I do love Karolina Laskowska, both as a person and a designer. She embodies everything i admire in a person, being hardworking (Karolina is a student alongside running her own lingerie business) and exceedingly intelligent and thoughtful. Someone i feel i could have a great deal of scintillating conversation with, without even broaching the subject of lingerie (because sometimes we lingerie bloggers do deviate from thinking, and speaking, about lingerie 24/7). And naturally she embodies everything i admire in a designer too. I think i probably first discovered her harnesses through Toots early last year and i've kept up with her life and work ever since.
Karolina Laskowska lingerie has been featured on this blog once before, with her Fundraiser knickers (I would link to the post but i try not to re-live the photography on my early-ish reviews), which unfortunately met an untimely end in the paws of a pompom loving foster cat. So they live on in my lingerie drawer but alas never get worn and i've been biding my time before i could expand my collection to include pieces that didn't have big rips in them. Karolina got in touch and offered to send me a pair of her Ume high waisted knickers to review and i gleefully accepted. I was completely not expecting such a generous package to appear in my building foyer.
Before she sent out the package, Karolina had a little freak out that the Ume knickers she had left, in a size small, were going to be far too large for me. And i must admit, i had the exact same freakout when i saw them for the first time. But as usual, i completely underestimated the size of my hips and general lower body area and the fit is great. Karolina, however, generously included not one, not two, not even three, but four extra pieces from her collections "just in case."
When i opened the package, i'd just got in from a long day at work dealing with an influx of rather unpleasant customers (they all seem to come out of the woodwork at the same time), so i was overwhelmed at the sheer generosity and it really lightened my mood.
The Ume Knickers are made from vintage Kimono silk so vary from pair to pair but the fundamentals of the design make me weak at the knees. I love that the back is sheer mesh but most of all i love that the front and back panel connect via little pearlescent buttons down both sides, that can be undone. This, although very beautiful, is also absolutely practical and a very clever design feature as the kimono silk has no stretch and the sheer mesh has stretch in all directions. So to keep the high waisted shape and allow ease to put on or remove the knickers, there needs to be some way to increase the girth of the waistband. Now i hate the colour purple, like if Mimi Holliday were offering free Bisou Bisou sets and they were purple, i wouldn't partake and if Agent Provocateur offered to send me something and it was purple, i'd politely refuse. My dislike of the colour goes beyond a minor niggle in aesthetic taste, it is a deep rooted issue. So when i say it took me a good day to realise these knickers were purple then it means i must genuinely love them. It's not often i'm able to overlook such a major problem so y'know, kudos to Karolina for putting purple in my presence and not having me recoil in horror, but do the exact opposite.
The Klara Garter is what my wardrobe has been missing. I've been searching for a leg garter that doesn't slip down my leg with the slightest movement, for quite some time. The fully adjustable nature of this one and the gold hardware (ohhh is there anything better than gold hardware? I think not) make it a winner in my eyes. Granted my thighs are the meatiest part of my body and my biggest problem area so whilst i might not feel comfortable wearing this garter whilst bare legged, i rarely go bare legged for confidence reasons anyway so i am looking forward to wearing this over my usual 40 denier tights and avoiding looking like my leg should be hanging in your local butcher shop.
The Lidia and Kordelia (not pictured) Harnesses are equally as lovely as the Klara Garter and all three are made out of high quality satin elastic and so there's no rubbing in uncomfortable places. Yet again they are adjustable, so can be worn as loose or as tight as you want and fasten in the back much like a bra with three rows of hooks. My plans for all white outfits featuring black harnesses just got a lot more exciting.
The last piece gifted to me was a pair of Ume Pasties. Made from a similar vintage silk kimono fabric, these pasties are in my favourite light pink shade and adorned with such beautiful flowers. Unfortunately as i overexpose my photos so i don't have to spend forever editing my skin, they don't show up well in these and my attempts at taking better shots were thwarted by kittens freshly awoken from a nap (so more destructive than usual). I'm also terrible at getting pasties to stick which is mostly due to the shape of my chest, what with my nipples being a good 50% of my actual tit, but also because double sided sticky tape and i don't often get along together. Pasties on the whole, however, are not best suited to those who don't have their mass distributed evenly directly around the nipple because they just kind of hang on for dear life and don't have much to adhere to. I'm also, personally, not a fan of pasties because i feel they make me look completely flat chested, which ultimately makes me feel the opposite of sexy and alluring, but these are so pretty they were worth rescuing from the mouth of one of my little monsters and shall hopefully get some use if i ever manage to trick another man into my bedroom on the long term...
There are only a few pieces of the Ume collection in select sizes left so if they or anything in this post has taken your fancy then you can purchase your own here.
*These pieces were sent to me free of charge for the purposes of a review. All opinions are most definitely my own and Karolina is definitely the most generous person i've ever come across.
p.s. I've started shooting my blog photos in portrait, rather than landscape, if you hadn't already noticed. I've been worried that the photos would be unpleasantly "in your face" but I actually think blog posts look better this way however i'd really value your thoughts, as a reader how are they for you?