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Agent Provocateur’s Victorian Secrets
Posted by richard | August 7, 2012

Spiritualism was all the rage in Victorian England, as gullible believers sought to communicate with deceased loved ones and get a privileged glimpse into the afterlife.

However, seances and other mystical practices were seldom used to help women discover their inner sexpot — which is what Agent Provocateur is suggesting in a clever new campaign to promote its darkly erotic fall lingerie offerings.

The UK superbrand’s latest promo film is called ‘Wilhelmina’ and tells the story of an enigmatic woman who channels her inner sensuality with the help of a ‘magical camera’ that reveals her ‘true self’ cavorting in some sexy AP gear. It seems those Victorians really did have some secrets.

Set in a what looks like a dungeon, it’s funny and a bit pervy at the same time — the grubby photographer is like a character from Dickens and he plays the voyeur role that is always an essential ingredient in the Agent Provocateur experience.

Here’s the film, which introduces a new AP model — Monica Cruz, the younger lookalike sister of Oscar-winning actress Penelope Cruz:

AP’s fall collection includes nearly a dozen new style ranges and some new pieces for a few of its ‘classic’ ranges. And while they had nothing remotely close to this back in Victorian times, there are a couple of styles that have fairly authentic 19th Century roots.

The silk chiffon Syble babydoll and dressing gown show AP takes its revisionist history seriously: it’s based on a hand-painted French print that dates back to 1801 and was chosen from a vintage print house in London.

And the signature Whitney range (main photo above) may be the only lingerie design inspired by the notorious Traitors Gate at the Tower of London. Back in the day, men went there to lose their heads; today, AP’s strappy elastic concoction will merely cause you to lose your composure.

There’s a lot of gothic romance and contemporary bondage looks in AP’s Wilhelmina collection and, as always, a few statement pieces that are breathtakingly original.

This time, that distinction goes to the wicked Alexus ‘equestrian playsuit’ — WTF?!? — with its backless bottom, and the black chiffon Morrigan dress, complete with a high lace collar and a wonderful detachable bustle. Yes … a bustle.

Here’s a look at the main style ranges in this mostly dark but seductive collection:

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