I just stumbled across Love Baby Grand on Etsy and couldn't restrain myself from sharing images of their beautiful bespoke undies with you straight away! Each of these designs will be hand tailored in your size and posted to you within two weeks of ordering from their base in London. I love their combination of Liberty prints, silk ribbon fastenings and intricate florals. In fact, I'd happily own everything on their site in exchange of my own scrambled drawer of threadbare Primark cheapies and knotted tights.
Another thing about this company I so admire is their just how their mission statement is to produce lingerie that can be 'enjoyed by women all over the world'. How refreshing to see a company, that errs towards the erotic accessories market, stressing the importance of the female customer's enjoyment of the product. Satisfying the male partner by recreating the sort of costumes encountered in pornography is not the priority of Love Baby Grand, their 'number one rule is that [they] don't sell anything that they wouldn't desire for themselves'. The majority of the erotic lingerie mainstream, including the Ann Summers chain, prefer to use pornography as their sole inspiration and thus, heaving bosoms, faux-bronzed limbs and gaping, glossy mouths have become the template for their advertisements in an imitation of the images we encounter on the front covers of lad's mags.
Just compare the use of a non-caucasian model, with a petite frame and minimal make-up, depicted in a series of relatable backdrops - as is the case with Love Baby Grand - with this image from Ann Summers lingerie collection.
The model's gaze is turned away, there is no eye contact with the potential customer and her back is arched, displaying her body to its full potential. The heaving bosom is ostensibly surgically enhanced, the hair is dyed, the eye make up heavy and that choker? Gah! She is surrounded by studio lights in a heavy suggestion of performance: presumably either stripping or pornography. The underwear itself is frankly grotesque and, as far as I can comprehend, the only reason a woman would want to wear it would be to satisfy a very masculine imagining of female sexuality somewhat tantamount to this:
Again we see the same averted eye, proud presentation of the breasts and even similarities in the appearances of the two models: almost identical bodily proportions, hair style and make-up. This picture, however was taken from Nuts magazine and not from a website with a principal clientele of women and with a mission statement to 'make women feel good about themselves and their sexuality' (Jaqueline Gold, Chief Executive). But how exactly? By selling them products to assist their transformation into the contemporary ideal of 'hot' which, from the images we overwhelmingly encounter in the male-orientated media, is very young, very slim, very busty, very caucasian and very much in need of male approval. And how exactly do these images, which acknowledge pornography as their key reference point, 'make women feel good about their sexuality'? For starters, pornography has nothing to do with female sexuality, it is about female performance and, essentially, male masturbation!
I think it's time to drive capitalism out of our sex lives and rediscover the aspects that simply cannot be commodified or redefined for commercial purposes. Sex is essentially something very organic, immaterial and therefore concerned with human interaction over monetary transaction. No one should feel as though they have to conform to a minute criterion of what is considered 'sexy' by the commercial sex industry in order to justify being desired. If you intend to buy lingerie to make yourself feel special then you should choose something you are genuinely attracted towards, something that will enhance your own confidence, reflect your individual personality and, ultimately, something that reflects your own definition of alluring and sensual.
In my case, Love Baby Grand floral knickers easily out do crotchless polyester. How about you?