‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Movie Inspires Kinky Lingerie Fashion Styles

Jill Hagara

As the cold nights of winter give way to the brighter, longer days of spring, the frisky among us are already peeking into store windows to find the latest sexy offerings in store for 2015. While there is a noticeable change in color this season, there is also a change in attitude.

With the release of the long-awaited film adaptation of best-selling book “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the focus has shifted to the budding erotic desires of the fairer sex, so it’s no surprise that women are taking control in the bedroom with dominatrix-influenced lingerie cast in rich jewel tones and basic black.

Straps are here to stay. Cage bras, strappy teddies and side-strap panties are all on fire right now, and show no sign of slowing down. I don’t want to give away the keys to the vault here, but ‘throw a strap on it’ is pretty good advice for anyone looking to move units.” —Wilson Kello Creative Director, Pink Lipstick Lingerie

“Yes, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ has had a big impact on lingerie fashion. You can see that in the collections we have created in conjunction with E.L. James, author of the ‘Fifty Shades’ books,” said Bluebella founder Emily Bendell, whose official Fifty Shades lingerie line, Bluebella Black Label, flawlessly captures the moody allure of the characters’ BDSM-heavy romance.

The six new pieces of the Black Label line are “inspired by the erotic journey of discovery of the book’s lovers,” notes Bendell, whose “deeply sensual” cutout bras, briefs and bodysuits, chiffon restraints and of course, blindfolds, speak to the quickly-growing segment of her adventurous client base. “I think you can see Fifty Shades’ impact in more bondage-inspired pieces — that means more strap detailing and lingerie with ties.”

“Straps are here to stay,” concurs Wilson Kello, Creative Director, Sexy Lingerie Division International Intimates Inc. and Pink Lipstick Lingerie. “Cage bras, strappy teddies and side-strap panties are all on fire right now, and show no sign of slowing down. I don’t want to give away the keys to the vault here, but ‘throw a strap on it’ is pretty good advice for anyone looking to move units.”

Accessories such as harnesses and handcuffs, strategically placed alongside “Fifty Shades”-inspired lingerie sets, are finding their way off store shelves as well. “We have a new range of gifting, including eye masks and nipple pasties, which match our open and quarter-cup bras,” said Anna Sampson of British lingerie retailer Playful Promises, adding that in her store, the accouterments are often as popular as the intimate apparel.

Kello also knows that the “Fifty Shades of Grey’s” hefty box office receipts will once again translate directly to adult retail stores’ cash register receipts. “Sales soared for us like they did for everybody else during that time,” he says, referring to the book series’ meteoric rise to pop culture infamy in 2012 that inspired millions of women to spice up their sex lives with personal pleasure accessories. “I think the movie will have the same effect of reintroducing sex into the mainstream conversation; that little red light will go back on over people’s heads, and they’ll mosey on down to the sex shop and stock up.”

While “Fifty Shades of Grey” has clearly stimulated the sharp sales increase in theatrical lingerie designs, consumers’ tastes have been steadily moving in a racier direction with the growing popularity of adult toys and films over the past few years. “I’m not sure if it is just Fifty Shades, as many brands have been doing this style for a while now,” said Gemeli Harger of Ophelia King Ltd., “but in terms of how much the movie will impact this spring’s lingerie sales, I hope immensely. We need an injection into the industry.”

In addition to dramatic construction and detail, cool colors are also stepping up this spring, away from the bright pastels of past seasons. “Popular colors for spring are orchid, berry, slate gray, turquoise and classic black,” says Leilani Whitney, Managing Director of Fantasy Lingerie.

Sampson points out that there is still a high demand for bold prints against delicate mesh, satin and chemise. “Our new jungle print, designed in-house and available now for pre-order, is an update on the recent palm print trends with a more edgy feel.”

Lace trim cutouts and delicate embroidery are still wildly popular, with elegant abstract patterns on display to catch the eye in Chantilly lace and mesh bustiers, slips and teddies. Black and white eye-popping graphics also are on trend, with bold peekaboo lines that tastefully emphasize the seductive curves of a woman’s body.

Buyers are also having a spring fling with crisp white designs for brides as the wedding season approaches. “We’ve seen a spike in bridal-themed sales in the spring; light lacy styles, whites, and garters are all popular,” according to Kello.

“Spring is typically considered bridal season, where you will have Bridal Parties, Bachelorettes, and wedding nights,” said Whitney. “Our Pure by Fantasy Lingerie collection offers nuptial-inspired intimates for these events.”

Easter also means Spring Break, which means more lingerie as outerwear along the beaches and boardwalks. “Spring Breakers and pool/beach events tend to entice customers to purchase lingerie as streetwear or bathing suit cover-ups,” states Fantasy Lingerie’s Whitney. “Romp, our newest release, offers rompers, jumpsuits and teddies that can all be worn in the bedroom or as a sexy cover-up.”

“For the crazy parties at night, our Pink Lipstick brand is perfect,” said Kello. “Loud neons, skin-tight seamless, innerwear-as-outerwear layering pieces, and strappy bra sets are what the 24-hour party set thrives on.

“Mother’s Day is another great spring occasion that can be overlooked when it comes to lingerie,” continued Kello. “Don’t forget, these hot mamas want to feel sexy, too!”

“In terms of special occasions, we will see women buying for the Easter and Summer holidays, maybe a romantic weekend away or a friend’s wedding” added Bluebella’s Bendell. “Our Vivienne and Lexi pieces have proven to be incredibly popular.” Indeed, the black and white confections sprinkled with pale pink and midnight blue accents, provocative strap cutouts and detailed lace work, offer a stimulating palette for spring.

No matter the style, shape or color, feeling sexy and starting fresh is what spring is all about, and 2015’s intimate wear looks to be more seductive than ever. Adds Kello, “Spring is time to exit the long winter rut and freshen up your whole boudoir wardrobe for the new season — out with the old, in with the new!”

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