What makes a classic lingerie ensemble?
For most brands, it’s that timeless piece that continues to sell season after season, without being bumped off the racks by fashion trends and fickle consumer tastes. Typically, those ‘classics’ are distinguished by durable construction, understated design and versatile neutral colors.
Then there’s Agent Provocateur. When everyone’s favorite costumer for sexpots-in-training updates its Classics line each year, it usually means lots of see-through lace and shimmery silk, enough bondage rigging to confound a deckhand, and a couple of decorative pasties for modesty.
The latest reboot of AP’s Classics line doesn’t exactly feature the kind of multi-use, multi-occasion styles one might expect from such an enterprise, unless of course the occasion is of the conjugal variety. This is a collection that celebrates Agent Provocateur‘s own deliriously debauched legacy, a bit of self-love from a brand that loves to … sorry, but someone has to say it … blow its own horn.
This iteration of the AP Classics line is made up of catalogue staples that the brand says “never fail to titillate,” boosted by the inclusion three new-old ranges — including one, the Donna, that AP creative director Sarah Shotton refers to as “posh filth”.
And, like every new collection delivered by the wildly popular label, this one comes with a ridiculously suggestive photo campaign that leaves little to the imagination.
Agent Provocateur has again spared little expense in an effort to amp up the envy for these familiar style ranges, hiring fashion A-lister Ellen von Unwerth to shoot an almost comically sexed-up photo series for the collection.
Like the lingerie styles themselves, the photo campaign recycles many of the ideas that have characterized AP’s marketing over the past few years: class consciousness, female empowerment, a playful approach to BDSM, and a homoerotic subtext that Von Unwerth slathers on with a trowel.
There is a sort-of narrative in these pictures that most girls can relate to, or at least aspire toward: the one where you take out the Jag for a jaunt up to Daddy’s manor house for a weekend of horseplay, both literal and figurative, with your favorite gal pal. There’s not a man on the horizon in this fantasy world, but the croquet mallets appear to getting a workout.
Agent Provocateur says this version of the Classics line is meant to “celebrate the decadence and hedonism of the high-society set,” but that shouldn’t dissuade the rest of you commoners.
These aren’t AP’s most extravagant looks, but its most reliable sellers that appeal to the broadest range of sexpots and wannabes — even, and perhaps especially, those who are not to the manor born.
Here’s the rest of this amusing campaign, with style names under the pictures. Check tomorrow morning’s UK tabloids for the inevitable controversy.