Where have all the lingerie stores gone?! A decade ago I could create a wonderful collection of amazing vintage-inspired lingerie, and stores across the globe would pick it up and sell it to you fabulous people, to wear with all your unique style and élan. But with those stores gone, or only buying beige T-Shirt bras, it's up to YOU to make it glamorous - join us, pledge and share to keep up the deadly momentum!
Last year we waltzed past our Kickstarter target and tap-danced through delivery after delivery, expanding the available size range on the way. From A-G bras through hosiery and sleepwear, it's on the site now because of YOU, and now it's time for the next drop, FULL COLOUR.
You can pledge for love, for a tap-pant pattern to try making yourself at home, for knickers, girdles, lingerie sets, cinchers based on swimming corsets (no, really, that was A Thing once upon a time) and very limited edition best-selling girdle dresses. You'll have fabulous lingerie, the most desirable styles, the best prices and an extended bra size range, but that's not the greatest bit. You'll get an award-winning small independent British lingerie brand on your side in the fight against all things bland and banal, and join our fabulous fans, the Deadlies!
Also, I know, I know, I'm supposed to do a little video with some arty shots of mannequins in development stages and a photo-shoot and some blather about how this will fix some problem with your life or your body, but you know what? You're amazing just the way you are.
So instead I'd much rather we all played a game together, because who amongst us doesn't sometimes want to be a femme fatale and a super-sleuth? Which means the video shows you all the lingerie you can have . . . and is also a murder-mystery game. Hidden in the video are clues as to the identity of the mystery woman whom Scotland Yard are so keen to chat to. Is it Yazzmin, Aurora, Felicity, or Didi? If you can work it out from the hints we release every week, you’ll enter a draw for a prize, but beware, there are a few red herrings planted in there to keep you on your toes! You can work it out from any one clue, but solve all four and be in with a chance to win a custom corset handmade by our very own Lou in Sheffield!
(If you aren't British . . . Sheffield is a sort of petit-bijou sized city in South Yorkshire, with a northern English feel. Once upon a time it was the home of British Steel manufacturing. Now it mostly grows students, and start-ups. A long time ago I was the former, now we have a tiny offshoot there as the latter)
Here's the break down of the new limited editions - no more than 300 of each piece will ever be made. It's all about bold colour this year, and there are some design surprises.
Anyone currently sniggering should definitely carry right on doing so and gets extra points from me. Yes, there's a past-the-watershed (late-night) print on this that looks deceptively pretty and conceals the radical notion of sisters doing it for themselves, possibly even with bigger bums than the the average catwalk model. I know that shouldn't be in any way unusual, but it is in fact SO atypical that I had to get someone to draw the artwork for it from scratch for us, and believe me, that was not an easy conversation to have. But it does mean this is utterly exclusive to Kiss Me Deadly, and thus makes this unusual red midi-line bra, girdle and brief even more special.
The bra is based on an established pattern, the Alouette padded plunge, but this time with a vintage V wire in the centre and a longline cut. I went with custom dyed red powernet but stuck with black contrast trims - as regular readers know, this helps make sure things go smoothly!
The girdle is based on the Divine, a pleasantly flexibly fitting shorter girdle style with 6 metal suspender tabs, and hooks and eyes at the back.
And of course there's a classic high waist, full cut brief to match.
If you want to read more about the story behind this print, there's a very not-safe-for-work blog here.
Sizes S-XL, 32, 34 and 36 B-D and 36 and 38 DD-F
The Basbleu can look very contemporary but it's probably the most vintage-inspired style I've ever done. The bra is based on 1950s styles (seriously, those pointy boobs weren't always bullet bras - they were often a quarter cup and, presumably, a chilly moment), and the very high waisted brief with its blue contour panel and tie sash is from a similar era, albeit in a modern stretch sheer mesh and satin.
The waist cincher is based on a swimming corset from 1902! Very loosely based, of course - not only do I not recommend woollen and steel corsets for swimming, I turned it back to front so the front has an overlapped cut out section and the back ties with an oversized blue satin bow.
Because the bra doesn't have to encapsulate the whole shape of the breast, and because many bra patterns are not significantly different outside of the cup, the most effective way to extend the size range on this style was to do dual sizes.
Sizes - S-XL, 32A/B, 32C/D, 34A/B, 34C/D, 36B/C, 36D/DD, 32E/F, 32FF/G, 34E/F, 34FF/G, 36E/F, 36FF/G
A V-neck, bias cut, diamond cut-out back nightgown in delicious plum satin, with a batwing sleeved satin wrap robe with a tie sash and full skirt.
The Cupless Vargas Dress
The Vargas Dress has been a KMD classic for many years; it's made from asymmetric layers of powernet for shaping, with hooks and eyes at the back to make it easy to get in and out of, and six metal garter tabs. There are just 100 in plum and 100 in blue, both with black contrast elastics.
The Pattern For The Elle Knicker
Danielle developed this pattern for us a few years ago, based on circle skirts from the 50's. When you pledge to the Kickstarter, you'll get this pattern and permission for you to use it to make a pair for yourself - good luck! It uses non-stretch fabric, so that in theory makes it the easiest pattern we do, but you'll need to bias cut the fabric and be able to sew some pretty tricky seams. The more people pledge the more instructions you'll get, and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's efforts!
If we hit 30K, get a corset pattern!
Lou, the Littlest Deadly, works in a small workshop in Sheffield and has convinced me we should release a corset pattern. If we hit £30,000 then all pledgers will get an underbust pattern (from sizes 22-30, covering waist sizes of about 26 inches to 36 inches) and Lou will do some video tutorials to help you assemble one.
The Top Pledge
Lou is a lingerie graduate with a speciality in heavily embellished corsets. When you pledge £2,500, you'll get everything, plus she will make you a corset with your tastes in mind. Here are a couple of her previous creations. You can find more here.
The Reward Chart
Can't pledge but want to join in?
Share and sleuth! Lydia carefully created a mystery in the film. Watch the video, and see if you can work which props relate to which performer. If you work out who all 4 clues relate to . . . let us know! Instructions are here.
Want to know more about Kiss Me Deadly?
I started it in 2006 (well, 2005, really, if you count the planning time!) when I could get either a decent suspender belt (that's a garter belt, dearest US fans), or great bra set, but not all three items together. Since then, our set-up, collections and staff have changed over time, but right now there's Lydia and I working from our respective homes in London, a team of people packing orders and posting them from Bristol, and Morgana, our photographer and muse. She also works from home. What can I say, we're all crazy office-phobics who love cats, the internet and our sofas! I'm sure you can understand. I mean, if you get an office, you start having to have meetings, and who really enjoys those?
Each garment starts out from the literally thousands of ridiculous notions that live in my brain, filtered through what you tell me on our facebook, instagram, twitter and anywhere else you manage to get hold of me. Then I check what is actually practical (turns out gold plated accessories cannot be included at our prices) and, finally, through extensively trying it on real live people.
They mostly look surprisingly bored, which is what happens when you spend your life turning up at places to try on thousands of pounds worth of stuff just so we can say "Yes, let's pinch out 0.5 here and add 3cm to the hem".
This process produces the finalised garments we used for the video and photos, and the detailed patterns, specifications and notes we use with the factories who produce the items. This year, they've very graciously allowed us to extend our size range - you can find a few styles on our site right now up to a G. They've also kept a production slot open to ship everything in February. But in case of sneak sabotage (unavailable fabrics, running out of gold foil, staffing issues, customs declarations going wrong), I've said April, as I'd prefer not to disappoint you!
Love Kiss Me Deadly, but this collection doesn't suit you or doesn't fit? You can pledge from just £1, and join in by sharing the film. We have clues about Aurora, Yazzmin, Felicity and Didi, plus there's behind-the-scenes footage, in-depth product detail, and I'll answer pretty much any question you care to ask. Join the newsletter to find out everything!
Help! I love this stuff but I am new to Kickstarter. What's going to happen?
First off, thank you for making us your first Kickstarter! So many of you did that I realised I had to add this section.
If you're new to Kickstarter, or KMD on Kickstarter, then here's roughly what will happen.
You'll need a Kickstarter account to pledge, and they ask for pretty minimal amounts of information. Then you need to pledge for the reward that is closest to what you want. I am sorry I can't offer all possible combinations but that would result in a completely unmanageable list of pledges. So, you can either pledge for the closest one and then return or sell any unwanted items (you would get a voucher for returned items), or pledge a token amount and share and hope that we have enough left over to sell on the site later.
When you choose a pledge with multiple options - the Kliterati OR the Basbleu, for example, YOU get to make the choice of which.
Kickstarter asks for a little bit more information when you make your pledge, but it doesn't ask for all the information I need to send you reward - they leave that up to me. At 7pm GMT on the 20th December, Kickstarter will start to try and take the payment for your pledge. They will try again for about 14 days after that, and if your payments methods don't work then your reward will be cancelled at our end. Don't be surprised if I message you if your card isn't working. Sorry!
At the same time - on or after the 20th December - I will send a survey out to you, and that will ask you for all of the information I need to make sure your goods get to you. That includes your choice of style, size, your postal address and your email address. I don't use these for anything other than the project and following up for future Kickstarters.
Throughout this, I'll have been working with the factory on getting things made and shipped. In theory, with luck, that means the gap between the 20th December and a parcel arriving should be a couple of months. If something goes wrong it might take until the end of April instead. You'll get updates and some digital rewards in the meantime.
About 2 weeks before we think we're going to ship I will stop you from editing your address, so that the warehouse doesn't get totally confused and can safely prepare everything.
If you have any other questions just ask!
Risks and challenges
Over the last decade I've faced practically every problem you can imagine in getting lingerie made - and last year I learnt some new ones that can go wrong in a Kickstarter!
It's a running joke that the only thing I haven't successfully dealt with is a sneak dinosaur attack - but managed global economic meltdown, "extreme weather" (that's a tiny bit of snow, in England) and volcanoes!
Everything is shipped by an established logistics and fulfilment office (run by a family in Bristol, who seem very amused by our crazy pants), our patterns are all finalised and ready to go, and we have a good relationship with the factory that's manufacturing them.
Should anything go wrong? I have back-up factories. And we're insured against things going missing between the factory and us. As always, I'll be keeping you updated throughout.
As for things that have changed since last year, here's a short list.
1) I disliked getting things part-shipped as it meant more room for error, so instead, everything is booked in to be made in one go. This means fewer styles, but more of them, which has also protected us somewhat against running out of sizes and against the changes in the cost (since last year, the British currency is worth much less, which makes making things overseas cost more, and even making things in the UK as we have to import most of the fabrics and components).
2) Lydia has told me off extensively about returns. If your Kickstarter reward doesn't suit we will exchange it for a shop voucher for the full retail price. Last time we had problems keeping track of these so this time there will be A System! (It will almost certainly involve SurveyMonkey).
3) The products made in the UK ended up delayed as the UK unit is very, very tiny and so if one person was having some life-changing issues that was it, nothing got made. So, everything is booked in elsewhere until I have that nailed down! Currently Lou works there and she's only working on very short runs and made-to-order pieces. She'll be the one teaching you to make knickers!
Last but not least, I've been reminded to be very clear about this. I will do everything I can to get this collection to you.
but I CANNOT GUARANTEE IT WILL FIT YOU.
I do the best that I can but sometimes a certain style just doesn't work for someone. Now, this is Kickstarter, which is not a shop, so your pledge isn't covered by the same rules as our shop is. If you want to be covered by the usual rules as a customer (the right to cancel up to 14 days after receipt, the right to a refund, etc) then please wait and buy from the shop instead.
If you choose to pledge instead, if you find your reward doesn't suit you then I will accept returns - and you will get a voucher for the retail value of the items. You can then try other items (and I do have plenty one size fits most things like chokers, or hosiery that runs from petite to plus, or accessories that don't need a size). Or, you can sell your voucher. But unlike the shop I don't do refunds to your card.
For reference purposes, to the best of my knowledge on my last project only 1 out of 183 people had an issue with this; there was the usual return rate (10%, sometimes 15% on tricky bras) but everyone else found something they were happy with.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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