Wonder-full design a big asset for the buxom babe
Red carpet chic is no longer off-limits for those with more ample breasts, writes Victoria Mary Clarke
Breasts. Who would want them? Especially when they begin to droop and sag? Well, babies, for a start, seem keen on them, boy babies and girl babies alike can't get enough of them.
And grown-ups, too. I have seen grown men almost crash their cars, walk into lamp posts and dribble with delight at the simple sight of a pair of ample bosoms. Grown women too, whether they be turned on or simply envious, appear to be obsessed by the size and shape of other women's breasts.
We live in a society that believes a woman's breasts to be a considerable portion of her "assets", whether we like it or not. And the bigger the assets the better.
I can understand the allure of the bigger boob. I can appreciate the fabulousness of the figures of fifties sex symbols like Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot and Gina Lollobrigida, who seem to have had natural curves. Even if I can't see the appeal of the likes of Jordan or Pamela Anderson, who appear artificially enhanced.
For myself, however, I have never wanted big breasts. I remember being horrified, as a ten-year-old when it was suggested to me by a girl at school that I should wear a bra. I tried one for a while in my early teens, but soon abandoned it, finding it restrictive and uncomfortable.
I was not possessed of an abnormally large bust (as we used to call it) but I remember always being envious of girls with flat chests. Particularly when a very nasty ex-boyfriend said to me, "Victoria, I really am a small breast man, you know", after I had found naked photos in his apartment of a girl with no tits that he had been seeing without my knowledge. That same bloke was always on at me to wear a bra, even though, at that age, I knew I could safely rely on youthful buoyancy.
Later on in life, I noticed that having gone on the Pill, my cup size increased from a C to a D, which meant two things. First, that I got endless abuse from men in the streets if I wore anything vaguely revealing. And second, that I absolutely couldn't get away with not wearing a bra.
I soon discovered something about bras. They come in all kinds of lovely colours and designs, and there are great ones for making your boobs look bigger. But if, like me, you long to wear the slinky, barely-there dresses that one sees at movie premieres, then there simply has never been a bra that can cope. Because most of the really glamorous stuff, especially the evening wear, is backless and low-cut, and often strapless as well. Think Liz Hurley in the safety-pinned dress, or Keira Knightley in the gold Gucci. If either of those girls needed support, (which they don't) where would they hide it?
When I was a teenager I used to pray to God (if He existed) to deliver me a way of getting a tan without having to sunbathe. And, Lo and Behold, He did deliver fake tan, which I couldn't live without now. And so, recently, I began praying to Him to deliver a backless, strapless bra so that I could wear flimsy halter necks and backless dresses. And miraculously, the other day, I was reading the paper when I noticed an item about a new invention called the Faveo Freedom bra, which purported to be just that.
Immediately, I googled the company, contacted their PR and within 24 hours I found myself in a fitting room in John Lewis on Oxford street, with a lovely lady called Megan feeding my boobs into a peculiar looking circular-shaped foam and silicone contraption. Ordinarily, one might be embarrassed to have one's boobs handled by a stranger, but Megan inspired total confidence.
"I have handled more boobs than anyone in the world," she assured me.
Megan has been in love with underwear since her mother opened a lingerie shop when she was 13. And she knew from that tender age that one day she would design her own revolutionary under-pinnings.
When she grew up, she trained in the art of corset making, and went to work designing for Agent Provocateur, among others, as well as making customised bras to order for clients. And then, one day, her best friend Jo happened to buy a dress for a first date which she realised would be un-wearable without a backless, strapless bra, because Jo had a large chest. Jo contacted Megan's mum but she said such a thing had not yet been invented. And so Jo, being a scientist, decided to invent one.
The prototype for the Faveo Freedom bra was born.
"It was appalling," Megan tells me. "A pair of tights chopped up and with some press-studs on."
The two girls formed a partnership, and the under-garment was developed for three and a half years before the thing that Megan is attaching to my breasts today was finally made available. It's not pretty, I comment, and it doesn't look remotely sexy.
"It's not designed to seduce, it's not lingerie," she tells me, "But neither are the big pants. It's what we call 'solution underwear', it creates an illusion of a certain shape, and it's not meant to be revealed."
We have roamed John Lewis for a dress that I couldn't possibly wear without support and we have found a suitably flimsy chiffon halterneck with a low back. I would never normally wear anything like it, but I try it on, with the Faveo underneath.
And, Lo and Behold, the result is stunning, even if I do say so myself. I look like I've had a boob job. And not only that, it's amazingly comfortable, because the silicon has moulded itself to my skin so nicely that I don't feel as if I am wearing anything at all. I am thrilled, I tell Megan. She looks happy.
"You are actually quite petite," she tells me. "I have given you our smallest bra. But this works for women with a DD cup, or even F or G. We have had some very grateful customers, as you can imagine!"
I can imagine, I tell her. Because it may be winter weather now, with not much call for flimsy dresses. But I am already thinking ahead to Christmas parties, when I will be able to wear all kinds of fabulously revealing dresses, and furthermore to next summer, and all kinds of floaty dresses and tops that I would definitely need a boob-job for, if it weren't for the Faveo.
www.faveo.co.uk for stockists