Victoria’s Secret’s war on bums esclalates


Does my bum look big in this? Actually, I’m writing this in a pair of “relaxed tailored” sweatpants so don’t answer that. I mean rather, that Victoria’s Secret have been at it again: wielding their retouching software with all the subtlety of a drunk and distracted Cecilia Giménez.

These knickers are called “The Cheeky’ – so cheeky in fact, that there wasn’t room in the photo for all of them. This mono-cheeked photo appeared (and indeed, still appears) on Victoria’s Secret’s Facebook page a few weeks ago. It has been bugging me ever since.

This isn’t even the first time they have erased the very body part their product is designed to serve from their marketing. I’ve written about this before: not content with erasing any nuance of shape, age, race or culture from their bland and two dimensional version of sexuality, they appear steadfastly committed to erasing actual body parts too.

I’m not sure what Victoria’s Secret’s end game is with this war against women’s three dimensional existence, but one thing is clear: women deserve better than businesses who treat women’s bodies like a Potato Jesus. Spend your money with companies who feel comfortable with buttocked bodies.


Related: Man, I hate Victoria’s Secret.



Victoria’s Secret’s war of propaganda against the female body has


Via Jezebel. Photo from Victoria’s Secret’s apparently self-parodying Facebook page.

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Bravissimo to host transgender fitting event

Bravissimo Inspiration

Tomorrow evening, lingerie pioneers Bravissimo will host their first event for transgender and non-binary people.

The brand, who’s philosophy has always been that “women should have a really uplifting and confidence boosting experience whenever and wherever they shop with us”, are seeking to open up that promise to more people; starting with the creation of a welcoming, safe space for transgender or non-binary people to get fitted.

Head to 28 Margaret Street, London at 7.30pm for your fitting tomorrow (15th June).

More inclusive steps like this please, universe.


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Coco de Mer x Rankin (like, very NSFW)

“They say people think about sex every six seconds. We can help you think about sex more”

Super-luxe adult retailer Coco de Mer made ripples last week with this extremely provocative and (goes without saying) NSFW film by Rankin.

I’ve watched it three times now and I’m still not sure 100% what I think of it. It’s beautiful and hypnotic: part-dream part-nightmare. The images veer from sex cliche to murderously dark, from silly to deadly serious, from stridently empowered to jarringly subjugated. It’s a hot mess of contradictions and not all comfortable viewing. But actually, I guess that’s the whole point. Your fantasy should be whatever you want it to be. For a business dedicated to helping you explore and express your own sexuality, that seems perfect. Curious to hear what you think…

Take a closer look at Coco de Mer here.


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Wacoal Eveden preview AW15

Fantasie Swimwear SW15

There are many perks to being back in the UK. Friends, family and this great new trend for small batch gin for starters. But also, actually being in the right country for press-previews: sneaky peaks in to the upcoming lingerie and swimwear seasons is pretty high on the list.

Wacoal Eveden – home to Freya, Fantasie, Elomi, Huit, B.tempt’d and Wacoal and Goddess – were kind enough to throw me a welcome home party invite me to their preview in London earlier this month. So in the interests of paying the joy forward, here are a few glimpses for you to whet your whistle until the next season. Please keep in mind I haven’t really so much as looked at a physical rail of bras in over a year. It was dark. I was excited. These are not the finest photographs committed to iPhone. They do show, however, a solid new season – with quite a wide mix of styles and colours to play with. Oh, and one mind-blowing innovation….

Let’s start at the start.. Freya busting out a couple of cheeky classics with Starlet and Minx.

Freya Lingerie Starlet

Freya Lingerie Minx

Fantasie have definitely upped their game with softer fabrics and wider variety of shapes. Plus there’s a fantastic Fauve-esque long-line option coming (not shown):


Elomi rocking some cracking floral pants. Look at these beauts!

Elomi Lingerie

Enough tropical swimwear to populate six Wham videos:

Freya Venice Beach bikini bottoms

Wacoal gave me serious small boob envy:


So did Huit:

Huit Lingerie

Oh, that mind-blowing innovation? Just a Freya Deco swim coming late this summer. No biggie. *hyperventilates*

Here’s to the autumn…

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Be your own lingerie designer: introducing Impish Lee

impish lee

I love a good Kickstarter at the best of times, but Impish Lee doesn’t sound so much like an exciting new business venture as it does something plucked out of my wildest dreams and made real.

Impish Lee want to create the world’s first completely customisable lingerie range. From size to style to fabric to colour to trim: you decide what you want and this Brooklyn-based sister dream team will ensure it’s made for you (ethically, in America). You see? I am expecting to see a unicorn any day now.

They call this impossible sounding feat “mass customisation” – the logic being that the current mass production process is expensive and generates an awful lot of waste that can be cut out with a smart but bespoke service. You can read their post about it here.

Oh, and they also plan to use resale of returns to raise money for poverty fighting charity the “Robin Hood Foundation“.

Unfortunately for me they’re launching with cup sizes only up to US DD but the lovely Noelle assured me that they “absolutely will be expanding our bra sizes (eventually to include nearly all!!) and should most likely have those cup sizes (but their US equivalent) by the end of this year, if not sooner! Depending on how well we do in our first month open, we will move right into larger sizes.” Seriously. This is like the bra equivalent of the moon on a stick made of strawberry laces.

The good news? It’s already been funded. The better news? You’ve still got a few hours to nip in and be a backer anyway – meaning you’ll be amongst the first to receive frillies from Impish Lee. They have a bold, daring and incredibly challenging task ahead of them – and I cannot wait to see what these girls do now.

Photo by Impish Lee (thank you!!).

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Modelled by Role Models

Panache Lingerie Modelled by Role Models

“I like to think there’s so much more to me than just the way I look – Marquita Pring.

There is a lot of nonsense in marketing. I should know: it’s my job. And as I’ve often written (i.e here), I am frequently infuriated by heartstring-tugging commercials espousing “empowering” “real beauty” messages whilst simultaneously hawking products (underarm beautifying deodorant anyone?) that perpetuate our feelings of inadequacy.

I’m pretty cynical about this kind of advertising, but this month Panache Lingerie have punched through my skepticism with the very amazing “Modelled by Role Models” campaign. This new campaign doesn’t just celebrate a diverse range of beauty (age, ethnicity, disability), but it showcases the women inside the pants. And what women they are:

Amy Hughes: sports therapist and world record breaking marathon runner

Martyna Kaczmarek: 19 year old campaigner for blood, marrow and organ donations

Mica Paris: soul legend and prolific charity ambassador and equality campaigner

Rachel Elliott: A&E nurse who volunteered in the Sierra Leone ebola outbreak

Hannah Cockroft MBE: world record breaking paralympian

Marquita Pring: model, body confidence mentor

The campaign is as much about celebrating these (and your personal) role models as it is the (lovely) lingerie on them. I doubt Panache has either the gimmicks or the media budget to make this the same sort of ubiquitous, award winning success other brands playing in this (*ahem*) real beauty space will – but it’s a brilliant campaign with real integrity. And that’s not something you see every day.


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Voting blue: Parfait by Affinitas’s Casey reviewed

Parfait by Affinitas Intimates - Casey

Oh it’s nice to be back in London. I loved Amsterdam, but London by the river in the sunshine is home. And it’s nice to know I’m surrounded by hundreds of lingerie shops that stock my back size. I say it’s nice to know, but haven’t actually made it inside any of them. Between working and moving and catching up with people, I haven’t made it near a changing room.

This wouldn’t be a problem were I not mid-international move and, as before in 2011, seriously limited on my usual lingerie stash. With most of my bras in Amsterdam I’m heavily rotating a few classics – meaning I’m missing variety and (let’s face it) accelerating the death of some of my favourite bras through over wear.

To the rescue came Affinitas Intimates – who sent me Parfait’s Casey plunge in a 30G. I haven’t been feeling particularly generous to the Blues this week, but Casey’s near-lilacy hues are much more my cup of tea than right wing politics *winds neck in*.

Casey is a soft moulded plunge bra, similar to Freya’s Deco, with a lace sling for detail on the cups making it a little bit more special than a basic t-shirt bra. My usual 30G fit nicely, although the narrow centre gore couldn’t quite stay fixed to my rib cage on the loosest back hook. This is consistent with how I find Freya’s Deco sizing too though, so I think fans can wear their usual size.

Unlike the Deco it has nearly a centimetre of cushioned trim underneath the cups which I quite liked, and on F+ cups it also has three hooks at the back instead of Deco’s if you prefer that extra security. So far so good.

The cup is similar with two notable exceptions. One, the straps (skinny and satin – rare in a G cup) are fractionally further apart than the Deco making this an excellent alternative for broader shoulders. And two, the cup at the center gore is cuts away fractionally lower. Aesthetically this looked great – gives a lovely rounded cleavage – but it did mean my slightly bigger right boob half wriggled free when I cleaned the floor.

Ah well. Who wears deep deep push up bras to clean the floor anyway? A lovely little option, available now from, well, all over the place – also in black, beige, fuchsia rose and a black and rose print in sizes 30-40 D-G.

[Also from Affinitas: Charlotte and Odette reviewed.]



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