Adventures in lingerie

AGENT Provocateur – kinky,  slinky, scandalous – is lingerie made for assignations. Now, finally, it’s made it down under. Before it was here, when this British brand was still a mouse-click or plane-trip away, Kylie Minogue bestrode a beast – a mechanical bull – in an ad for the house that was promptly banned from TV. Then it was voted the best cinema commercial of all time. Of course.

Now Agent Provocateur, wholesale bikinis and its luxurious line of uplifting underpinnings, is here. At the boutique launch of the brand that prizes irony over homogeny, at David Jones Bourke Street, we were eager to learn, when was the last time you misbehaved?

”Maybe last weekend?” Emily Gillies ventured, ”When I drank a whole bottle of vodka with my friends.” Stylist Tre Dallas thought back a little further, to New Year’s Eve and the Together party at the Deck at the Prince, ”When we had champagne and danced the night away.” Make-up artist Shella Martin didn’t arrive at her reply readily. ”Give me a sec. I have to think about this so I don’t get anyone else in trouble.” She pondered – then decided, decidedly PG: ”Lying to my husband about buying lingerie.”

Rosa Russian smiled. ”My wedding day-night,”  she said. ”That was almost a year ago. I’ve been good since then.”

Reuse Recycle Recall’I AM glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say.” Daphne du Maurier wrote that in the pages of Rebecca. On Thursday, at the Cool Australia Love Your Planet women’s luncheon at Zinc, Jason Kimberley, the founder of Cool Australia – a non-profit organisation educating students about a sustainable future – wanted to rewrite the pages of Valentine’s Day …whatever the poets may say.

”Celebrate Valentine’s Day,” he said, ”but not in the commercialised way it’s become. Think about our natural world; infinite growth on a finite planet is crazy.” So Joost Bakker reused and recycled – old gas bottles became centrepieces (pictured) – but we wanted to remember. Who or what was your very first love?

Kimberley’s heart belonged to the South Melbourne football club. ”I had the duffle coat with number 30 – Shane Zantuck – on the back. And I think I’ve still got Stewie Gull’s socks from 1976.” The day’s host, Catriona Rowntree, showed classic style, in a pin-up-worthy L’Wren Scott dress, and classic taste. Her first love was Maverick, Tom Cruise, Top Gun. ”I had the Top Gun poster above my bed,” she said. ”I went to a dress-up birthday party a few months ago and my husband dressed up as Maverick. I was weak at the knees.”

Set hearts racing’PUT the heart back into Valentine’s Day,” the invitation – and the Sisterhood – implored. This Sisterhood is not of the Travelling Pants variety, but a group of women – Rachel Holland, Kate McGrath, Jennifer Hansen, Kate Keane, Amber Petty, Sarah Kennedy, Kristen Kennedy, Erin Maxwell, Margie Amarfio, Gill Whelan, Suzy Harris and Kate Coghlan – committed to raising money for St Vincent’s hospital. Fittingly, on Thursday night, it was for the cardiac research unit.

So, at the Deck at the Prince with Valentine’s Days’ lovers and losers on the street below, and lucky dips, air kisses and a candy buffet (pictured) above, we wondered, when was the last time your heart did pound?

”When I met my partner – Trent – three-and-a-half years ago,” Rebecca Maddern said. ”It was embarrassingly love at first sight … for both of us – bang! People talk about chemistry and it does exist.”

Holland’s heart beat double-time not so long ago, when she found out she was pregnant. ”It was planned,” she said, ”so it wasn’t a surprise. It might be a spring racing carnival baby. My dog is going to have issues, though.”

Paul Licuria’s heart, too, bumped, jumped with the coming of a baby. ”When my son was born,” he nodded. ”A year-and-a-half ago.”

McGrath, though, was at a loss. ”I can’t even think,” she said. ”It’s been a while between poundings. Heart poundings!”