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Why boudoir style fashion photography has become easier to love

Boudoir style fashion photography is something that has been seen with more relevance during the pandemic, as work-from-home orders and leisurewear brands have finally found a respectable place in the world.

Among leisurewear is lingerie, let us not forget.

Savage X Fenty, Agent Provocateur, and other underwear brands can thank the pandemic for spicing up this market with everyone restricted indoors.

And, when it comes to lingerie, that means in the bedroom. En Française, boudoir translates, loosely, as “private room setting,” or “bedroom,” or “upper-class woman” in some contexts.

boudoir style fashion photography
Amali Gassmann for Agent Provocateur PHOTO: Aiden Cullen

Boudoir style fashion photography as a tool

Boudoir photography has been the core messaging tool for the likes of Savage X Fenty and Agent Provocateur.

Boidoir fashion is a style that has come to age in photography during the 1960s and the 1970s. During that time of liberation, women accepted nudity, a rejection of the homemaker or housewife fashion aesthetic embedded in previous boudoir photography.

Thus, it was an evolution of women who were confident with their curvy figures, coming to acknowledge the “pin-up” girl, something seen – ubiquitously yet inconspicuously – attracting men of the 1920s and the swing era of the 30s and 40s.

The boudoir photographic perspective followed a painter’s eye; painters like Edouard Manet and his “Olympia,” or the in a recent review, Pablo Picasso and his “Les Demoiselle d’Avignon,” seen through a feminist scope as sexist.

Feminine fashion

Opening the doors for all body-types to participate in the boudoir genre has been the cornerstone for feminine fashion. Still, the lingerie and implied nudity skew the thinking of predatory photographers seeking to take advantage of unexpecting aspiring models.

The looming danger still lurks, as seen by the toxic photography of @LivinCool on Instagram, Emanuele D’Angelo. D’Angelo is still currently under scrutiny for being exposed as a sexual predator.

But, cancel culture spared no expense to reveal the plight. He used his photographic clout to lure unsuspecting women into precarious situations and involuntarily mishandled out of their already sheer garments.

Still, since the retail giant Victoria’s Secret hit the mainstream markets in 1977, at the height of the boudoir era, women have adorned themselves in the name brand.

Natural physiques of boudoir style were highlighted in fashion photography. In soft, lightweight, sheer, and decorative fabrics made from silk, lycra, chiffon, satin, and lace.

Boudoir style and Victoria’s Secret

Thus, Victoria’s Secret can take credit for the embrace of women’s bodies beyond the taboo.

In lieu, VS has also been on the cancel culture list as the culprit of body-shaming. They openly embraced an ideal body type, though they have opened up their catalog of models to other sizes.

Salek Wek for Savage x Fenty. PHOTO: Dennis Leupold
Salek Wek for Savage x Fenty. PHOTO: Dennis Leupold

Women who are comfortable enough to dress up in the trendiest designed lingerie often want to remember the moment outside of immediate context.

The feel of getting dressed – ‘down’ – in undergarments employs self-esteem worth exploring.

Miguel and Nazani Mandi for Savage x Fenty. PHOTO: Dennis Leupold
Miguel and Nazani Mandi for Savage x Fenty. PHOTO: Dennis Leupold

Men need not feel excluded from boudoir style fashion photography. Savage X Fenty has included men into their marketing campaigns (singer, Miguel and his partner, boasting traditional bedroom ‘fit’ of silk boxers and a robe, but with a modern flare).

Look out for this article on PAGE magazine.