Review: Agent Provocateur Demelza bra and suspender belt

Disclosure: The lingerie in this review was purchased with my own money and all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Photo by Agent Provocateur

Photo by Agent Provocateur

I’m the first to admit that I’m a little desensitized to lingerie – I spend so much time around it that it takes something seriously special to get me excited. Brands like Agent Provocateur don’t usually capture my imagination (with the exception of their Soiree collection, as I covered in this review). So imagine my surprise when Agent Provocateur’s A/W13 collection managed to get me salivating over not one, but two styles – the Annoushka (because my lace obsession cannot be denied and that halterneck is utterly beautiful) and the Demelza, with its delicious graphic strapping and lace appliqué details. I have a pretty limited lingerie budget these days and couldn’t even begin to think about purchasing full price Agent Provocateur outright – so image my delight when my careful ebay trawling turned up a cut price, brand new Demelza bra and suspender in my exact sizes…



I purchased the Demelza bra in my usual Agent Provocateur size 32D (one cup size up from other brands) and suspender in a ‘3’ (equivalent to a UK 10-12). The bra retails for $250 and the suspender for $330. Matching co-ordinates include a brief, thong and corset. The bra is available in sizes 32A-36E and co-ordinates in AP sizes 1-5.

Photo by Karolina Laskowska

Photo by Karolina Laskowska

The set is made of layered bobbinet tulle (a type of very fine tulle that is made of twisted fibres in a similar manner to lace), embellished with Sophie Hallette lace appliqué and ultra-delicate silk satin binding and rouleau strapping. Both bra and suspender feature a double layer of tulle, with black on the outside and a peach on the inside. Even with the layer of black tulle, it is so fine that it still appears extremely sheer against the skin. All of the elastics, trims and wire casings are in black and provide a stark graphic contrast. Somewhat surprisingly, the bra is made entirely of the tulle, even the wings – as such, I would advise against risking sizing down in the band with this style, as the lack of stretch means the fabric may not be able to take the tension. The bra also features a plastic bone at the side of the cradle for additional support All the metal components are gold-toned, with sliders featuring the Agent Provocateur brand logo. The shoulder and garter straps are elasticated and adjustable, whilst the crossover straps at the front of the bra are fixed length and made of silk rouleau. Both pieces close with black and gold hooks and eyes, with the suspender featuring an additional gold swan hook and elastic closure for a peephole effect.

Bra detail. Photo by Karolina Laskowska

Bra detail. Photo by Karolina Laskowska

I’m pretty happy with the fit of both of these pieces – I had to size up from my usual 32C in the bra, but I find that the wire is a good fit and fully and comfortably encases my breasts. The cups are fairly shallow and give a slight push up effect which helps to keep the tension of the unadjustable crossover strapping (I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this detail didn’t have any issues with gaping or cutting in!).  The underband is comfortably firm, but I would recommend sizing up in this style as I normally wear 30-size bands (which were not available in this style). The suspender sits comfortably at my natural waist and covers my hips relatively smoothly. All four garter clips sit at a comfortable height for stockings and can be adjusted. I would also recommend sizing up in this suspender compared to your normal dress size – although consistent with the brand’s sizing, I did choose a size up from my normal dress size.

Photo by Karolina Laskowska

Photo by Karolina Laskowska

Although I absolutely adore the design and styling of these two garments, I’ve discovered some pretty major design issues with them. The tulle used is extremely scratchy, to the point that I would not be able to wear these garments comfortably for more than a few minutes. The lace appliqué has not been stitched to the tulle, but glued – and not particularly well, at that. If you look closely at the garments, you can see the adhesive extending beyond the edge of the appliqué and shining, giving the pieces quite a messy feel. Also rather disconcertingly, the bonding process has meant the lace has melted a little and now feels quite crispy! After discussing this set with fellow Agent Provocateur fans, I was rather disturbed to learn that this set has seen some serious issues when it comes to longevity and washing – several people have stated that the tulle is extremely delicate and prone to tearing even during gentle wearing, which makes me worry about actually washing these designs. As a consequence, I don’t think I’ll be saving up to purchase the matching knickers to complete this set – I like my lingerie to last more than a single wear!

Demelza suspender detail. Photo by Karolina Laskowska

Suspender detail. Photo by Karolina Laskowska

This set has left me feeling a little disappointed with Agent Provocateur – what should be a luxury experience has left me feeling rather deflated. Although the gold components and couture quality lace certainly give a luxe feel, the construction methods and scratchy fabric leave a lot to be desired.

Readers: Have you ever purchased from Agent Provocateur? What did you think about the garment quality?

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Karolina
Karolina

Lingerie designer. Spends most of her time sewing bras and getting excited by chantilly lace.

16 Comments on this post

  1. Kitty biscuit says:

    I keep looking at their pjs and robe which look amazing but if I’m going to pay those prices then I want my initials on them, not the brand.

  2. […] bra that I purchased cost $187; however, the Demelza bra from Agent Provocateur, as reviewed by Karolina Laskowska on TLA costs a mind bogglingly $250 for a bra embellished with a glued […]

  3. That Hat Lady says:

    For reference, I’m an older woman, 5’5″, curvy hourglass, 145#, US size 8/UK 12. I was going to give a merchandise review on Yelp, but decided not to because everyone gave the brick-and-mortar stores 4-5 stars and I’d look like a complainer. My experience is online only. I live an hour away from the Chicago store but I haven’t gone there. I purchased both my sets during rare closeout sales. Purchase #1: In 2010, I bought a black & red lace bra, briefs and suspender set. The 34B bra fit true to my size then. The knickers AP sells are all ultra-low rise and I got a medium. I needed a medium suspender, but since only the small was left, I bought that thinking it would stretch. I wore it to bed first to see if I’d be comfortable in daytime. I found the lace was too scratchy to wear regularly. The low rise briefs didn’t cover my abdominal surgery scar, so my flesh overlaps the waistband all day. The suspender was a disaster. The first time I wore it, the waist band fit, but the plastic fasteners kept snapping off my stockings as I sat in my car. One fastener finally broke off. I was so mad, I made an emergency trip to a restroom to throw it out. These should have been metal, considering the price. Purchase #2: I just bought the June silk floral bra and briefs set on Cyber Monday. This time I got a 34C bra which is a low cut but fits well. I ordered size 3 brief, because the rise looked slightly higher in the picture than last time. But again, the briefs were ultra low rise and my flesh overlaps a bit. I wear Victoria’s Secret lingerie daily, and even though it’s cheap, their low rise styles cover me enough to stay up all day. I thought of exchanging the panty online for size 4, but that’s impossible. The returns hub doesn’t recognize my order number, and it doesn’t appear on my profile either. I had to check out as a guest on Paypal because I couldn’t place the order under my own account. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because of the sale, and they don’t want to deal with exchanges. I read somewhere that the luxury lingerie business is having hard times lately. Maybe this is why. I think I’ll pass on AP in the future. I’d rather go to a Neiman Marcus store closer to home and let their attentive staff fit me in La Perla, Chantelle or some other luxury brand that I don’t have to second guess on how it’s going to work out. No returns hassles there either.

  4. […] for the prices they charge, the quality should be better, but frankly, it isn’t. People love to slag on Victoria’s Secret, but in my opinion – god, I’m fanning […]

  5. marianne says:

    i purchased lingerie from Agent provocateur website, i’m still not able to try them as i haven’t received my order since 2 months, i am so disappointed with their customer service, as they mistakenly sent my order automatically to my paypal address, even though i entered my actual shipping address, but their system sent it automatically to paypal’s address which is not in my country, and they didn’t even bother to help me fix their mistake and get my order… so disappointed.

  6. So says:

    I purchased the ‘Jet’ set and I had the same kinds of issue. Scratchy materials, poor construction for the bra and as a result, uncomfortable wear for more than a few hours. I like to wear my lingerie under a beautiful dress at the office, just for the sake of it ; yet in roughly two years, I have never dared to wear it.

    That being said, I’m quite glad to hear that I’m not the only one having troubles with the recent lines at AP. I’m really not sure I’ll buy anything from them again. Maybe the overall quality is better for their Soirée lines?

  7. Abi Tyrrell says:

    I design and make couture lingerie and this is so disappointing to hear, but also not the first time. Recently I helped a someone through the steps of repairing an AP girdle/underbust that had ruptured at seam when she tried it on for the first time.

    This is disgraceful at the price they charge – it gives those of us who strive for quality, garments that can be handed down to become vintage heirlooms a really hard time!

    • Magdalene says:

      I have to admit, I have bought over the years many sets of AG lingerie ( including suspenders). All of them I found are made from uncomfortable, scratchy materials.
      I would never buy it again. The worse is the construction of the bra. it is very poor and wearing a bra literally, hurts.
      I am glad that other Ladies have the same experience as I thought that there is something wrong with me until I read other opinions.
      The materials they use are poor quality and the result of it is that if you wear your bra or knickers under quite fitted dresses, they material of your bra or knickers will look used very quickly.
      Over the years I bought a lot of sets of AP lingerie and the experience has been always bad.

  8. Sensible Sin says:

    How strange that they would opt for such quality components and materials, then skimp on construction. Glue? yikes. The tulle issue sounds like it might be the same material as used in the Jet line, and perhaps part of the reason that collection was so deeply discounted during their flash sales, as well.

  9. Cathryn says:

    I’ve never bought anything from AP, but I’ve recieved four different sets as gifts. I’ve always been very disappointed in the quality every time, they market themselves as a luxury brand and the price point is certainly a luxury price point, but I’ve gotten better quality lingerie at Target. I would never spend any money on their products, their stuff is very pretty, but it’s poorly made garbage in a fancy box.

  10. Taryn says:

    I recently purchased the “Lavelle” set from AP and was very pleased with the bra which fit well (because I bought a size up from my normal size) and looks beautiful. The knickers are a different story though, as I find they don’t sit well on my body and the fabric is not comfortable for long periods. I’ve purchased from them before and have found their product to be generally lovely but have had to figure out sizing etc. as well as I have never purchased lace/applique pieces and now I’m not sure I’m inclined to.

  11. Gina says:

    I bought the Vanesa set in black a few months ago, it was my first “lingerie crush”, and I have to say that although the design is very beautiful, and the bra very flattering, I didn´t like the quality of the fabric. The tulle of the knickers was stiff, it didn´t look like a luxury set.

  12. Sweets says:

    Dang, this set looks so pretty on you, but those quality issues sound not good at all. If a bra/suspender set retails for nearly $600 the last thing I’d expect to find anchoring embroidery is glue. I’m really shocked– that’s not at all the sort of construction I’d expect in luxury lingerie. What a shame!

  13. Emilia says:

    I’ve only ever purchased the Fifi bra and it was on deep discount. I was very disappointed in it and would have sent it back if I had paid even $5 more. The materials felt very cheap and it was nowhere near a $190 bra. As interesting as some of their collections are, I won’t be purchasing from them again. Luxury price for a cheap product.

  14. Tiffany says:

    It’s unfortunate that everyone I’ve talked to about Demelza has felt the same way – stunning but disappointing when seen close up. I always feel rather disappointed by AP. If we’re dropping that much money on what should be a luxury item, it should be beautifully made and comfortable to wear.

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