In The Closet with Aliza Reger
The lingerie designer has a passion for desirable undies
Aliza, the daughter of legendary lingerie designer Janet Reger, is the creative force behind the luxury label today. Princess Diana bought her wedding trousseau from Janet Reger. The Reger by Janet Reger range at Debenhams is now in its 15th year, and the Always Aliza collection with JD Williams is the first under her own name.
She is currently busy designing athleisure and homeware ranges and is seeking to relaunch the Reger Couture line. Aliza is married with one daughter and lives in London.
Chic, contemporary, fit for purpose. Fashion is important, but I’m not driven by trends for my personal wardrobe. I only wear styles that suit me.
Which colours and shapes suit you best?
I’m a petite 5ft nothing and over the years I’ve learned that tidy, tailored shapes suit me best – maxi, midi or bohemian styles just drown me. I also hate three-quarter-length sleeves,
as to me it looks like an item has run out of fabric. My best colours are creams, beige, pale grey, pale blue, navy and pink. I like a pop of colour – especially red and turquoise – but never as a solid colour.
What is your favourite fashion era?
It has to be the here and now. I think the 80s power dressing era was fabulously exciting, but for me fashion is all about being in the present.
What are your favourite high-street brands?
No one does high-street shopping better than the British. I love Designers at Debenhams, Zara and Uniqlo.
Who is your favourite designer?
Can I have three? Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana and Ralph Lauren. They are all masters of cut and tailoring. Do you have a style icon? Catherine Deneuve and Audrey Hepburn. But my mother was also a huge influence, and it’s because of her I love the idea of lingerie as outerwear and incorporate it where I can – say a hint of lace showing or embellishment on a collar or a sleeve.
What is your best beauty secret?
Cold showers, body brushing and a good foundation, but not necessarily in that order.
Are you a hoarder or do you clear out your wardrobe each season?
I’m quite organised. I do clear out, but I find it very hard to part with things because I do form emotional attachments. When I swap over my summer and winter wardrobes it’s like seeing old friends again.
Are you a fan of vintage?
I’m a fan of hand-me-downs and items I’ve inherited because I cherish the history, but I wouldn’t buy from vintage shops – I’m a little too squeamish.
How many shoes and handbags do you own?
I have no idea. I tried counting once but had to give up. But I see accessories as investment pieces and look after them, so they last and
look good for years.
Tell us about your own lingerie drawer?
I mainly wear my current lingerie collection, Reger by Janet Reger for Debenhams, but I also have a lot of Janet Reger Couture and lingerie from La Perla, Lise Charmel, Aubade and Dior. Lingerie is my passion.
What are the most common bra mistakes?
Wearing the wrong size. Your body shape changes and with it your bra size. Also brand sizes vary, so it’s important to try a style before you buy it and not be a slave to a label.
What are your lingerie predictions for autumn and winter?
Smooth-line bras with lace trims, so clean lines under clothes and adjustable straps. Colour wise – shades of grey, berry tones, plus pinks and reds. Shapewear pants with lace backs and satin fronts for flat tummies.
What is your current favourite outfit?
When I’m not working I like to go to the gym, so I’m very into athleisure. I’ll wear a lycra top and leggings by Lululemon or Ted Baker with trainers plus a cashmere jumper, then a blazer-style jacket. I’m currently looking to design my own athleisure collection as it’s so relevant for today’s active lifestyle.
Is there an old favourite you turn to in a wardrobe crisis?
A white T-shirt or shirt with jeans, plus a tailored Dolce & Gabbana or Ralph Lauren jacket.
How much do you spend on clothes each month?
It varies, and I wouldn’t want to break it down – just in case my husband reads this. Seriously though, some months nothing, other months a lot. I consider my expensive pieces to be investment pieces, which I’ll wear for years.
What is the most expensive item in your wardrobe? And best bargain?
The most expensive is probably one of my Chanel jackets or handbags, and the best bargain is a python Jimmy Choo handbag – it was a few hundred pounds reduced from a few thousand.
Who made your wedding dress?
My mother and I designed it together. Andrew and I were married in London in 1991. My dress was a mermaid shape – fitted with a fishtail and a long train – in lace over stretch satin. I wore it with long, white satin gloves and a tiara-style headband with branches, leaves and jewels.
Have you a favourite little black dress?
I have lots, but at the moment it’s by Goat with a bow tie at the neck.
What is the one item of clothing you couldn’t live without? A matching lingerie set with a good-fitting, comfortable bra.
What is your favourite piece of jewellery?
Have you ever made a fashion faux pas?
Many, but the worst was probably several shades of pink together. It was a long time ago.
What item of clothing would you save from a burning house?
It wouldn’t be clothes. It would be family first, then jewellery and anything small and valuable.