Despite questioning whether I should even reveal my favourite new lingerie store to you, Blog Reader, I have given up the fight and surrendered to my desire for Kiki de Montparnasse. In NYC their flagship store is based in Soho, 79 Green Street (Los Angeles and Las Vegas host other flagship boutiques):
I went for a wander around Soho on Monday morning and found myself attracted to the store front. The doors were really heavy, I had to heave them open (which kinda added to the mystery of the boutique, let me tell you). Inside the shop you can find delicate lingerie, silky loungewear, books, postcards… and seeing as this is family blog you’ll have to visit the store website for the rest! The rear of the boutique is set out like a sensual boudoir complete with double bed and a magnificent, intimate changing room surrounded by plush black curtains with a chaise lounge for your items. Service was impeccable but discreet (come on, I just had to try something on, who wouldn’t?!) and suggestions were made that fit me perfectly.
On returning home from the store I did a little research on Kiki de Montparnasse, real name Alice Prin. Alice was a French artist, model and singer/actress born and raised in Cote d’Or under conditions of poverty. She was sent to Paris at a very young age to find work and ended up an acquaintance of Man Ray, an American surrealist painter living in Paris, who made her the subject of many of his works (typically photography and film). In everything I have read about her, Alice sounds like a very independent woman who was the embodiment of the social scene in Montparnasse in the 20s and 30s. Wikipedia states that Alice’s dance hall performances wearing black hose and garters were of an “uninhibited but tasteful” nature. I think this is where Kiki de Montparnasse the brand gets it right, because the store caters for all tastes, from the ‘dark arts’ (again see the website) to vanilla massage creams. Also littered throughout the store are images from the 1920s, including some of Kiki herself:
I learned an interesting thing whilst looking on the web for information for this post. Lady Gaga’s mask in her “Poker Face” video was apparently a Kiki de Montparnasse creation, designed by the same man who created masks for the Stanley Kubrick film “Eyes Wide Shut”. I must have missed the mask section of the Manhattan boutique, but I might need to return…. anyone want to come with me?