I have many thoughts on underwear. Several of these were called into question last night, at Vogue’s Fashion Night Out, when I popped into Victoria’s Secret. For a start, I was anxiously inspecting all of the goods to try to ascertain what this ‘secret’ might be. (I would be a terrible WMD inspector, because I found absolutely nothing untoward. Or perhaps I would be feted by makers of WMD for my inability to locate them on my ‘surveillance tours’ and my life would become like the beginning of ‘The Last King of Scotland’. Only the beginning though, when he’s doing all the shagging and partying. Not the later bit.)
Anyway, I was standing in the middle of Victoria’s Secret, fondling bras liberally decorated with sparkly diamante things (don’t worry, I scratched one off to check- totally harmless) and worrying about my promising future as a WMD inspector, when I remembered that I needed a new black bra.
‘What a serendipitous day this is turning out to be,’ I thought to myself happily. ‘This must be what it’s like to be organised.’ I put down the fluorescent pink item I was holding, and pottered off to find a black bra.
Victoria’s Secret is an American lingerie chain, which has recently opened a flagship store on New Bond Street. It has annual sales of over $5 billion, and 1,040 stores. It does not, however, sell black bras. It sells bras which started off as black, but were then doused in glitter and silver.
It has white bras, which have been streaked with black and gold. It has conical bras, it has racer-back bras, it has adjustable strap bras. It has huge, blow-up photos of some of the world’s most beautiful women wearing these spectacular bras. In my search I became a little disorientated, and wandered into the changing rooms- in the changing rooms they give you dressing gowns. (These are not to keep, I asked).
Victoria’s Secret is simple, after all (and my application to become a WMD inspector is almost completed). They are an underwear store that simply refuses to sell what most women class as ‘underwear’. They are a McDonalds that only serves kobe beef. They are about as useful or relevant to the women I know as a chocolate kettle. Only more sparkly.