By SARAH MURRAY WITH vintage inspired, cabaret style pieces that look straight from the windows of a Parisian boutique, you’d be forgiven for thinking lingerie brand Tallulah Love was the lovechild of La Perla and Victoria’s Secret. But in a bustling corner of Newcastle Upon Tyne, it’s an effervescent Brit designer that’s putting the romance back into women’s underwear. “I actually got into lingerie by accident,” says Michelle who began her career designing for the likes of Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Ann Summers and other High Street stores. This introduced Michelle to the intricacies of sketching garments, dealing with garment factories and working within a budget. And if Tallulah Love’s designs evoke images of a certain bunny brand that’s because Michelle had the intimidating task of creating a collection for Playboy during her time with the iconic brand. Inspired by the Playboy imagery of the 50s, the White Label Collection was a great success and Michelle also designed a sell out range of swimwear for the label. After this success Michelle felt confident to launch her own brand and Tallulah Love was born. “I had always dreamed of creating my own brand,” she says. “I felt there was a gap in the market for this kind of detailed lingerie.” While many designers flock to the industry heartland that is London to make their mark on the fashion world, Michelle chose to go back to her roots in Newcastle upon Tyne. “I wanted to be back with my family and friends. The people of Newcastle are so friendly, inspiring and very glamorous! I just love the place!” While some might have reservations about Northern style, one look through Michelle’s range of sleek satin bras and intricate lace knickers and any misconceptions rapidly disappear. “My style is very detail oriented and draws on historical and vintage references,” she explains. “I get very excited by colour and can design a lingerie set having been inspired by the colours on a decaying door or a building on holiday in Morocco.” It’s not just her whimsical designs which evoke images of illicit affairs in old hotels, black and white screen sirens and summer romances but the playful names she gives each collection. You can’t help but create a back story with descriptions such as Lavender Blue Dilly Dilly (virginal innocence perhaps?) or “Dinner at the Ritz” (an illicit affair?) While Michelle’s designs draw inspiration from history, she still follows the trends in lingerie (and yes there are trends!) “This season I have noticed a lot of modern strappy styles that seem to draw on modern references almost with a bondage feel. The high waisted knicker is still very prominent and I also can’t see a return of the thong for a long time yet.” (Those with ill feelings towards the dental floss-like garments are sure to heave a sigh of relief!) With changing styles and romantic reinventions the popularity of lingerie continues to grow and if Michelle has anything to do with it, it’s sure to continue to be a very sexy industry. For more information about Tallulah Love visit the website, here.