Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Miss Lala's Boudoir

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Miss Lala's Boudoir

Article excerpt


(1) Be Happy: pale-green silk underwear (left) withjewel-coloured Swiss embroidery and the cheerycaption on the back; bra, [pounds sterling]65; knickers, [pounds sterling]60, (2) Bonjour Mes Darlings: candystripe cotton knickers(top) with black-flocked poodles, [pounds sterling]45 (3) Velvet Goldmine: black velvet with champagnepleated trim; bra, [pounds sterling]75; suspender-briefs, [pounds sterling]59(4) Putting drama into shopping: Fine Rees, the brain behind the showgirl fun and glamour of the Primrose Hill boutique(5) Beautiful foundations: Essenziales European look

Former London-based actress Fine Rees has joined forces with one of theworld's biggest underwear makers to extend her lingerie label well beyond itscurrent fashionable clientele A

ACCORDING to Miss Lala, underwear is the new accessories.

Fine Reesthe brain behind the Primrose Hill boutique, Miss Lala's Boudoirloves everything lingerie. The 33-year-old has no formal design training, nobusiness degree and no over-privileged "It girl" status, yet she has recentlybeen backed by one of the world's largest underwear manufacturers to produce alingerie collection: Miss Lala Presents.

The Stirling Group, which produces underwear for major retailers, including theM&S Autograph range, were attracted by the quirky slogans, vintage glamour-girldesigns and hot colours of the lingerie labels Fine stocks in her boutique.Stirling has provided heavy investment, given Fine free creative rein and,jointly, they have created a new company.

"When I first opened the shop three years ago, I never imagined it would besuch a success," says Fine. "I had a failed acting career behind me and nouniversity qualifications but a dream of opening up a boutique that was likethe dressing room of a showgirl from a black-and-white film.

"The criteria for my stock is simple: is it retro? Is it glamorous? Is it DorisDay in the kitchen or Mia Farrow in a cornfield? It always has to fulfil acertain character that embodies traditional movie star glamour." Havinginherited her love of old movies and offbeat clothes from her mother, Finedreamed up the character of Miss Lalanaming her boutique after a Degas painting of a circus girl.

Today, sitting among the displays overflowing with frilly, satin knickers,strings of quirky jewellery and rails of vintage dresses from labels such asButtress and Snatch, she's wearing a 1930s chinoiserie jacket with frogging, ablack pencil skirt and metallic 1940s-style tap shoes. She has almost becomeMiss Lala.

Since it opened, the tiny shopcrammed inconspicuously between a pub and a derelict buildinghas attained cult status, attracting celebrities, stylists and "those in theknow".

"It's really all happened by sheer luck," she says. …

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