Feel Good: Getting creative in the bedroom
Photography by Daniel Holfeld, Styling by Courtney Smith, fashion edited by, Constance Harris
I don't think we can be left in any doubt that Irish people are back to spending more time at home and doing lots of creative stuff in their bedrooms -- the evidence being our current baby boom.
In my entire career, I can not remember a time when there was such an emphasis on dressing for the boudoir. Whether you are shopping in the high street or at the high end, bustiers, suspender belts, stockings, waspies, and peignoirs have all returned to our fashion rails.
Mary Mullin, the extremely experienced buyer of Brown Thomas's lingerie department, is noticing the change, too.
"People are spending to try and feel better," Mary believes. "Feeling good underneath is a big part of feeling great on the outside. When you wear lovely laces, silks and satin fabrics close to your skin, it is a real feel-good thing. It does put a smile on your face." And it puts one on that of one's boudoir partner, too, according to Mary.
While it is harder to track how lesbian lovers might be buying, men are obviously a bit more noticeable in a woman's lingerie department when they're buying for their lover.
"We are seeing a lot more men and they aren't afraid and embarrassed as they used to be. They know their partner's size and what they want," Mary explains.
And what are they shopping for?
"Men are very visual. They like strong, sexy, sultry, colours -- black, reds, purples, mauves. Men usually go for the least amount of material that they can," she says.
"I think many men have made many mistakes over the years, so they have learned and now do their research. They buy good tops -- in that the tops are for their partners, while on the bottoms, they will please themselves. They will always go for the sexier option."
Brown Thomas's lingerie department has a great mix: from boldly sensual, to playful and pretty, to sober and functional.
If you are shopping for nocturnal delight, check out Pleasure State, Myla and Aubade for luxury. If your partner likes to wear the pieces outside of the bedroom, Lejaby, Nina Ricci and Elle Macpherson are less explicitly seductive.
"The French are the creme de la creme when it comes to lingerie. They know about fit, style, comfort and sex," states Mary. And, she believes, men are deeply romantic.
When shopping for lingerie, men really are worshipping their partners. And Irish women have evolved from being self-conscious and embarrassed about it.
And there is nothing sexier than a gracious receiver.
Myla lingerie and Annoushka jewellery are available from Brown Thomas Dublin only. All other items are available from Brown Thomas stores nationwide. Brown Thomas Dublin, 88-95 Grafton St, D2, tel: (01) 605-6666, or see www.brownthomas.com
Brown Thomas Cork, 18-21 Patrick St, Cork, tel: (021) 480-5555 Brown Thomas Limerick, 14-16 O’Connell St, Limerick, tel: (061) 417-222 Brown Thomas Galway, 18-21 Eglinton Buildings, Galway, tel: (091) 565-254
Photography by Daniel Holfeld, see www.danielholfeld.com
Assisted by Deirdre Poole
Post Production by Lanenga
Styling by Courtney Smith, see www.courtneysmith.ie
Assisted by Karen Roche
Make-up by Lesley Keane, Mac Pro Artist at Brown Thomas
Hair by Billy Orr at Morgan The Agency, see www.morgantheagency.com
Model: Karina Bartkevica at Profile Model Management, London
Shot at South Studios, 27-28 New Row South, D8, see www.southstudiosdublin.com