The creative director of Agent Provocateur on Seventies sci-fi babes and what she finds sexy. By Cai Mei Khoo.
Who was the muse behind Agent Provocateur Autumn/Winter ’13? I was inspired by the grandes dames of Seventies sci-fi – Barbarella, Batgirl, and the Flash Gordon femmes. Flashes from the future collide with old-fashioned values, as couture-like finishes and the finest of fabrics prove that the biggest superhero of them all this season is the craftsman. You’ve mentioned that film and music are real sources of inspiration for you. Which are your all-time favourites? My favourite films are the Hollywood crime movies and thrillers of the 1970s to 1990s. I just love Al Pacino in Scarface and Carlito’s Way, and Robert De Niro in Casino. I am constantly inspired by the strong female protagonists in these films, especially played by iconic actresses such as Sharon Stone, Kim Basinger, and Michelle Pfeiffer. Music-wise, I love The Stone Roses and Led Zeppelin. Materials you work with? I have so many but I especially like leather and Sophie Hallette lace, and experimenting with fabrics you wouldn’t normally see being used in lingerie. The low-down on the diffusion line, L’Agent, that you worked on with Penélope and Monica Cruz? L’Agent is Agent Provocateur’s sister brand. We wanted it to be accessible for a younger woman therefore we used strong colours for a youthful and fresh feeling. It launches for Autumn/Winter 2013. Who would you like to work with on a dream collaboration? I admire the work of Azzedine Alaïa and Jean Paul Gaultier, and it would be a dream to work with either of them. Crystal Renn, Monica Cruz, and Josephine de la Baume have all starred in previous Agent Provocateur campaigns. Who do we see next? We just launched our campaign for Autumn/ Winter ’13. The video has more than one leading lady [Russian model Irina Shayk leads an exotic cast, including Arbile Elorza, Laura Moure, and Pilar Martinez, all opposite Spanish actor Miguel Ángel Silvestre]. Who is the perfect Agent Provocateur woman? She is strong, sexy, alluring, and dangerous. She is confident about her sexuality, up for fun, and drives her partner wild. But still acts like a lady and leaves an air of mystery. The lingerie basics every girl should have in her wardrobe? Bras, knickers, and suspenders. In terms of style, go for the Fifi range; it is iconic Agent Provocateur and suits most women. What do you find sexy? Confidence, always. Latest lingerie trends? For Autumn/Winter ’13 , my obsession was to emphasise the woman’s hips. The curvier, the more accentuated, the better. Fantasy piece you’d love to create? I have been lucky already in designing a piece such as the Bullet playsuit. Highlight of your career? I loved working in several different departments but I would say becoming creative director is the ultimate accolade. Game plan for the next five years? To continue leading the lingerie market. Electra bra; waspie; and briefs, all from Agent Provocateur
Barbarella Kim Basinger at the LA premiere of Batman in 1989
Jane Fonda in
Stockings, Agent Provocateur
The Agent Provocateur flagship boutique in Suria KLCC
Alessia kimono, Agent Provocateur
Demelza corset, Agent Provocateur