Saturday, February 23, 2013


My guess is this title might get me a few more hits than normal. Sex always sells
For me there's a fine line between sex and romance and an even finer line between titillation and quiver that aspect of desire that makes your body shake. Trying to define those differences in the city that doesn't sleep is a very personal and subjective task.
This whole idea began as I was trying to find a short cut between a job on Lafayette and our office on Varrick. I was zigzagging through Soho at mach speed when I saw a crowd milling around cameras at the ready. They had gathered around a small shop called Agent Provocateur. Let me tell you it wasn't the name that drew the crowd's attention. Perhaps the name on its own might titillate your fingers to do a tap dance over your keyboard hitting the search button but it was what was going on in the front window that was creating that quiver effect. This lingerie shop was pushing the envelope on eye candid and desire.
I've seen other shops where the tableaux of real models try to trick you into thinking they're made of plaster and resin. Their immobility keeps them asexual even in the skimpiest of costumes.
I've walked through the Red Light District in Amsterdam where the ladies of the night light themselves up in dolled up windows layered in brocade their faces painted like circus clowns. Amsterdam was far scarier than being either titillating or quivering.
Although Agent Provocateur got the blood running to places on the male anatomy that only Mae West could get away with referencing and if you're old enough to know what I'm talking about you can explain it your grandkids.
The model wasn't holding anything back. She had more come hither gestures and fanny gyrations than Miss Piggy at a green frog convention.
For those on the other side of the fence there's Abercrombie & Fitch's flagship shop on Fifth Avenue. The magnificent staircase of painted fantasies of ivy league athletes done by Mark Beard makes a boy's knees start to buckle as he walk up those stairs one tread at a time.
Mark is a master of perspective and an incredible chronicler of the male physique.
Of course A&F has made a fortune of glorifying the male form stationing six-pack abs at the gateway to their castles of apparel.
Sometimes I'll buy a t-shirt just so I can walk out with an A&F bag.

The Women of the Red Light District of Storyville, New Orleans 1912
E.J. Bellocq, photographer
Represented by Julie Saul Gallery, NYC

No comments:

Post a Comment