I finally sat down over the weekend and watched Bertrand Bonello’s lush costume drama House of Pleasures (French title, L’Apollonide). Set in a turn-of-the-century Parisian brothel, the film features some of the most inspirational images for lingerie I’ve seen in awhile. Costumed by Anais Romand – who explored similar territory in Catherine Breillat’s The Last Mistress and the George Sand biopic Children of the Century – the opulent Belle Époque comes alive in a wash of gauzy cotton chemises, lace-trimmed basques and beaded, bedecked, velvet-draped gowns. The mix of sumptuous textures – along with a vibrant palette of jewel tones, dusty pastels and tea-stained neutrals – paints a decadent tableau of the era that is hard to take your eyes off of and is worth a viewing of the movie, alone.
Also worth it is the anachronistic yet very on-point use of this Lee Moses song (among other pop tunes) in the film. Check it out in the trailer here –