Dare to seduce yourself: the secret of sexy legwear
“Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me,” Dustin Hoffman uttered nervously as Anne Bancroft peeled off her silk stockings in The Graduate (1967). It’s an iconic scene, depicted on one of my favorite movie posters ever. But would it had been quite as seductive if Mrs. Robinson had been simply stark naked? In a famous essay titled ‘Striptease’, the French philosopher Roland Barthes talks about ‘the eroticism of the partially hidden body’. According to him, the sexiness is in the unveiling, the interplay between what’s seen and unseen.
When, at seven years old, I cut up a pair of woolen tights to make my own stockings and make-shift garterbelt, I had never heard of Roland Barthes. But when I put on my handmade creation I felt a thrill akin to what Barthes described: that delicious tension between what’s secret and what’s laid bare. And the best part: I was in command of it!
Later I would fully understand the power of seduction, and I would recognise it in Marlene Dietrich’s performance as Lola in The Blue Angel, singing in her top hat and lingerie, with exposed garter belts and black fishnet stockings. I saw it when I watched Catherine Deneuve in Belle de Jour, playing a housewife-turned-hooker in stunning garterbelts and matching stockings designed by Yves Saint Laurent. And how about the iconic pictures of 50ties pin-up Bettie Page (speaking of creamy thighs!), bending over wearing nothing but fishnet hold ups and that famous cheeky smile?
Nowadays, I wear sensual legwear most of the time, both day and night. And each time I put on my delicate nylon stockings, thigh high socks with sporty stripes, or hold-ups strong enough to survive an evening of dancing followed by a night of wild passion, I feel the same thrill I felt all those years ago when wore my first clumsy handmade stockings. And I realize this: it’s all about seducing yourself, over and over again.
REFLECTIONS FROM YOUR MIRROR
FOR THE WOMEN OF THE WORLD
Between king and QUEEN
Who is Tasya van Ree? The mysterious girl in the big black hat has been fascinating art connoisseurs and fashion lovers alike since she burst onto the scene with her stunning black-and-white photographs of celebrities like Michelle Rodriguez and (one-time lover) Amber Heard. I asked the Hawaiian-born visual artist of Dutch-Japanese ancestry (41) about her art and soul. “Between both King and Queen is where I exist.”
Sara Mearns (31) is New York City Ballet’s boldest ballerina. A passionate, intense dancer, she started dancing at 3 and starred in Swan Lake when she was only 19. But instead of resting on her laurels, Sara has kept challenging herself with daring projects, from a collaboration with hip-hop dancers to a leading role in a Broadway show. I talked with the fierce Swan Queen about sacrifices, body confidence, and how to turn pain into gain. “I’m not the typical skinny, tall, long-neck kind of ballerina.”
The art of love!
Get your creative juices flowing
This Valentine’s, don’t wait around for that love-note or those fancy chocolates to feel loved and desired. Express yourself to fall in love with yourself, now!