A Guide to Luxury Lingerie

January 26, 2012 | by —AMANDA WEINER | Style & Beauty

Agent Provocateur
Subtlety is not Agent Provocateur’s specialty. Eroticism, and in the best of ways, however, is the British label’s forte. With a full line that ranges from silk kimono robes to playful nightwear and accessories, Agent Provocateur offers a selection beyond traditional notions of lingerie. 675 Madison Ave., 212-840- 2436; agentprovocateur.com

The family-owned Italian lingerie brand recently opened its first New York flagship, right in the heart of Soho. Cosabella is primarily known for its sheer mesh underwear, which was perhaps the first thong style to reach trend status among women; the style is available in more than 30 vibrant hues. 220 Lafayette St., 212-405-1190; cosabella.com

Designer Valérie Delafosse brings her innate knowledge of the body to her designs. The beloved French bathing suit label first debuted lingerie in 1998 and since has developed a loyal clientele who turn to the brand for its superior fit and airy fabrications. Barneys New York, 660 Madison Ave., 212-826-8900; barneys.com

{Intimacy} provides an education with professional instruction on caring for bras, wearing them appropriately, and finding that perfect fit (the shop carries more than 90 sizes). With a penchant for style as well as functionality, {Intimacy} focuses on designer European labels such as Chantelle and Empreinte. 1252 Madison Ave., 212-860- 8366; myintimacy.com

From edgy to ethereal, Journelle’s diverse collection of unmentionables are carefully selected by founder and expert lingerie curator Claire Chambers and her staff. In line with the store’s name, which is derived from journellement, meaning “daily,” its wide range of designers—including Bordelle, Eberjey, and Zinke—are meant to be worn every day. 125 Mercer St., 212-255-7803; journelle.com

Kiki de Montparnasse
Not for the faint of heart, Kiki de Montparnasse unapologetically encourages clients to explore passions and fantasies without sacrificing luxury. The Soho shop’s scandalous lingerie is made from the finest French laces and silks. On special occasions, live models are known to replace the mannequins in Kiki’s storefront windows. 79 Greene St., 212-965-8150; kikidm.com

La Perla
The ultimate purveyor of luxury underpinnings, La Perla is a one-stop shop for elegant bridal lingerie, negligées, swimwear, and loungewear utilizing three unique fabrics: delicate leaver’s lace, silken soutache, and antique-styled frastaglio. For the perfect bridal shower, request a private luncheon or shopping session at the Madison Avenue boutique. 803 Madison Ave., 212-570-0050; laperla.com

La Petite Coquette
This playful multibrand shop charms with its girlie Victorian décor, complete with fringe lamps. Its true appeal, however, lies in the boutique’s expert bra fittings. At La Petite Coquette, sizing you up does not involve a tape measure but instead a genuine knowledge of fit and a system of trial and error. 51 University Pl., 212-473-2478; thelittleflirt.com

Victoria’s Secret
Victoria’s Secret is the world’s most renowned lingerie brand for a reason—and not just for its stunning Angels. Its enormous selection has something for every woman and every occasion—from sheer baby-doll dresses and seductive lace bustiers to silky camisole sets and animal print slips. 1328 Broadway, 212-356-8380; victoriassecret.com

Many know Wolford as the leader in hosiery, but the Austrian label’s lingerie and shapewear collections also stand out among the industry’s finest. Wolford’s intimates have a classic cool with traditional hues and a plethora of understated polka-dot styles. 93 Greene St., 212-343-0808; wolfordshop.com

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