She may be the face of Gossard, but soap star Olympia Valance is making her first foray into lingerie design this season, with a stylish new collection.

Gossard girl Olympia Valance has been busy behind the lens this season, designing her own signature range for the British lingerie brand.

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The model and Neighbours actress has spent the past 12 months putting together a range that includes a high apex plunge bra, bralette, Brazilian suspender and body.

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In an exclusive interview with Lingerie Insight, she explains her involvement in creating the collection and her inspirations behind it.

How did the idea to design your own Gossard collection come about?
It actually came up really early. From our first shoot together I was so passionate about the lingerie that the team knew instantly I was interested in more than just modelling the products – I wanted to know all about the different designs and had quite clear thoughts on the pieces I particularly loved wearing and why. So it was a definite “yes” when they asked if I would be interested in working on a bespoke range. I love fashion and follow all kinds of designers, from local start-ups back in Australia, to the big fashion houses, so getting involved in designing my own collection was a very natural, passionate project for me.

What did the design process involve and how long did it take?
Practically, because I’m based in Australia and the design team are here in the UK, we had what I’d call creative bursts. We’d make the most of my visits to progress the designs, from the mood board stages through to the first designs and samples. It actually made us even more efficient because we knew we had a limited amount of time together in person to make decisions and keep the designs moving. Of course we were in touch regularly when I was back home and, all in all, the process took just over a year from start to finish.

What were your main responsibilities?
Well, the design team have the expertise when it comes to the latest lingerie innovations and technology, so my role was focused on the overall designs and colour palette. I absolutely loved the high apex and bralet designs so they were a must, and I wanted to include some delicate eyelash lace detail so that the pieces felt really feminine and fresh. Teal is my colour of the moment; I think it’s really flattering, and with the black, it’s timeless. It was really interesting discussing the various upcoming trend predictions with the design team and working this into the final designs.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
I guess the fact that I wasn’t in the office and part of the whole design process was the biggest challenge, but we didn’t let it hold us back at all and, actually, it was quite good to be able to bring fresh eyes and influences to the table. Gossard is an international brand and, with my work, I’m constantly travelling and attending fashion events, so we used this to our advantage.

What have you learned from this experience?
The thing that has struck me most is how complex designing lingerie is. You would naturally think that designing a bra or a body would somehow be more straightforward than outerwear, but it’s just not the case. There is so much intricate detail involved and it’s a lot more scientific than I realised. Lingerie is the first layer of an outfit and shapes your body for what you put on top of it, so it’s absolutely key in creating the perfect silhouette for various body shapes and sizes. I now have even more admiration for lingerie designers than I did before I started this process.

What are your inspirations behind the collection?
A lot of the inspiration came from my own experiences and preferences. I’ve worn all sorts of lingerie styles over the years and I’ve honed exactly what I think works well. I also know how important lingerie can be for boosting confidence, so I wanted to design a range that had a combination of styles, from bras to bodies, which would flatter and make the wearer feel special. I also wanted to make sure it was a very fashion-forward collection, so I hope people will see that in the final designs and see something just a little bit different to previous collections.

How would you describe the finished collection?
From the start we knew we wanted to create the range as a VIP collection, so I think we have achieved that luxurious, aspirational quality that we were looking for, without it being unattainable price-wise. It’s a flattering colour for all skin tones and, with the crystals, which are embroidered into the fabric, it’s definitely a collection to make you feel special, without the need for a special occasion to wear it.

Do you plan to design more Gossard ranges in the future?
I would love to! It feels like we’ve been designing the range for months and it’s still not out yet, so I can’t wait to see the public’s reaction! I hear it’s been really well received so far and I’m so proud of what we’ve created. Watch this space!