Lingerie Francaise exhibit covers intimate apparel from the corset's heyday at the end of the 19th century through the movement towards more functional garments and using knit fabric in undergarments.
Bras became mainstream for women at the beginning of World War I. In the 1920's, with straight bodied shifts and flappers in vogue, the girdle became a staple. In the 1930's, curvy, body conscious fashion was the style of the day and then supportive girdle belts and brads became indispensable. Key brands in France included corsetiers Lisa Charmel, Simone Perele and Gaby, later Lejaby.
After World War II, the introduction of nylon revolutionized the industry with its durability, cost and ease of maintenance. Fashions like the popularity of the mini-skirt and pants changed the way women dressed underneath once again. You couldn't wear a girdle or garters with that, so stockings and brief style panties became de rigeur. With the bra-burning feminist movement in the 1970's, lingerie manufacturers designed underwear that was light and comfortable enough to feel nude. The 1980's brought lingerie to the exterior for fashion, so the styles had to be worthy.
The end of this exhibit is a showcase of the sponsoring lingerie brands most recent collections. From those, I can interpret the trends of today are lots of embroidery and luxury. So what pretty thinks are YOU wearing underneath?
The exhibits ends on August 6, 2013. It is located at Chelsea Market at 75 Ninth Avenue in New York City.