Agent Provocateur’s trademark powder-pink boxes are to undies what a turquoise Tiffany package is to jewellery. Expect hyperventilation: from her, when she receives it; from you, when she puts it on.
Originally founded by Joseph Corré – son of Vivienne Westwood – and his then wife, in addition to bras, knickers and sizzling scraps of saucy silk, Agent Provocateur sell cutting-edge swimwear - frequently, distinctive strappy styles that tend to give rise to distinctive, strappy tan lines to match, yet still have lines of ladies queuing to buy them because they look hotter than the equatorial sun. They also offer perfumes; erotic accessories; heels (including collaborations with shoe designer Charlotte Olympia); a range of nylons that make legs nigh on impossible to resist; and even luggage designed for both “romantic rendezvous and business liaisons.” What business you choose to take it on is nobody’s business but yours. But business better be booming if you want to invest in AP’s super-deluxe ‘Soiree’ collection, which contains beaded thongs costing a sphincter-clenching £595.
The AP shopping experience is as indulgent as its products. The Broadwick Street shop is the original outlet, and celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2014. There, staff dressed in the famous AP pink uniforms can help with sizing, and – if you’re a newbie to the world of boobs – explain terms like ‘demi bra’. Clue: it has nothing to do with Ms. Moore.