I saw the video for the Agent Provocateur “Control Yourself” AW13 campaign recently, and was pleased to see that the brand is going back to its roots. The video shows women wearing lingerie for their own pleasure – breaking out of a routine where they are told what to do, being bold and daring just like the original vision of the Agent Provocateur woman. By using models who look like they’re having fun, the brand has made 2013 a far more interesting year that 2012 was, and the AW13 collection is absolutely stunning in every way. There was still one rather disappointing aspect – their lingerie is still way out of my price range. The utterly beautiful Demelza set featured in the video costs £125 for the bra, £165 for the suspender belt and £95 for the briefs. I’m sure it’s probably worth every penny, but I simply don’t have that kind of money. So I was extremely interested when I heard that Agent Provocateur had launched a diffusion line. Designed by sisters Penélope and Mónica Cruz under the watchful eye of AP Creative Director Sharon Shotton, L’Agent brings a splash of Agent Provocateur glamour to those of us with more modest lingerie budgets.
The bras in this new range are available in 32-36 band size and an A-E cup – meaning my usual size of 32E is covered – plus briefs are available in five sizes, XS to XL. The official online stockist is Net-A-Porter, but there are also a number of department stores across the UK which have some of the range on their shelves. This is very useful for those of us who prefer to try before we buy! I popped to the John Lewis lingerie department after work one evening last week, in order to do some research for the blog, and was pleasantly surprised to find a selection of styles from this new celebrity/diffusion range nestling amongst all their usual brands. Selecting four L’Agent bras (in my usual size 32E) and one pair of briefs (in the gorgeous Leonara style pictured at the top of the post), I headed to the changing room and got my cameraphone out to record the results. Sadly, not all images were deemed worthy of sharing on this post in the end.
Although all four fitted well in the band and the cup, three of them were rather disappointing overall. The Danita demi-bra in red satin was beautiful on the hanger and the model, but made me look like I had only the bottom half of a pair of breasts. The Marisela bra would have been utterly stunning, with its turquoise satin and cerise lace, if only the straps had been fully adjustable. With my short body, it just meant that they could never be tight enough and I was lacking the extra 20% of lift that they should have provided. The Leonara bra would have been my favourite with its leopard fabric and bright red bows but, once again, the lack of fully adjustable straps let this bra down. It somehow managed to make my boobs look rather small and flat. Somewhat surprisingly though, the matching briefs in Large were a perfect fit for my size 14/16 bottom. I’d figured I would have needed the XL which wasn’t in stock at the time I visited.
The only bra out of the four which was a flattering style on me was the Penelope moulded bra, which I tried on in black. It also comes in a pale pink satin which Agent Provocateur (rather disappointingly for anyone who appreciates that skin comes in more than one colour) have entitled Flesh. The Penelope bra does have fully adjustable straps and so I managed to hoist my breasts up to their usual height, and was given an extra boost by the slight padding in the bottom of the cups. This style was soft, comfortable and flattering (see photo). But it’s also rather plain, so I was unsure if it’s worth the £45 price tag. It is definitely a more glamorous fabric than most of the plain black bras I have owned, so perhaps it is worthy of my wishlist. Maybe I should return and try on the matching briefs and suspender belt too, just to make sure?