Whilst Amanda’s been cavorting around fashion week in Milan, she’ll fill you in later, I’ve been taking a sedate break on the small island of Ile de Re just a short commute from La Rochelle. I could bore you with how stupendously great the seafood is, especially the oysters, the stunning scenery and my unhealthy obsession with a particular macaroon shop, however this being a lingerie blog I’ll try and stick to the subject at hand.
It amazes me that even in the most unassuming places the French are still deeply passionate about their underpinnings. Il de Re is a tiny island barely 20 miles in length and a few miles wide, yet in the two main sleepy fishing villages; La Flotte & St Martin de Re, there occupies two beautiful shops dedicated to fine lingerie. I only ventured into the boutique in St Martin but was deeply impressed by the owner’s small yet impeccable selection from designers such as Chantal Thomas, Andreas Sardas and La Perla. She could judge my size by a cursory glance, pointing me towards the right styles with barely a second thought. Needless to say I floated away with a totally gratuitous Chantal Thomas set, which has both one won me over to this particular brand and also reinforced my feeling that French women know their lingerie.
Cynics will say that these up-market boutiques appeal to the tourists who flock to the islands during peak seasons. Yet most of the visitors are French, you’ll be hard pushed to find English speakers and so it seems that French women and most likely their partners want to come on vacation and indulge in beautiful lingerie. It is a scene that is unfortunately not as familiar over this side of the pond
We must take heart though the UK has some of the best and most innovative designers which is why Fox & Rose is so keen to showcase our enormous homegrown talent. Maybe one day they’ll be fantastic lingerie boutiques dotting our coastal towns?