Full-time mother, wife, model, and most notably, lingerie blogger, Tiah Eckhardt-Delaney of The Daily Knicker is the living embodiment of the ability to be all. A powerhouse of elegance, eloquence, and style, this bombshell embraces her womanhood in its entirety and has built herself an empire made of silks and lace. While the Australian-born beauty refers to herself as a “knicker addict,” we consider her an expert in her field, producing thousands of in-depth blog posts highlighting all the very best the lingerie industry has to offer. We chatted with this modern day wonder woman about finding balance, self-care, femininity, and of course, all things lingerie, paired with truly exquisite photos by fine art photographer Joaquin Trujillo, featuring our best co-curated lingerie picks during the Curve Expo in New York.
The ‘Goddess’ Gown is from Loveday London‘s collection of the same name and is one of the British luxury label’s most extravagant creations. Considering quirky opulence is sort of Loveday’s signature, that’s saying something. It’s gold-tone lace features hand-beaded floral motifs and metallic, gold leather detail. A plunging neckline and fitted waist flares to the floor, creating a queen-like cascade and, thanks to the sheerness of the piece, at once a sort of coquettish voyeurism.
LF: How old were you when you bought your first set of lingerie? What did it look like, and do you still have it?
TE: The first set I bought was an ice blue lace bra and brief at 14. I just thought it was so pretty. I wore it constantly under my crappy public high school uniform. I don’t have it anymore because I literally wore it until it fell apart. But technically the first piece of lingerie I had was even before that and well, I didn’t buy it, I stole it. It was a red lace Yves Saint Laurent garter belt that belonged to my older sister. That I do still have, it’s in my closet now and is just as beautiful today as it was in 1998!
LF: As a lingerie connoisseur and collector you must have seen sets from just about every era dating back at least a century. What are your top 3 generations of lingerie in history?
TE: I’ve got a little bit from every decade and even a whale-boned Victorian corset that’s older than that, but I’d say the bias cut silk slips of the 30’s, wasp waisted styles designed to go beneath 50’s Dior ‘New Look’ shapes and high-cut 90’s supermodel sets are my three favorite periods. Completely different silhouettes, but all powerfully sexy in their own ways.
LF: How have the style and function of lingerie changed over time? Based on current trends with consideration of historical patterns, what do you predict for the future of lingerie?
TE: Well, the thing about lingerie that has never changed is that it has always been about the line where form and function meet, the aspect of shaping the body to whatever is culturally desirable at the time, whilst also having an element of beauty as an object. For example, you can see this with the waist trainers and butt lifters in shapewear right now- women trying to emulate the currently fashionable Kardashian body type and using undergarments to do so. I predict we’ll continue to see technological advancements in construction, such as those in fabric, but more largely, I think lingerie is becoming fashion in it’s own right. Stylistically it’s becoming stronger and I think this is due to women being more liberated and feeling more confident in having their undergarments seen, both in real life and online. Thanks to blogs and Instagram there’s a lot more lingerie for women to see and also a place for them to show it off, other than just to themselves or their partners. I think this is also pushing design forward as indie designers are getting a stronger foothold in the market by being able to connect directly with their customers and the bigger, more traditional companies are going to have to keep up with those younger designers creatively. Never before has there been so much innovation in lingerie as since the social media explosion and that is due to both exhibitionism and exploration of the market by consumers.
This pale pink and green lace corset and matching brief, from my personal collection, are by Agent Provocateur’s demi-couture line ‘Soirée‘. A similar corset and brief style are released each season and while this colorway and exact look is no longer available, Soirée’s current incarnation is ‘Adiyah’. It’s the same cut, but in a nude and pale blue shade and retains all the appeal of the corset and brief shown here.
LF: What would you like to see more of in both the fashion and lingerie industries, as a model and a consumer?
TE: Original designs. Unique things I haven’t seen before. It’s very hard to reinvent lingerie and do completely new things but when they happen, they blow up. Something like Fleur of England’s ‘Guipere Boudoir’ bra, which was simple yet original, has been copied to the point of saturation since they first did it 3 years ago. It was new, but functional and very wearable. Or Lonely’s ‘Sabel’ or Agent Provocateur’s ‘Annoushka’- again quite simple, but basically the first of their kind and just went nuts as far as how well they were received. Both were very fashion forward. I want more things like that – just new, innovative, wearable, beautiful designs. There’s only so many beige t-shirt bras or black strappy styles you can wear.
Also from Loveday is the ‘Juliet’ mini-dress. Featuring an underwire-cupped bust with strap detail and a body made of texturally opposed leather and lace panels. I thought this was the perfect countenance to the ‘Goddess’ gown- the vixen to the ‘Goddess’s ethereal appeal. Very different designs, that despite their contrasting air, highlight Lovedays strengths; opulent detail and use of both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ fabrics. Loveday’s blatant sex appeal is derived from a tactile, sensory stimulation.
LF: You exude confidence and as an onlooker it appears that you have a very positive relationship with your body. Has that always been the case, or was that something that developed with age?
TE: I danced and acted before I modeled and I think that has helped me see my body a lot more objectively than a lot of people. Like, it’s always been more of a tool than something that bore any weight on my worth as a human. So if got criticism in the industry for my body I didn’t take it personally, I would just be like “Ok, this is what I need to do or how I need to look to work” rather than “I’m unlovable or unattractive if I don’t look a certain way,” you know what I mean? That objectivity has always helped. I’ve also always just enjoyed being in my body. I like sex, I like physical stimulation whether it’s food or a massage, I just generally get a lot of pleasure out of being alive and being in my body and maybe that comes through. I definitely think it’s something more people should focus on. I have the odd day where I might not like how I look or pick on myself, but I usually get over it pretty quick because it’s not fun and goes nowhere. I think if you’re ever hating on your body you should just like, masturbate or eat a piece of cake or something – remind yourself how damn good being in your body can feel.
‘Vesper Fleur’ is a classic, black lace set from one of the few attainable high-end brands out of Australia, Pleasure State. Sheer black floral lace in a three-piece set (bra, brief/thong, suspender) is always my recommendation for partners wanting to buy lingerie for their loved one and are unsure what to get. It’s the classic, never-fail, universally appealing ‘go-to’ of lingerie gifting. It’s also my first recommendation to women who are ask me “What a good foundation or starting off point for a beautiful lingerie collection?” ‘Vesper Fleur’s sheer, unlined bra and simple frill-trimmed thong allow the high-waisted suspender belt to be the star. All pieces are made from soft, floral leavers lace and have a small crystal detail.<
LF: Describe your perfect lingerie set. What does it look like and how does it make you feel when you wear it?
TE: Oh god! I don’t think I can come up with one perfect one! I guess, if I had too though… Hmm… It would be a high quality lace, in a solid color. An unlined, unpadded, underwire bra, a high, bikini-cut brief and suspender. Maybe even with a waspie or underbust corset option. It would have to hold stockings up without them moving, fit perfectly and be able to go under a wide variety of outerwear. It would look visually beautiful when being worn on its own, have to be so comfortable I forgot I had it on beneath clothes during the day, make my body look amazing and feel nice on my skin! Phew! I demand a lot from my lingerie.
Harlow and Fox‘s ‘Eleanor’ range also encapsulates much of the label’s aesthetic in one style. The label, created by Leanna Williams, produces high-quality luxury lingerie for fuller figures, in the size range of 30-38 DD-G and came from Williams’ frustration at being unable to find beautiful lingerie in her bra size. High quality silk and fine lace are obviously a timeless, winning combination in the lingerie world. The rich, royal blue shade and fact that the bra, brief and suspender have a matching robe, give ‘Eleanor’ a regal air that sets it apart. Harlow and Fox is perfect for the discerning gentle-lady and anyone full-of-bust who has a hard time finding their size in standard lines.
LF: When you first launched The Daily Knicker in 2012 you said that your top 5 lingerie brands at the time were Agent Provocateur, Fifi Chachnil, Chantal Thomass, Elegantly Scant, and Berlei. What are your current top 5 lingerie brands, or have they remained the same?
TE: They are still my favorites, yes. They never fail and always have something I like, as well as personally fitting me well. I’ve also discovered via blogging a whole bunch of new brands I previously didn’t know of or that didn’t exist at that point, so that list has grown. KissKill, Dita Von Teese, Mimi Holliday, AP’s diffusion line L’Agent, Carol Malony, Eres and Honey Birdette are up there with those 5 now. All are phenomenal and consistently produce great things, as well having great customer relations.
French label Maison Close produces a large volume of great styles every season, but my pick from their current collection is the Jardin Imperial bra, garter belt and brief with detachable collar. The red lace is threaded with metallic gold and this shape of bra in particular is my favorite by the label. A plunging demi-cup underwire, it’s simple and flattering, as is the garter belt. The detachable collar and connecting strap of ‘Jardin Imperial’s brief are a very subtle nod to BDSM, a hint at darker possibilities, while retaining all the delicacy and romance one would expect from a sheer lace look.
LF: How do you balance your modeling career, running your blog, raising your daughter, spending time with your husband, and having a moment to yourself?
TE: I don’t really – it’s always a struggle, some area always feels like it’s being neglected or needs to be improved upon. But I think that’s just the consequence of being a generation of women told we can ‘have it all’. I mean, you can, it’s just really hard and full on. Fortunately, I can be kind of a brat though and at the end of the day, if I really don’t want to or can’t do something, then I won’t. It sounds asshole-y, but it’s self-preservation. I’m also lucky enough, of course, to really like my job, so going to work is fun and often for fun I do work things – it works out well.
LF: As women we both know the importance of developing a strong, positive self-image as young girl. What are you doing to teach your daughter about confidence and self-love?
TE: I never let her criticize herself, ever. Or others. I don’t ever want her to have that voice that so many of us – myself included- have, that often talks horribly to ourselves. We just don’t let her talk negatively about herself. And while she’s very beautiful and we tell her so, we’re also very conscious of telling her when she’s smart or funny or kind and that these things are a lot more important in life than being pretty. I also want her to never have to rely on anyone and she’s incredibly independent, something we’ve deliberately cultivated. I think you have a great sense of self-worth and self-respect when you know you can look after yourself.
LF: What advice can you give to someone looking to lead a healthier, happier, and more productive life?
TE: Worship yourself more; make yourself feel good. Be kind to yourself. We are all just doing the best we can and you can only do so much. Just enjoy life because there’s so much good in it, even if you have to dig a little deeper, look a little harder or walk that extra mile to find it. It’s there.
LF: What are you most looking forward to this year?
TE: Summer. There’s nothing as good as a California summer! Heaven on earth.
LF: How FAST do you live?
TE: Thankfully, not as fast as I used to and I’m a lot happier for it.