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Naughty Bits: Lingerie News for 10/28/12

  • Victoria's Secret vs Agent Provocateur: how two brands compare in today's version of sexy - British women are incredibly loyal to their personal choices of lingerie brands and it shows. Over the past four years, clothing sales have been flat but lingerie sales have risen slightly to 0.6%. Taking advantage of a pretty impressive market in the face of recession are Agent Provocateur and Victoria's Secret and each one's approach is different. Agent Provocateur maintains that its lingerie isn't for display but should create confidence in the woman who wears it, and it is this confidence that creates sex appeal. Victoria's Secret, however, stays in a different lane. In contrast to the daring tone Agent Provocateur takes, Victoria's Secret maintains an upbeat and vibrant atmosphere (this can be seen in the difference between the two firms' fashion shows) and attracts all types of consumers, while Agent Provocateur is more of a niche firm. Do you agree or disagree with their approaches?
  • The opportunity to "do" gender differences comes at Halloween. F&%K No Sexist Halloween Costumes has started a collection of images that compares Halloween costumes for men and women that have the same theme. With costumes ranging from farmers and leprechauns to pool tables and bacon, the site shows how the Halloween costume industry enforces the gender "binary."
  • The Fantasy Bra over the years - Since 1996, the fantasy bra has been a spectacular piece of lingerie. What started out as a $1 million bra that could only be found in a catalog has turned into a spectacle in itself during the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Take a look at its 16-year history since Claudia Schiffer first slipped it on and tell us what you think.
  • What happens when you let a website pick out the perfect bra for you - Most women think they know what bra size they wear. However, many have come to notice that all bras of the same size may not actually be the same size. However, True & Co may have the answer. Instead of measuring tapes and fitting rooms, the lingerie firm figures out the perfect fit through a simple test. The questions are not simply based on numbers but ask about support, band tightness, cup spillage and others and show a collection of bras they think would be perfect. Customers can select three from the list, True & Co adds two additional options and for $45, they ship the bras. Customers try them on in the comfort of their own home, keep what they like, and send back what they don't. Refinery29 tried the service and found it was quick, easy, and a very good bra shopping experience. How do you feel about bra fitting services like True & Co's?
  • Stella's self portrait and why she took it - The negative self images of some teenage girls and the criticisms that come with them can stay with women well into their adult years and leave lasting effects. What happens when one gets over it, though? She posts a self portrait and tells others that her body is hers and to deal with it. What's your reaction to her self portrait?
  • Doutzen Kroes on why Photoshop is still essential - A few weeks ago, Victoria's Secret model Doutzen Kroes had unretouched pictures of a photo shoot leaked. With tons of before and after comparisons floating on the internet afterwards, Doutzen Kroes says it simply comes with the territory. "There’s always paparazzi and stuff on the beach when we’re shooting, and it’s just part of the job." However, Kroes makes the point that retouching images is essential to the fashion industry because people want a sense of fantasy and retouching images maintains that fantasy. What are your thoughts?
  • Agent Provocateur and Monica and Penelope Cruz team up to launch lingerie line - Agent Provocateur has announced the creation of L'Agent, its new diffusion line, in partnership with sisters Monica and Penelope Cruz. The line will be a standalone standalone collection, and will be priced significantly lower than Agent Provocateur's. The brand has always been associated with decadence, but this is its bid at younger and more cost-conscious consumers.
  • Bullies in Burlesque  - In this week's "Stripper Talk," Sydni Deveraux confronts the issues of weight in burlesque. A reader tells of a burlesque show's producer telling her to lose some weight because people only come to burlesque shows when they are attracted to the performers. Her response was that when she joined the troupe, it was a collaboration of gypsies, not a showgirl strip club. She believes this is taking away from the art form of burlesque and is concerned it may mirror the future of burlesque. Sydni gives her many insights to the issue, ranging from the history of burlesque and its homogenization to how the direction of burlesque as an art form is totally in the hands of the performers. Do you have any thoughts on the resurgence of burlesque and its direction?

Cora Harrington

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. Author of In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that everyone who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

4 Comments on this post

  1. I have been in the Lingerie business for 25+ years and I get the need for sensual photography. But there is a difference between artistic photos and airbrushing. Yes, it’s part of the fashion industry, but I can say, unequivocally as the mother of two girls that the female standard the fashion industry promotes without any balance, is dangerous to a young girl’s self esteem

  2. Thursday says:

    Excuse the pun, but that Stella is a star. I would say I’m inspired by her courage, but it really should not take so much courage to share her beautiful self with us. I know the pressures to feel ashamed are immense when you don’t conform to any ideal, so it makes me happy to see her making such a statement against body hate.

  3. Cassie says:

    “However, Kroes makes the point that retouching images is essential to the fashion industry because people want a sense of fantasy and retouching images maintains that fantasy. What are your thoughts?”

    I’m not sure which people want a sense of fantasy. The models themselves appear to like it, but what about the average consumer? Any Angels been chatting us up lately? I miss lingerie ads directed at, you know, actual women. Not men. Not fetishists. Women. Who are going to be the ones wearing what’s in the ad, if the women possess a “perfect” enough body.

    VS has demonstrated in multiple ways that it does not want a woman like me as its customer unless I’m buying workout gear (and that alone speaks volumes). This nonsense about fantasies and retouching is just another broken underwire jabbing us in the boobs.

    • Thursday says:

      I have to agree – I think it’s only the fashion industry that’s so obsessed with this fantasy idea – I’ve heard it trotted out a number of times specifically in relationship to plus-size models. Apparently we only buy “fantasy” – my wardrobe, drawers and lingerie chest would beg to differ!

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