Pristine and glossy, the suburban housewife of the 1950’s wears sugary hues and a veneer of bliss. She bakes a cake, combs the children’s hair, decoupages the hall console table, and polishes everything to plastic perfection. When her husband comes home she’s coiffed, perfumed, and ready to pounce. This season Agent Provocateur looks to the distorted reality of the Stepford Wife as a white-picket springboard for its SS14 collection. Inspired by the pressures that come with being a new mother, Creative Director Sarah Shotton envisaged The Perfect Woman in a fantasy of silk and lace; a lady in the street and a wildcat in the bedroom. Photographer Miles Aldridge with his lacquered scenes of domestic womanhood was the natural partner in creating the season’s Mise-en-scene.
Keeping up appearances is of paramount importance to the good wife, but even she can sometimes let cracks and chinks give a glimpse of what lies beneath. Peekaboo lingerie with winking flashes of flesh is her coy way of flirting with the reality of her sex appeal. The ‘Chrissy’ playsuit with its barely-there ruffles of tulle and French Leavers lace cascading over the breasts is demure enough to tempt, and naughty enough to thrill. The ‘Peggy’ is another lesson in titillation, with its panels of narrow scalloped French Leavers lace drawn together to create coquettish flashes of flesh, and its sheer diamond Pointe d’esprit tulle creating just enough of a layer over the bottom to hoodwink you into thinking she’s clothed. The ‘Bobbie’ features swags of droplet embroidery that drape delicately over the contours of the body, shimmying with every move and joined together with perky black satin bows.