Monday, 21 April 2014

Victoria’s Secret and smelly stockings …

Only in the USA does a lingerie line get a TV show. Victoria’s Secret is the line and their Fashion Show is big business, being covered in Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and all upmarket fashion venues. The models who parade the catwalk for the fashion show are called ‘Angels’ and the roles are hotly contested. 

Rumour has it that Cara Delevingne has been invited to strut her stuff, and as she’s home grown lingerie talent that seems appropriate. The date is 2 December and the venue is Earls Court – no hard information about ticket numbers or prices yet but hold on to your hats, it will be pricey!

Stockings as seduction devices

Everybody knows that stockings are sexy. It doesn’t matter whether they are laddered, thick and clumpy St Trinian’s style naughty schoolgirl props, sleek and unobtrusive hold-ups that could pass for tights except to the lucky person who gets to see beneath the top layers, or in your face fishnets with stilettos and attitude, stockings are just sexy.

Now Ballerina think they can make them even sexier. Their Hush Hush lingerie line features hold up stockings that are infused with (synthetic) pheromones rumoured to drive men into a sexual frenzy. The company claims that these pheromones, which mimic those naturally produced by human sweat glands, will cause men to feel more romantic.

Now we like stimulants to seduction as much as the next man or woman, but we can see a couple of problems with this. Problem number one … there’s nothing specific about the pheromone effect so it’s entirely possible that the stockings could attract the wrong man, or men, and that could lead to heated arguments or even punch ups, rather than steamed up bedrooms and loved up couples!

Problem number two … does the effect wear off when the stockings are removed? Again, we have no difficulty envisaging keeping our stockings on in the bedroom (or wherever else we might find ourselves) but we wouldn’t want to find the mood faltered just because we’d slipped out of them.

And finally – we wonder just how long the pheromone effect lasts? Does it survive a wash? Four washes? What about tumble drying? In our view, if you want to get your man hot under the collar you can leave the pheromones to one side. The utter lambour of a pair of pure silk stockings needs no embellishment and our Champs Elysees silk stockings by Cervin will do the job without any suspect odours!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Towie strippers, Magic Mike II and the dangers of lingerie parties …

Danielle Armstrong is the latest The Only Way Is Essex hottie to get into her underwear for a photo-shoot. She’s launching her own personal styling boutique (‘all champagne and chandeliers’ is how she put it) and in combination with that, she wants to give her ex James Lock a reminder of what he threw away by having a dirty weekend in Brighton with Big Brother’s Sallie Axl. Confused? We are too. Anyway, we don’t need to get into the ins and outs of Reality TV shows, we’re just delighted that Danielle has chosen some very gorgeous blue lingerie to frame her curves.

Here at we think blue underwear is wonderwear – there’s no complexion or hair colour it doesn’t work for and we’re amazed more people don’t choose it. Perhaps they think blue is not flattering to their skin tones but we have a guide to wearing blue that helps everybody find the perfect blue lingerie.

  1. If your skin tone is warm (you tan easily and coral and peach tones flatter your complexion) choose turquoise and aqua tones for your lingerie
  2. If your skin tone is cool (you don’t tan easily or have freckles and crimson and purple tones flatter your complexion) choose navy and teal tones of sexy underwear
  3. Black and blue work really well together – look at our gorgeous Jennifer lingerie set from Beauty Night to see what we mean but blue and pink can be really difficult combinations. When you’re wearing blue, ensure your tights or stockings are either black or a cool nude tone, nothing like tan or honey which can look less than great
  4. Blue is also fantastic with bedroom jewels, so when you’re wearing blue lingerie, pull out the bling and give yourself a boudoir make-over.

Dublin pub found not guilty for lingerie party injury

This was published on April Fool’s day so we had to go and double-check it wasn’t a Fool’s Day joke! But in fact the Dublin High Court ruled that a woman who was knocked over at an Ann Summers lingerie party could not claim damages for her injuries. Apparently Ms Deehan, who brought the case, had already been a finalist in a competition in which contestants had to burst balloons with parts of their body and then was knocked to the ground by another competitor in a competition to grab a cock ring that had been thrown into the air. Sounds just like an average day in our office, to be honest! Anyway, the judge ruled that while she deserved sympathy for her bruised ribs, she couldn’t claim the pub had been negligent.

 And this isn’t an April Fool, we promise! Magic Mike II is on!  It will be called Magic Mike XXL and Channing Tatum is co-writing the script (yes, we’re swooning too, clever and cute!) Joe Manganiello is back too, although we’ve got no confirmation about Matthew McConaughey so far … so we’ll leave you with the delicious Joe in costume and the thought that by this autumn they’ll be filming the Magic Mike sequel!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

What’s hot in lingerie: breasts and a new male model …

Breasts matter …

Everybody is breast aware these days: this Saturday (22nd March) a lingerie retailer in Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent is partnering Breast Cancer Care to encourage women visiting the shop to banish their ill-fitting bras and to learn how to examine their own breasts.

We’re totally in favour of breast examination and very much applaud the aim to get women, world-wide, into well-fitting lingerie.  If you’re looking for the perfect bra, browsing our range will definitely reveal something just right for you, in particular our Gracya Mon Amour half-cup bra which comes in an extensive size range and is the perfect way to present your bust!

Good breast health is more than just breast examination – body confidence is crucial to our sense of self and our physical well-being. The right underwear improves a silhouette, gives us curves where we want them and not where we don’t and provides a sense of style that we can call upon even if nobody (except our lover) gets to see what’s making us feel so happy and secure in our own skins.

On that note, The Sun newspaper, best known for its Page Three lingerie models, has teamed up with the charity Coppafeel to encourage everyone to examine their breasts every Tuesday. Both men and women are liable to discover lumps in the breasts and the majority of these lumps are benign but early discovery and investigation are vital to ensure that the possibility of breast cancer is ruled out.

New top model?

Talking about lingerie models, we have some very special eye candy this week. The headlines have been grabbed by a new kid on the block – Alex Minsky, whose story is quite astonishing.  Back in 2009, less than a month after arriving in Afghanistan, Marine Minsky was blown up when his vehicle ran over an improvised explosive device. The bomb tore his life apart, breaking his jaw in four places, tearing his arm apart and amputating his right leg below the knee. He was not expected to survive and his mother was told that if he lived, his live would never be the same again. That was for sure!

Today he’s the hottest male model around, from his prosthetic limb to his amazing body art. But before he reached those heights, his life degenerated. On release from hospital after months of surgery, he developed drug and alcohol problems and it was only when he’d been through rehab and started using the gym to keep his demons away that he was spotted by a photographer. We think Alex Minsky is pretty special, and we’re confident you will too!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

No underwear church, pole dancing and rocking like Rosie …

Lingerie ban I

We thought we’d heard everything there was to hear about the world of lingerie … but no, we can still be surprised! What got our knickers in a twist this week was a story from Dandora, a suburb of Nairobi, which revealed that the local pastor has asked his congregation to give up their underwear for Jesus.

Apparently Reverend Njohi ordained that women shouldn’t wear bras or panties to ‘experience the touch of Christ’. His church is called Lord’s Propeller Redemption Church and he says that women will experience dire consequences is they are caught wearing undergarments to church in secret!

Lingerie ban II

An update on the Russian lingerie situation. With the tense situation in Ukraine and Crimea, a little light relief might be in order. We reported a couple of weeks ago on an underwear ban that could have Russian women back in Soviet style ‘regulation underwear’. Supposedly the ban is to protect Russia’s feminine population from cheap materials that might affect their health negatively, but no less a person than Hilary Clinton called the law a way to ‘re-Sovietize the region’.

Obviously Russia’s lawmakers didn’t read the PhD thesis written by Christiana Tsaousi (Leicester University) entitled ‘Consuming Underwear: Fashioning Female Identity’ which suggests that ‘… underwear can be seen as a technology of the self and as embodied cultural capital. It functions both as a support for outerwear and the body, and as a tool for self-fashioning and self-improvement due to the intense sensations it can produce for the wearer …’ Or, given that this is Russia we’re talking about, maybe they did, and found the idea of women improving themselves through consumption to be such a troubling idea they decided to legislate against it!

Something for everyone

Pole dancing with a difference here! The amazing Jason Statham, who is busy filming Mechanic 2, shows off his stunning abs in this shot which gives ‘beach body’ a whole new meaning. He’s 46 but few men half his age could compete with Statham’s amazing physique. 

And why? Well, part of the reason might be Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, lingerie model and actress who is 26 and has been dating Statham for around three years. Despite the rumour of a break-up, the couple appear to be very much an item. Rosie’s just finished filming Mad Max: Fury Road and is unlikely to appear in the sophisticated lingerie that we’re more used to seeing her in.

We won’t suggest that you develop abs like Jason’s, because we can’t help feeling that such dedicated perfection requires winning the genetic raffle as well as hours of hard work, but if you’d like to recreate Rosie’s sexy outfit, we’d recommend our Lise Charmel Precieux Tissagelingerie bras – flattering in design, easy to wear under day clothing and yet very simple to dress up for the boudoir with a couple of accessories, maybe a mask and choker or perhaps some sheer gloves like Rosie’s.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Bans, football fans and spring plans …

Bans, football fans and spring plans …

While we’re all glued to the Sochi Olympics, a quiet but troubling change has been taking place in Russia. It’s all to do with sexy underwear and Russian women are so outraged that they have been protesting in public about the trade ban.

It’s an unusual situation – any lacy undies that contain less than 6% cotton will be banned from manufacture or sale in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and that includes import lingerie. And the populace is furious at the reminder of the bad old pre-glasnost days when Soviet underwear was apparently riveted together out of girders!

Women protesting in Kazakhstan were vociferous, and the police arrested them for wearing lace underwear (on their heads) and shouting a phrase that most closely translates as “freedom for knickers”! They weren’t the only fighters for underwear choice; thousands of people began to tweet pictures of old style Russian underwear to show why they were so unhappy at the proposed legislation that will come into effect in July. And, of course, the Russian Olympic team’s female members got into the act, appearing in their sexiest lingerie to show just how feminine they are. Whether the whole thing is just a huge stunt is difficult to tell, but it’s certainly the case that Russia is one of the world’s biggest consumers of sexy undies and the ban could reduce lingerie sales in the country by up to 90%.

Savage underwear revealed

Also in underwear – Robbie Savage! Yes the blond-haired footballer has been revealing his smooth torso for an underwear shoot. Somewhat to our surprise, while Robbie has a gorgeous golden tan, there’s not a hint of a six pack in the video which was released in advance of the actual video, a sort of underwear prequel we suppose. Here in the office we’re always delighted with gender equality so having Robbie and the Russian women Olympians posing in their underwear in the same week seems just right. And for those of you who haven’t seen Robbie in his skivvies and can’t wait for the official video release, here’s an unposed shot that we hope will satisfy your curiosity.

Investment lingerie for spring 2014 in Pantone’s top colours

Spring, we’re being told, is just around the corner, but it doesn’t feel like that to most of us. We’re still pulling on our woolly tights and contemplating whether or not we need our thermal vests on a daily basis, but it’s never too early to start planning your spring underwear wardrobe. Babydolls are a key feature of the lingerie spring clean, offering a sweet but sensual introduction to the full heat of summer. This year Pantone predicts that the most fashionable colours will include freesia, sand and a muted green called hemlock. Our Lise Charmel Garden Folie babydoll combines these shades in a beautiful pastel fashion, so if you want to be on-trend for spring 2014, it’s a real investment buy … perhaps as an early Easter present to you and the one you love?

Monday, 10 February 2014

Valentine’s Day gifts, models and tips

American Apparel has used images of Jacky O’Shaughnessy several times, but the most recent features her wearing a bandeau bra and sheer panties and has the tagline
‘Sexy has no expiration date.’ So what, you ask?

Jacky is 62 years old. 

Now that’s pretty special! Of course she probably looked gorgeous all through her life, but let’s give credit where it’s due, American Apparel have stuck their necks out to use a woman who’s three times the age of the average lingerie model and she does look absolutely stunning in these pictures.

Want to emulate Jacky’s look?

Strong colours and sheer/lace fabrics aren’t the usual first choice of older women but Jacky’s pictures show how to make it work. Wear two different colours, red and purple like Jacky or any other two strong hues and choose a strong lipstick shade to bring life to your face. Let your hair be loose and tousled and keep jewellery to a minimum for a natural, powerful, female look.

Choosing the best Valentine’s Day underwear

Choosing a Valentine’s Day gift can be fraught with complications – is it cheesy, is it too much (or to little), does it give off the wrong signals?

Add to that the idea of choosing that most intimate of items, underwear, as a gift and the whole process can become terrifying. So let us help you find the perfect underwear solution so that your Valentine’s Day gift is just right!

Tips for him

  1. Remember what she normally wears. Women know what feels comfortable to them and moving too far away from her standard style could leave her feeling that you’re trying to change her into somebody else. Even if it doesn’t, she probably understands which lingerie styles work best for her build and curves. Buy something a little smaller, and little more risqué than her usual underwear and check it’s easy to get on and off and you’ll be off to a great start.
  2. Lace is lovely for a reason. It’s difficult to go wrong with a lace garment. For a first time Valentine’s Day purchase, something lacy, rather than sheer, leopard-skin leather or rubber, will be a gentle easing into the world of erotic underwear.
  3. Have a fall-back plan and a follow through. If your main gift falls flat, make sure you’ve got something totally romantic to restore the balance. A box of her favourite chocolates, some beautiful stud earrings, a journal in her preferred colour for her to write in. It will at least restore you to favour. And if your main gift goes well, have a little something extra to back it up – the Luxxa Lion Leo mask is so beautiful that any woman would be thrilled to wear it, and a mask can free the inner animal … so beware!

Tips for her

Don’t emasculate a man’s man. Some guys are totally up for fun and games outside their standard ‘bloke’ apparel but some feel acutely uncomfortable with anything that seems to threaten their masculinity. Start with something totally macho – black leather cuffs, a plain black mask etc and if that is well-received you can move onto your ‘extra’ present, which might be a black thong or, and this is our favourite man-present for this year, the Sargento from Sensualle, a no-nonsense camouflage pattern brief with sexy thong side ties. It totally rocks the bedroom!

Don’t ignore his hints. Some men are very ready to play games, and if your guy has been talking about master and slave stuff (Game of Thrones can be a good resource) or other role play, this is the time to get him some equipment so you can both try out his dream.

Trust your instincts. Many partners actually know their man’s desires and secret wishes but have never chosen to voice them. If you see a candy-striped thong and wand and think ‘he’d like that’ then go ahead and buy it! It’s far too easy to censor a man’s fantasies by sticking to the standard themes – let your intuition guide you and it could lead to the Valentine’s night of a lifetime!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Love-test underwear, games you shouldn’t try at home and mind-boggling news about Bradley Cooper

Ravijour, the Japanese lingerie brand, is definitely a high tech company. Their latest creation is a bra that will only unfasten when the wearer is having a ‘true love’ experience.

It sounds a bit like a modern-day chastity belt and the video that accompanies the launch of the love –bra definitely picks up on that theme, showing a scantily clad model whose bra stays resolutely clasped despite a creep waving a bunch of cash at her and a geek trying to seduce her with words. Of course it’s not quite that simple – there’s a heart rate monitor installed in the bra and a mobile phone app that responds to the heart rate of the wearer by unhooking the bra when the wearer’s pulse hits a certain level. According to the boffins who created the device, it can distinguish a raise pulse as a result of exercise or a heated environment from that which happens when the wearer is feeling romantic excitement. All I can say about that, is the designers haven’t tried doing hot yoga with my particularly fit male instructor – I think this bra would keep popping undone in those circumstances!

If you want a bra that raises temperatures, why not try the Gracya Mon Amour half-cup bra set – it’s a sizzler that doesn’t need technology to unlock it!

Don’t try this at home!

They have to make their own entertainment in Australia, specifically the sleepy (but very clean) little town of Mooroopna, north of Melbourne, where one lively chap was playing a game of hide-and-seek when things went wrong.  Here are our tips if you’re going to play games at home:

  • Hide and seek is fun – but don’t climb into household appliances (the twenty-year-old Australian got stuck in a top-loading washing machine)
  • If you’re going to play grown-up games, limit them to a safe and secluded environment (he was naked)
  • Remember that accidents happen so it’s a good idea to have your mobile phone handy (he was there for twenty minutes)
  • Even if your partner’s favourite fantasy involves uniforms and lube, it’s still not a great idea to be freed from a piece of white goods by the local fire crew using olive oil … sure, he or she will never forget the moment, but for all the wrong reasons!

Really, if your home town is boring, and you want to have fun, we suggest you invest in our Fifty Days Of Play NaughtyKit which will give you hours of grown up fun without the high risk approach taken by that daring Australian chap!

We can’t wait for Bradley Cooper to reprise his role …

Or can we? Those of us who saw Benedict Cumberbatch in Frankenstein were amazed at how the cerebral ‘Sherlock’ persona gave way to a vigorous and frankly disturbing ‘creature’ and revealed that Cumberbatch has a sinewy and powerful body!

However, we’re unsure about the Bradley Cooper Elephant Man commitment. Bradley’s already starred in the piece in 2012, to great acclaim, and he performs without prosthetics or make-up, which is a dazzling performance by all accounts, but we might give it a miss – we like to think of Bradley the way he looks here. Of course, if we were offered tickets for the Broadway show, that might change our minds, but we’re pretty sure it isn’t going to happen, so we’ll feast our eyes on the classic Bradley instead!