How the 50 Shades effect turned us into lingerie addicts

by Sian Parry
Sian Parry heels
Sian Parry

I’ve just realised that this morning’s commuters might have seen my knickers through my lace dress, had they looked closely. Fortunately, they are a rather lovely pair by Chantal Thomass.

Running a close second to my shoe addiction, is my love of lingerie. There’s nothing quite like the secret pleasure you get from beautiful underpinnings. Dressing from the inside out gives you poise and confidence  … granny’s rule of ‘nice underwear, in case you get hit by a bus’  is hardly the point, unless the bus is being driven by Ryan Gosling.

I can still remember my first time in Agent Provocateur. The Soho shop felt naughty & decadent, the sales girls with their red lips and patent leather heels. It was 1994, I was a student, and I spent my rent on a pale pink box filled with silk & lace.

That box, filled with crisp tissue and tied with a black bow is all part of the allure, as is a shop’s décor - like the pink satin changing rooms at the Chantal Thomass boutique in Paris. I think I could actually live in that shop, only popping out to pick up supplies of Lauduree macaroons and champagne. A fantasy life .. that’s what lingerie can do, transport you from the everyday.  I have a Fifi Chachnil negligee …I sometimes wear it with marabou mules. Now, I don’t actually have a life that requires a negligee .. but when I wear it, I’m Ava Gardner.

A new report says that thanks to the 50 Shades of Grey effect British women own an average of 35 pairs of knickers compared with just 12 in 1999… but I reckon that's not the half of it. Bras, corsets, waspies, suspenders? I’ll bet my La Perla there’s a lot more of them languishing in our drawers now too. As for me, I’m too scared to count. The infamous 19th century courtesan Cora Pearl once placed an order with a Paris corsetiere for £18,000, so I still have a long way to go ….

And here's my top 5:

Agent Provocateur
www.agentprovocateur.com" target="_blank">www.agentprovocateur.com
6 Broadwick Street

London W1F 8HL


Telephone
 0207 439 0229
 
Fifi Chachnil
http://www.fifichachnil.com/
48 Beauchamp Place 
London SW3 1NX

 Telephone 020 7225 2226
 
Chantal Thomass
http://chantalthomass.fr/
Fenwicks
63 New Bond Street,
London W1S 1RQ
Telephone 020 7629 9161

Coco de Mer
http://www.coco-de-mer.com/
23 Monmouth Street
London WC2H 9DD
Telephone 020 7836 8882

Made by Niki
http://madebyniki.co.uk/
Stockists: Selfridges
400 Oxford Street
‪W1A 1AB ‬
Telephone:‬ 0800 123400 ‬





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