Posted by Bethan Holt, Junior Fashion Editor at Large
There's nothing like an onslaught of Valentine's themed press releases from mid-December onwards to take the romance out of the most-loved up day of the year. That's a small pain us writers have to suffer. However, I sense that the rest of the world might just be getting a bit fed up with the expectation that February 14th will be a lovey-dovey day of flowers, chocolates and gazing adoringly into one another's eyes. Some clever marketeers have noticed that we might just have had our fill of genuinely romantic V-day activities. This year, it's all about the anti-romantic Valentine's day.
The first whiff of change came a couple of weeks ago when Agent Provocateur released their Valentine's video. Now, you might think a company which depends on our taking our love making very seriously would stick to a sensual, evocative agenda at what must be one of their most important trading times of the year. Instead, they shocked with a short film starring Poppy Delevingne and an unfortunate incident with a car alarm, a sweaty jogger and a pussycat. I'm not sure about the rest of you, but there's little more libido sucking than Poppy's acting (sorry) and the mundanities of modern life.
Yesterday, Melanie and I went along to the launch of H&M's latest David Beckham campaign, filmed by Guy Ritchie. The version we saw is a brilliant 90 seconds of Becks sprinting through his neighbours' gardens almost starkers aside from his H&M pants. It's excellent but is far more the type of thing I'll watch with my friends on YouTube than will inspire me to make a romantic gesture to my boyfriend.
The cherry on the death of romance cake has to be Australian brand Aesop's decision to release their mouthwash in time for Valentine's day. "To politely protect the olfactory contentment of your loyal loved ones, fellow commuters or neighbouring theatre-goers, we advise a voluminous swig and gargle of Aesop Mouthwash prior to all public appearances" reads the label of the latest grittily real Valentine's gift idea. If you have issues with your loved one's breath, this might be a long-term route to happier relations but hardly makes for the most potent of aphrodisiacs on the night itself.
With warnings of a huge baby boom in the coming year (thanks, apparently, to the Olympics and Fifty Shades) which will stretch the NHS to its limits, could this be some kind of underground strategy by the government to ensure that we're more turned off than turned on in the coming months?