a peepshow-like fashion – look into the shop’s windows as the models paraded around in their underwear (yes, there were several male passers-by who couldn’t quite believe their luck).

…unusually striking, combining red and peach satin…

The show began with some of What Katie Did’s current AW12 offerings, including the Clarice range – a host of ’40s-esqe bras, suspender belts and French knickers in eau de nil satin. Though the Clarice bra and French knickers are based on a pattern from World War II Utility Clothing, the materials used give them a luxurious finish – there’s nothing remotely ‘wartime thrift’ about any of these pieces!

Following on from the AW12 showcase, guests were treated to a rather cheeky burlesque show, while the models changed backstage into their SS13 outfits. The whole SS13 range solicited gasps of approval; however the SS13 Marlene girdle was especially eye-catching, and certainly gets my vote. The design is very similar to the current What Katie Did Marlene high-waisted girdle, which features two black Art Deco inspired strips, contrasted against a peach tummy panel. However, the SS13 Marlene girdle is more unusually striking, combining red and peach satin – a modern twist to a classic look. Of course, girdles aren’t all about the aesthetics, and the Marlene girdle also acts as essential shape-wear, allowing a beautiful hourglass silhouette.   

…there really is something for everyone…


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The What Katie Did boutique also showcased some exciting swimwear, specifically the SS13 bikini. Comprising of high-waisted bottoms and a halter-neck top, the set features cream detailing that includes four cream bows on the cut-away sides of the bikini bottoms. The model sported the set in navy blue, though it will also be available to purchase in black and claret, and in the form of a one-piece swimsuit – there really is something for everyone.

The show ended, and guests were invited back into the boutique to receive their goodie-bags and grab another cupcake for the road. Walking back out onto the streets of London circa 2012, I felt as if I’d been in a lovely, slightly surreal time-warp; I couldn’t resist taking a pair of seamed stockings with me, making a note to save up for the matching Marlene girdle… Roll on March 2013!     

Images courtesy of Karolina Laskowska and What Katie Did


About The Author

Currently studying English at UCL; interested in literary, music and fashion journalism.

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