Sexy ways to beat the heat

As any rootin-tootin cowpoke will tell you, nothing gets rid of the summertime blues better than a good-old fashioned game of strip poker. So if you're going to have to bear all (or at least some), you may as well look as fetching as possible. The London based, husband and wife team of Joe Corre and Serena Rees combine all the proper elements of boudoir glamour and punk fetishism with one-stop-shopping at Agent Provocateur, their store and line which features everything frilly and thrilly for today's more adventurous sex-kitten. Classic garters and fishnets, mixed with post-punk style "Slasher" briefs & complete with see-through clear plastic "rips." They also accommodate the demure with gorgeous satin dressing gowns.

"It's everything the naughty but nice girl could want," muses Serena. "With the added attraction of serving double-duty," adds Joe, referring to the fact that many of the daring duo's clients prefer to wear Provocateur's underpieces as outerwear. Though they advise against wearing the leather zip-up bra as a blouse to the family picnic.

"We want women to revel in their sexuality and feel comfortable when they shop with us," says Joe, "but we also like to do a fair bit of shocking." No surprise considering Corre's lineage (ahem, his mother is Vivienne Westwood, Godmother of Punk and designer of their store uniforms). Naturally, Dad is former Sex Pistols' manager Malcolm McLaren.

The couple has already opened a western outpost of Agent Provocateur in L.A. and have plans to do the same in New York within the year. And though you probably won't see any stores opening up in your local shopping mall any time soon, at least you can still grab a pair of big o' granny panties at Wal-Mart and rip up your own version of "Slasher", with enough material left over for Sid Vicious-style wristbands and a matching scrunchie.

It's refreshing to know that when the summer sun is making you sweat more than George Dubyuh at a spelling bee, you can still be as cool - or as hot - as you want.

- Michael Slimmer