Lingerie Review: Agent Provocateur Soiree Ester Bra & Knicker
Disclosure: I purchased this lingerie for myself, Agent Provocateur have no affiliation with this review.
Agent Provocateur's Soiree collections has always been one of those things that I've spent hours drooling over, knowing full well that I'll never be able to afford any of it. Those gorgeous silks and laces live very, very, very far outside of my budget - you'd easily be dropping over £1000 on a single lingerie set. Nevertheless, a girl can dream (and dream I did)... and when the Agent Provocateur Summer sale rolled round, I did A Very Bad Thing.
As most lingeristas know, the Agent Provocateur sales are things of beauties -- prices can drop obscenely low, making these extremely luxurious pieces affordable. When I found myself in one of AP's London boutiques, it was the 'Ester' Soiree set that particularly caught my eye -- the luxurious and opulent hand beading and lace are simply breathtaking levels of detail that I simply hadn't noticed in the glossy Soiree campaign images.
Even on sale, it still wasn't cheap -- the exact figures elude me, but I believe the bra was around £125 and the matching briefs £75 (vastly reduced of course - the original set cost near £1000, which is hardly surprising given the level of hand sewing involved -- and I totally used this fact to justify my purchase!). I bought the bra in a 32D (my usual size is 32C, though I found that the cups came up quite small) and knickers in a size 3. Unfortunately, as a previous season sale piece, it is no longer available on the website -- but it may return in future sales, so keep an eye out!
The bra and knickers are both made of a combination of stretch silk and French lace. The bra is lightly padded and lined in silk chiffon - even the wings are made silk, which whilst not the most hard-wearing of fabrics, does feel utterly delicious against the skin. The cups of the bra feature layers of French lace with delicate layered scallops of tiny silk binding, embellished with extremely intricate beading, with a variety of glass beads and metallic sequins. The bra gore is also covered in beautiful chantilly lace and finished with a silk bow. The straps are half made of a wide strip of silk chiffon, with the back half in colour-matched elastic with gold toned sliders.
The knickers feature a front panel of layered French lace, beading and silk binding, with the rest of the knickers made of the same navy silk chiffon as the bra. The side panels feature two 'bands' of folded and ruched silk chiffon, with seamless construction. The front panel and gusset are both lined with silk chiffon. The attention to detail is simply exquisite.
I cannot find any particular fault with the fit -- although I had to size up a cup size in this bra, it fits perfectly well (and I found it in line with the rest of AP's sizing). The wires encase my breast tissue comfortably and the gore tacks. The cups are lightly padded and give my preferred shape. The briefs are very comfortable, and I love the fact that the layered side panels don't actually contain any elastic trims -- they give a very comfortable fit on the body, without cutting in as other layered 'peekaboo' constructions often do.
My only real criticism of the knicker fit is that the front rise is lower than I would normally like, though of course this is a matter of personal preference rather than design criticism. Unfortunately the heavy texture of the beading means that this set is very visible through clothing -- not that this causes me any problems, as it is firmly reserved for special occasion wear only!
I am rather enamored with this set, and even though it did cause my bank account a great deal of pain, I would say it is worth every penny -- the beading is simply exquisite, and I feel like I am wearing a work of art when it is on my body. The Agent Provocateur Soiree collection offers true luxury, and were I to have the funds, I would certainly buy from them again -- I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a lottery win!
Readers: what do you think of the Soiree collection? Would you ever consider purchasing a piece of it?