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Betony Vernon,
Missionary of couture pleasure

Par Denyse Beaulieu / Photo : Vincent Lappartient

It may well be one of the world’s most exclusive appointment. An antechamber to the paradise of earthly delights. Erotic jewellery designer Betony Vernon’s salon is only accessible to the members of Paradise Found, who must themselves be sponsored by another member. This extreme discretion is due to the scorching nature of the objects created by the mistress of the house – a shatteringly beautiful redhead, part Elizabethan virgin warrior, part Betty Page --, but also to a deliberately cultivated strategy of mystery. “Mystery, not secret”, explains Betony Vernon. “A secret remains closed. A mystery may be revealed. »
It is a Baudelairian boudoir the size of a jewel box. A spectacular jet-beaded corset by her friend Mr Pearl sits in the first, lingerie pink-draped salon; the second salon, upholstered in the deepest orchid-purple, hold a smaller, black leather shrine : the Boudoir Box. A tiny key slides between Betony Vernon’s fingers – clay modelling, metallurgist’s fingers, contrasting with her refined physique.
The Boudoir Box is only opened by invitation; its contents are never photographed. Erotic jewels, designer to sharpen and multiply pleasure, with decidedly non-organic shapes – as far from the garish plastic Made in China “sex toys” as from the pathetically explicit sex-shop paraphernalia. Closer, perhaps, to David Cronenberg’s gynaecological instruments for mutant women in Dead Ringer: « Everybody says I should meet David », agrees Vernon. Adornments seemingly cast with silvery moonbeams, softly rounded, caught between the mineral and organic reigns, especially moulded to fit the body of the wearer… A thimble covered the fingertip, the Finger Ring, for discreet caresses; a Feather Tickler to be hung on a belt or adjusted to the Sado-Chic necklace as a flamboyant adornment; the Sado-Chic Masturbation Mirror, to observe one’s own pleasure; Massage Rings to slip between the fingers, combining the cold, hard and smooth caress of silver with the warm mobility of flesh…
Betony suggests the use of each object – she never personally participates in the demonstration – with all the gravity of a priestess and a little girl’s malicious smile. If the refinement of sexual pleasure skills is the young Anglo-American’s mission, she carries it with joyful, sensual, lusty health. With the love of pleasure and of the bodies who provide it; with the wit and spirit of an artist whose instincts ferociously clings on to beauty. Betony Vernon has learned how to rip the space for her Paradise Found out of the humdrum mechanics of pornography. Her boudoir door opens on to the promise of happiness.

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Denyse Beaulieu

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