One thing I have in common with Dita Von Teese? Every month, I shop for frilly little things at Faire Frou Frou, the Studio City lingerie boutique Alison Rubke founded with her mom, Gail Rubke, seven years ago. Nobody does it better than this gal when it comes to curating glamorous boudoir attire and undergarments you can’t find anywhere else – I’m talking Bordelle, Fifi Chachnil, Vannina Vesperini, Myla, Strumpet & Pink, ARI DEIN, Fleur of England, Damaris, Maison Close, Lascivious and Brulee. All my favorites! I had a chat with Alison right in time for Valentine’s Day, and here she shares some sexy insights and shopping tips! Photos by Kimberly Genevieve.
LF: Where does the name Faire Frou Frou come from?
AR: My mom was taking French lessons as we were developing the concept of the store and her instructor mentioned Frou Frou, which technically means the sound of silk or taffeta rubbing together. And Faire du Frou Frou means showing off those ruffles and what’s underneath your dress… showing off, basically. She said that if we would modernize this phrase that nobody uses anymore and call the store Faire Frou Frou it would it definitely fit our vision of a frilly, girly, feminine destination. So we went for it!
LF: You are curating an environment for women to get inspired to get sexy. What’s in the experience of shopping for lingerie?
AR: We just wanted to create a store that we would enjoy being in and, if we were customers, where would we like to buy lingerie. We wanted it to be very uplifting and inspiring. It’s a destination store and we want people who make the drive to shop with us to have a unique experience.
LF: What do you think are basics you think every woman should own?
AR: Obviously everyone should own basics like a strapless bra and a t-shirt bra, but I also they they should own a pretty bra that’s very functional. People always think that function means ugly, and there’s no reason for that. We’re trying to show people that you can get a bra like – say a Marlies Dekkers bra that covers both the tshirt bra aspect and the fashion aspect. We want people to look at lingerie a little bit more like an accessory, like you would purses or shoes.
LF: Are you ever ‘sloppy’ or do you always wear amazing lingerie yourself?
AR: My lingerie closet has definitely evolved since we’ve opened this store, so let’s just say that now I don’t ever wear a boring nude bra. There’s no reason for it. But I’m not the kind of girl who matches the bras to the underwear. I think that would make me nuts! So yeah I could be considered sloppy if you saw what I was wearing today underneath this outfit – but piece by piece, I always have a pretty bra on, and my panties are always Hanky Panky.
LF: Favorite sex symbol?
AR: It would have to be Dita Von Teese. She is my favorite person! I feel very inspired by her, and the fact that she is a very good customer of ours makes me kind of jittery each time she comes in. She is so perfect and so beautiful.
LF: Are you carrying her line here?
AR: No, but she just came in two weeks ago and asked us if we would! So we might be the first and only brick and mortar store in the United States to have it. Hopefully!
LF: Valentine’s Day Essentials?
AR: Now there is something for the single person, and then there is something for the couple. I don’t like it when I hear that people don’t like Valentine’s Day because they are single – because it’s such a cute holiday! If you’re single, get something cute for yourself! Even if it’s just little knick-knacks like pompons or little heart shaped pieces just to acknowledge the holiday. In terms of the person who is looking to please I’d definitely think something bold and sexy. All the cutout back panties we have are really amazing. We’re doing a lot of red, pink and black this year. In the past we’ve totally avoided the traditional Valentine’s colors but this year we’re totally embracing it. So many people are asking for it, so we’re giving our customers what they want, without falling into cliché or cheesy looking. These designers have really stepped it up.
LF: Brand to watch?
AR: Kriss Soonik, a line from Estonia. She has been designing for a few years now and she’s really talented.
LF: Can you share some tips for buying lingerie online?
AR: For somebody buying a gift I always recommend going for pieces that go Small, Medium and Large, which makes fitting a lot easier. Some brands run differently so it gets a little bit tricky when you’re not intimately aware of how a brand works, but you can kind of get an idea based on the images whether it would you fit or not. A lot of the people on our site are very successful at getting the right size and usually it’s because they bought a brand before.
That being said, we always try to provide tips on how things fit; if we think it’s running small on our customers here we’ll make a note of it on our website. I find that a lot of the customers who do buy lingerie online are looking for something for a fashion aspect rather than a functional aspect. When you are buying something that’s a little more fun and playful you don’t have to be as rigid as to how precisely it fits.
LF: What’s next for you?
AR: We are actually looking to expand our business, so after Valentine’s Day we’ll doing a series of trade shows. We’re looking to branch out and to find a larger business to partner with to take our store to the next level. That’s kind on our radar. Also, watch out for a blog redesign!
LF: How fast do you live?
AR: I don’t think I’m a fast person! I’m a Virgo – you can’t be too fast when you’re a Virgo. I’ve always been the straight and narrow type and it’s kind of funny that I’m in this sexy business. The fastest thing I do is own a lingerie boutique… And hear the wild stories that I hear everyday!