‘Hello. My name is Alice. I used to work as a shop girl in a lingerie store in Soho, London called Agent Provocateur. My favourite customer was a gentleman named Rory.’
From fantastical fantasies to the art of voyeurism, Fashion Fetish has explored all areas of female sexuality, featuring essays and films by some of fashion's most creative women, including Liberty Ross, Daphne Guinness, Susannah Frankel and Lily Donaldson. Our final film submission comes from acclaimed young photographer and filmmaker Alice Hawkins who uses her own past as a shop girl at lingerie-legends Agent Provocateur as the inspiration for her witty, cheeky short.
‘Agent Provocateur lingerie has personality, a story, a theme. It’s pure dressing up fantasy. It was like working in a pink bubble dream every day surrounded by beautiful lingerie and beautiful girls’, explains Hawkins, who strove to imbue the film with the same candy-coated texture.
Hello Rory gives us a glimpse into the relationship between Hawkins and her most memorable customer - and now dear friend - Rory, a client who had a penchant for ordering lingerie over the telephone. ‘Unlike my other male customers, the lingerie he ordered was for him to wear himself, for himself. I loved that and encouraged and helped him fulfill his fantasy and personal fetish; I got a kick out of doing that,' Hawkins explains. 'When I finally left my job I knew we would miss each other, so I gave him my mobile number. We still talk regularly and he is thrilled I have made a film in dedication to our unique relationship.’
For Hawkins, the relationship revealed as much about her as it did about the anonymous Rory. ‘I used the brief for Fashion Fetish as an opportunity to repeat this personal process again someway,’ she says. ‘I miss everything about working at the shop and the role I played in Rory's fetish fantasy. I simply reversed the roles this time and had Rory pick my underwear for once. I also thought repetition of me in Rory's choices of lingerie would heighten the visual sexual power of the lingerie and the film.’
Part sensual, part humorous - Hawkins drew inspiration from the Carry On films she grew up watching - this unique vignette is a candid exploration of the erotic partnership between exhibitionist and viewer. ‘He is one of the sweetest strangers I know’, quips Hawkins. Why not slip into something more comfortable and see what you make of Alice and Rory.