If you make or sell lingerie, you’re in the seduction business. And who better to help you pitch your wares than a professional pickup artist?
Layla L’obatti of Between The Sheets Lingerie scored the casting coup of the year when she enticed New York writer and celebrity seductress Arden Leigh to model pieces from Desert Jewel, the new collection from BTS’s luxury label Arabesque. It’s an inspired collaboration that is sure to bring new fans and clients to both Arden and BTS.
Surprisingly, the assignment was the first commercial lingerie shoot for Arden, author of The New Rules of Attraction and a glorious exhibitionist on her own blogs and occasional magazine editorials. Arden and Layla had previously connected on Twitter, and when Layla tweeted that a model had cancelled a week before her photo shoot, Arden volunteered to help out.
“I was drawn to BTS by the softness and femininity of the line,” Arden told Lingerie Talk. “I enjoy pieces where it’s hard to tell whether it’s loungewear or lingerie.
“And Layla is great — sweet, smart, fun to work with, and inspiring.”
If you’re unfamiliar with Arden Leigh it’s probably because you’re not a fervent follower of New York’s mad singles scene, which she towers over with the fearsome command of a dominatrix (which is also part of her resume) and the allure of a Parisian courtesan (which isn’t).
Arden is a kind of sexual anthropologist, leading ‘seduction coaching’ courses and dispensing relationship advice through her Ask Arden column in Auxiliary magazine, as co-founder of the Seduction Sirens online forum, and in her blog A Weapon of Mass Seduction. Her 2011 book (below) was penned as a thoroughly modern update of the regressive 1990s bestseller The Rules and a rebuttal to men’s pickup manuals like The Game — and immediately became a hot-button media topic.
She also maintains an unblushing NSFW photo blog called Love Life, and is almost singlehandedly responsible for the surge in men’s rockabilly hairstyles (in New York, at least) after indicating in a post that that’s one way to turn her head.
Arden is also well-versed in the role that lingerie plays in seduction, both indoors and out. Here’s what she told Layla in an interview posted on the BTS Lingerie blog:
“Lingerie is a bit like creating suspense. You want your partner to wonder what he’s going to find when he undresses you. And it’s fun to hint at what might be there by showing off a bit of bra strap or décolletage, or letting a garter strap show when you cross your legs.
I’ve also taken to wearing lingerie by itself out in the nightlife scene. It’s become a pretty normal thing for me to do. Some accuse me of seeking attention, but what I love about wearing lingerie by itself is that it is both glamorous and vulnerable at the same time. You’re dressed up in these beautiful garments, but you’re also still just in your underwear.
And I think there’s always something sexy about a hint of vulnerability.”
Given her professional and personal bed cred — think about it — Arden is an ideal canvas for displaying wispy, seductive lingerie like Arabesque‘s satin and chiffon delicates.
Many fashion lingerie brands today promote a message of female empowerment, but Arden’s approach to seduction counselling is more nuanced than that. She’s all about self-definition in matters of romance: understanding who you are, what you want, and creating strategies to get it.
“Because life is way too short not to go after what (or who) you want,” she says.
Below are some more images from what will surely be one of the most talked-about lingerie campaigns of the year. The new collection updates many favorite Arabesque styles — like the chiffon ouvert tap pant and sheer wrap gowns — and come in some lovely new colorways like garnet, onyx and fig.
Like Arden herself, it’s all irresistibly … seductive.
[Retailers and buyers who want to view the 2013 collections from Between The Sheets can visit their showcase during NY market week. They'll be at the Royalton Hotel on West 44th Street from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., August 4-8.]