Always Remember: Agent Provocateur

Agent Provocateur Always RememberI love Agent Provocateur. Where, for me, other brands don’t quite manage to ‘do’ boudoir without looking a little contrived and awkward, Agent Provocateur does sexy as sexy should be: smart, empowered, and with a playful sense of humour. That they don’t do G-cups is a huge disappointment, but I’m not pretending that were I in a higher tax bracket I wouldn’t be stockpiling E-cups purely for indoor use. My Fifi is a long-standing favourite, and the pants are as fabulous as they are impractical – (F+ sizes take note: if you’re splurging and mix-and-matching, AP – especially AP on sale – is FUN).

Agent Provocateur have a history of cheeky videos (who can forget Kylie’s very naughty “would all the men in the audience stand up?” ad…?), and Always Remember, whilst not quite as distracting as KM’s 2001 spot, showcases AP’s AW11 in a series of short videos starring the impossibly beautiful actress Paz de la Huerta.

Shot with a 60s/70s Hollywood Glamour vibe, each film shows a starlet caught behaving (as our mothers might say) disgracefully in front of the ever-present paparazzi. Heavy-eyed and heavy-limbed, the starlet falls and fails and flashes her knickers to the eager approval of the camera flashbulbs. “Always remember your Agent Provocateurs” each video says; there are always ways to turn a situation to your advantage, especially if you’ve got the foundations right.

What I like about these videos is how contrary they are – (she’s seems out of control but she’s in charge, the paparazzi judge her but they love it) –  and it’s this contrariness that is making a statement. As de la Huerta says “these days the paparazzi wan’t to see you fail – and they have actually tripped me – but they also want to see you succeed. So it’s a contradiction of catching you at your best and catching you at your worst…” We’re invited to pour judgement on to girls who don’t conform to whatever impossible prescription of womanhood is expected, but at the same time are bombarded with non-stories that delight in women’s *ahem* ‘misdemeanours’ – crimes that vary wildly from drunkenness and promiscuity (the horror!) to leaving the house without makeup or sporting visible bra straps (the inhumanity!). In a world where it seems women can’t win, ‘Always Remember’ shows a woman taking control and playing the game to her own advantage. And sure, pants are a rather superficial way of fighting back – but the sentiment of rebellion and empowerment is there. “A lady knows how to turn a fall in to a rise.” That there is some of the best careers advice you’ll ever receive…

I could be wrong, of course, and reading far too much in to things whilst being blinded by the beauty of some of the collections. In another reality, that orchid print robe is all I’d ever wear…

Check out Agent Provocateur’s Always Remember videos here. What do you think?

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