Photography by Rob Rook Photography

I remember being in awe when I first encountered the photos of the ‘Shape of Water’ collection by Emiah. The design, colours and luxurious materials were all absolutely breathtaking and these principles have carried through into all of Emiah’s collections. I hold Emiah in high regard and when I applied to model for her Aoye collection and was accepted I was beside myself with excitement. It was on this photoshoot that I got to try on the sample set of Ciara and I fell in so in love, I knew, I had to buy it for myself.

Emiah is a bespoke brand creating elegant and opulent heirloom pieces, through lingerie to corsetry including full skirt and robe ensambles. Alycia, the founder, hails from where half my family originate in South Glamorgan, Wales. She is an all round sweetheart who has found her footing doing something she is passionate about and I can honestly say that there is not enough of her lingerie being purchased in the scene. Her love and talent shines through in every single garment she produces which is nothing short of luxuriant.

Emiah is an ethical brand to consider in that it is dedicated to the concept of slow fashion. Each piece is handmade in Wales by one designer who maximises the usage of her materials via careful designs and using off-cuts in future embellishments. You are buying something with longevity, consideration of fabrics and hardware and good old hard graft. In fact I recollect Emiah once mentioning to me that the whole of the Aoye collection was birthed by making a couple of the garments to use up scrap fabric.


Ciara is a striking yet beautiful classic black set with a well heeled modern/vintage juxtaposition. The high cut french knicker and cut out bra against the delicate floral style pattern makes for an arresting combination all whilst being sophisticated with the rich beaded black alencon lace. I really think that the choice of lace makes this entire set as it has an ‘illusion’ impression about it without it intended to be the main focus.

Ciara is all about the shape and I am entirely obsessed about the movement things bring to the set. The french knicker creates an amazing sculptural shape around the hips and buttocks and is accentuated with the way the beading on the design is mottled amongst the lace and fabric. The cut of the bra is made to be intense yet cheeky.  The the swirling beauty of the lace to the  almost erotic impact of the cut out of the lower breast is such a combination. This set is sophisticated sexy in all its glory.

I ordered this set in the average measurements for a size eight, although did give specific measurements for Alycia to consider but this style is elasticated on the brief and therefore  quite forgiving. The bra is wholly adjustable in multiple areas and the fastenings are on both of the sides which makes it easier than having no hook and eye for me to use when my hands are ok but I do struggle somewhere when I have a flare up of IBS. This bra is not something you can speedily put on. If you struggle reaching around the back of the set a customisation of the fastenings would be a must.

Aoye being a beaded lace collection is harsh to wear but not uncomfortable. The heavy beading is naturally robust and quite rough but I found a good, loving hand wash and the fabric starts to soften the fabric enough for skin marking to wear away. This is one set where it is really important to get the adjustment to fit right otherwise it does and will mark the skin and can likely be the fine line between comfortable and uncomfortable.

The construction of Ciara is incredible. There are a lot of sewing techniques that are way beyond my simple lingerie admiring mind.  It is amazing to be able to admire something that has been so meticulously made. Structurally everything is so well sewn that all of the joins, folds and finishes blend near close to invisibly as possible, which is especially impressive with the positioning of the beading which has been kept pristine even when cut to suit the joins. The joins are the neatest and strongest of any set I have owned up to this point and  there is honestly not a stray thread in sight! My appreciation goes further to the mini-structure inside of the bra which is lined with a little transparent strip that maintains the shape and helps adhere the fabric to skin.

The lace is matched to perfection across the entire set. All components are either gold or silver. The knicker is edged with this beautiful little scalloped edges. The lace is cut with absolute perfection on both the bra and the knicker… I really do not have a single whine or whinge about Ciara.

Worth noting is the french knicker on my particular set of Ciara has no gore. Alycia did give me the option of having a gore included although for the aesthetic of the set I declined, as this is a showpiece set for me as opposed to a wearable set. For prolonged periods of time I personally wear a tiny little black thong.


I purchased Ciara for £215.00 but considering the impressive nature of what Emiah makes all of the pieces are  like significantly under priced. I’ve seen and paid for lingerie which does not even sit on par with the quality that is provided in this set so even if this pricing increases by X amount in the coming years, then so be it. Emiah Couture should be deservedly priced high in the market.

Purchasing from Emiah in a bespoke style has been joyous and exciting. Having lingerie from an individual that doesn’t release styles on a S/S – A/W basis but on a creative need is enthralling in a way only a lingerie enthusiast could probably appreciate. Each collection almost has such personal connotations adjoined to it that you are receiving lingerie that has already been swathed in love and adoration and maybe why the quality of the product comes hand in hand.

I certainly will return when I have money saved again. If I weren’t so practical the Dyllan set and robe from the recent Amaranth collection is nothing short of whimsical and magical would have already been mine if I were much better financially… then again, I do own a credit card…


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