Fleur Turner, the designer behind ultra-feminine lingerie line Fleur of England, has been drawing and designing ever since she can remember. Growing up in a family of boys, she craved anything girly and pretty. “I was fascinated by the time of Louis XVI with corsets and dresses,” she says, “and spent ages imitating them on a sketch pad.”
Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, Fleur’s collection of unmentionables—originally called Fleur T (her nickname)—deserves an honorable mention. Using fabrics from around the globe, her subtly seductive designs offer flattering silhouettes and a perfect fit. Romantic and playful, Fleur’s underpinnings are the type you wish you could show off on top of your clothes.
To honor this self-professed “lace geek,” we sat down to find out what lies beneath: the past ten years, the inspiration behind her lust-worthy lingerie and the difference between English and American fashion.
What draws you to lingerie?
It’s the fabrics. I love anything feminine and light with a vintage inspiration. I am a complete lace geek—I have visited the hundred-year-old mills in Calais, France, where I source the majority of my Leavers lace. It is the best quality in the world and knitted on ancient looms. It’s totally fascinating! And I love providing exquisite lingerie to women all over the world—we have the best customers.
Congratulations on your 10th anniversary! What are some of your defining moments from the past ten years?
That’s a difficult one, as there have been so many good moments. Introducing my mum to Princess Anne when I was awarded British New Exporter of the Year in 2003 was a great moment. Also, being voted first out of 100 most wanted items by GQ. And every time one of our customers writes to us to thank us for making the best fitting bras in the world. But by far the most exciting was one of my bras being featured in the ‘Sex and the City’ film.
What do you look for in a fabric?
Definitely comfort. Lingerie sits so close to the skin that it must be like a second skin. Next, it must have a special beauty or charm, and something rare and appealing about it. It has to be of the highest quality so that it can perform, but look exquisite.
Who is the Fleur of England woman?
She has a youthful spirit and mind, but not necessarily in age. She appreciates exquisite design and craftsmanship. The Fleur of England woman is cultured and enjoys luxury travel, a luxurious lifestyle and looks after her body.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in all of the things I love: chocolate, flowers, interior design, my childhood growing up in the beautiful Surrey Hills and even my cat’s paw, which I color-matched for our Keepsake collection.
Tell us about the five different moods your designs are based on.
I design the collections for five distinct moods: romantic, luxurious, playful, powerful and fiercely feminine. The women I design for may feel very comfortable with one of these moods or change between a few depending on her situation. I feel it helps our customers feel confident about choosing items. Personally, I find that I ‘mood-dress’ depending on how I feel or what I am doing that day. And essentially, lingerie is the foundation for any outfit.
If you could dress one person, who would it be?
Lady Gaga—she is crazy. I love her eclectic style and would love to create an outfit for her.
Who are your style icons?
Historically, it has to be Coco Chanel. She had effortless style and was exceptionally talented. I really admire the way Samantha Cameron makes politics more stylish.
Lingerie aside, what are some pieces you’re currently craving from Barneys?
Red Yves Saint Laurent tribute high heels are perfect for dancing at the Queen’s Jubilee in June. The Smythson colorblock bag—just gorgeous. The Chloé draped blouse—I find pieces like these very easy to wear and fit with my busy lifestyle as a working mum. And anything from Green & Spring. The essential oils take me straight back to growing up in the English countryside.
What do you see as the major differences between English and American fashion?
English fashion can be quite street influenced while American fashion seems to be influenced more by designers. English fashion is renowned for being quirky and quite edgy. I am in New York quite a bit, and I always think American women look so elegant and stylish, with a little kooky twist.