The British online boutique Mio Destino is offering an in-house collection of what it calls “the UK’s most expensive corsets”, which seems like an odd thing to brag about.
Especially since a discriminating shopper can spend a lot more on lingerie these days than they would on the bedazzled pieces in the Mio Luxe collection, which tops out at about $1,600 (US) or £995 for the ‘Etro’ overbust corset shown above.
It might seem a bit counterintuitive, but as income disparity has worsened in the wake of the 2008 economic meltdown, the competition among luxury brands for sticker-shock supremacy has increased steadily. Having the “most expensive” line is suddenly a badge of honor rather than a business killer.
And extravagance is everywhere in the luxury lingerie business these days, from the solid-gold bras by Rococo Dessous to Agent Provocateur‘s lavish Soiree line to La Perla‘s $1,000 see-through T-shirt to Harlette‘s pearl collection. Plus, custom orders can drive prices up to ridiculous heights.
Limited-edition luxury pieces give designers a chance to spread their creative wings with little concern for cost, but too often the price itself becomes the real selling point and the true calling card. Forget what Jessie J says, it really is about the price tag.
Still, there are limits. Victoria’s Secret sold one of its zillion-dollar jewel-encrusted Fantasy bras for the first time last year because, well, the market demo for diamond lingerie is somewhat narrow.
If you’re not dating a sheik or a Windsor or a Facebook investor, the best you’ll probably ever get is underwear adorned with Swarovski cut crystals — which is what Mio Destino has done here. After all, given the downsized circumstances we all face nowadays, crystals are a girl’s new best friend.
European crystal brands like Swarovski and Preciosa have enjoyed stupendous growth in the world of fashion bling in the past decade, offering the illusion of kingly wealth at comparatively middle-class cost.
That, too, is what Mio Destino is doing here. Each corset and waspie in the Mio Luxe line is lavishly decorated with hundreds of Swarovski and Preciosa crystals applied by hand, and each piece is made to measure.
And yes, they really are the priciest on the UK market (Agent Provocateur corsets top out at around $800), if you exclude bespoke creations from top couture design houses.
So have a look at the collection below and get your gold card out. Rest assured, you’ll enjoy constant attention, and bragging rights, for years to come.