Girl gaze photography rocketed into our mainstream visual vernacular circa 2011, when Petra Collins popularized the pink-washed, dreamy, performatively-girly aesthetic we now know and love. Today the riffs on it are intimate—gauzy bedroom scenes, body positive visual storytelling, and untouched images plaster the walls of Instagram. It’s safe to say we’ve witnessed a full blown cycle in photography, one that creates a sort of dreamy and mythical halo around bad gals in their underwear. Stretch marks have been elevated to the sublime and pastel cotton high rise undies to a religion.
As the girl gaze photography cycle has blossomed—lucky us—so too has a growing cornucopia of ethical, feminist and body positive lingerie companies that brand themselves with the cycle’s aesthetic. Worth noting: girl gaze photography seems to have actually influenced the proliferation of these new ultra conscious lingerie brands. So we have a story of (often social media staged) fashion photography prefiguring fashion artifacts themselves—the chicken before the egg, or something.
We’re as enamored as the next millennial with these babelicious panties, and with your online shopping habits and ethical consumption moral compasses in mind, we’ve rounded up five lingeries brands that you’re going to want to cop pretty pieces from ASAP. See below.
Join the party with Solstice, an Arizona-based brand that makes all of their intimates by hand. Each piece is custom made, with serious TLC and accommodation for a wide range of body types. They have a spicy hot array of color swatches you can choose from, and a vintage renewal section with some of the grooviest hot pants we’ve ever seen. Super seventies vibes and avocado green and mustard yellow combos reign. Not to mention: Legs. For. Days.
Serpent and Bow
This is the solar-lunar-astrologically-conscious brand that you’ve always dreamed of. Now it’s real, and it’s the brainchild of artist and designer Rachel Blodgett. All of the pieces are botanically dyed and one-of-a-kind, and crafted from natural fiber cloth made in the US. It’s a spiritual and otherworldly lingerie and garment project that honors the connection between female bodies and the natural world. Issa radical botanical-femme ethos mood.
Founded by Laura Schoorl and Rachel Corry, PansyCo creates comfy and dreamy ethical lingerie using US grown organic cotton. All of their pieces are made in California, and they feature super body conscious cuts like X high rise bottoms and full coverage bras. Their palette is the sublime pastels that teen dreams are made of, and their luscious lookbooks duplicate, multiply, and expand the world of utopian femme photography set in motion by Collins in 2011.
Lonely is a New Zealand-based lingerie brand that does glorious lacework and actual underwire for those with actual junk in the trunk (O bralette, how sweet and ineffectual you are). While cotton granny panties are certainly the look right now, Lonely Label has hit their stride with opulent maximalism and baroque wares fit for your inner victorian harlot. Their ongoing photo-journal series, Lonely Girls, features candid portraits of women of all walks in their lonely trimmings. Delicious.
Self-described as the “Lolita of lingerie,” Miss Crofton invites us into their world of bedazzled nether regions, cheeky bridal wear gone-wrong, and beguilingly retro sheers. Founded by Georgia Campbell and based in East London, this lingerie is limited edition or labor-of-love one-offs. And speak of the devil, Miss Crofton undies made an appearance in the retrospective Georgia O’Keeffe film for The Tate, which was directed by Petra Collins herself. We weren’t kidding when we said this trend has truly come full circle.