Are you tired of lingerie ads that pretend sexiness is very serious business? Ads that zoom off into some magical bro-land where women are hypersexual objects who exist solely to gratify men’s boring, one-dimensional desires?
Agent Provocateur may have caught wind of that, because their latest commercial is a breath of fresh air. Directed by John Cameron Mitchell (of Hedwig and the Angry Inch fame), this spot breathes life into the genre with a self-consciously campy approach much better suited to Agent’s Baroque underthings than those ads that attempt to naturalize their strap-laden garments.
The ad stars Elettra Weidemann as a runway model living under the iron fist of a cartoonishly villainous designer, who makes her submit to many painful beauty procedures, takes away her cupcake, and won’t even let her have a tender loving moment with another model (Melissa George). A blonde bombshell (Chloe Hayward) is similarly oppressed. Divide and conquer, I guess.
Eventually, the models have had enough, and they strip down to their complicated underwear and walk the runway like that, rolling around in an exaggerated display of sexuality and tearing down the designer’s photo in the process. No gods, no masters!
The whole thing is permeated with knowledge of its own ridiculousness, as well as the amount of gender performance that goes into something like a lingerie show, most likely informed by Mitchell’s love of queer and drag queen culture. It’s a good thing the commercial was this enjoyable, because it needs something to distract from the actual undies the girls are modeling. I mean, did you see that green one? Hilarious in theory, but I’ll be damned if I know who’s going to buy it.