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Introducing Bettie Page Lingerie

--Tori Rodriguez, Editor

Lingerie was clearly a staple of Bettie’s modelling wardrobe, especially in the work she did with fetish photographer Irving Klaw. Whether they were her own handmade creations or store-bought, the vintage pieces undoubtedly have a special allure compared to most modern styles. Playful Promises is a lingerie company that nails the fusion of vintage and contemporary in many of their designs, and for their newest line, they are taking it strictly retro, Bettie-style. I had the pleasure of chatting with Emma Parker, the company’s founder, about the inspiration behind the exciting new line of Bettie Page Lingerie.

Tori: Tell us a bit about Playful Promises–when and how was it born, what’s it about and what makes it special?

Emma: I founded Playful Promises 12 years ago. I was a big fan of some of the luxury lingerie brands that were emerging at that time, but in my late 20’s I struggled to afford them. I decided I wanted to create something that had attention to design detail but that whilst still being a treat didn’t have a luxury price tag.

Playful Promises designs are known for their attention to detail and use of high quality fabric. We are also one of the few independent brands that has expanded their size range to make the product accessible. We believe fashion should be inclusive and about feeling good. In addition to core sizing, we also do fuller bust and plus sizing. We will initially launch Bettie Page Lingerie with core sizing but will add in the increased size range the following season so that as many of her fans and those interested in retro lingerie as possible can enjoy the experience.

I also think an important part of our identity is that we are a feminist brand, and we are a brand run by women. I think this reflects in our values, the way we engage with our customers and the product we create.

Tori: How did the Bettie Page line come about? In what ways were the designs inspired by Bettie?

Emma: The reason I am so excited about doing a Bettie lingerie line is that I’ve always been inspired by her look and those of the 40’s and 50’s, but with Playful Promises I have always reinvented the past. I saw my mission as to create the lingerie of today’s and tomorrow’s pinups–with Bettie this is an opportunity to create true vintage-inspired pieces.

Tori: What will Bettie fans and other enjoy about this particular line?

Emma: I think Bettie fans will particularly like it as we have taken inspiration from her modelling pictures as well as art images of her and created pieces that reflect this. I’ve put together some of the inspiration boards along with CADS of the designs to give you a sneak peek of a few lines we have coming!

Everyone loves real vintage, but trying to find pieces in your size can be a nightmare of trawling eBay and then disappointment when a stunning piece is not in your size. So the bonus of replica vintage pieces is that they can help create this look without the sizing and fit issues.

Tori: What do you personally love about Bettie?

Emma: I was initially drawn to Bettie as I loved the fetish photos she did with Irving Klaw. I love black and white photography and I love vintage fetish photos–I like Victorian ones too! I find it reassuring that the same themes have run through human sexuality forever and a day. I have always been involved in more alternative scenes and counter culture and so I readily identified with Bettie and her quote, “I was never the girl next door.” Oooohh and the hair… I love a good Bettie Page fringe–or bangs as you guys call it in the US!


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