Thursday, August 1, 2013


Sepia-toned underthings on display at Lingerie Francaise Exhibition 2013 at Chelsea Market [source: Lingerie Francais press kit]

Silky, slinky, sexy, lacy...but comfortable or coarse? Undergarments exude elegance, empower with confidence and entice in delicacy. Worn mostly in private, lingerie lacks the exposure modest fashion enjoys. The evolution of underpinnings has undergone a transformation rarely captured comprehensively, in full view...until now. At the hand of fashion historian Catherine Ormen, 150 pieces of lingerie curated from eleven french luxury lingerie brands are on display in Lingerie Fran├žaise XIX - XXIe Century at Chelsea Market, NYC. 

 The First Lingerie Sets: The Glorious 1950's

In a first-time collaborative effort, the traveling exhibition features brands such as Chantelle, Simone Perele, Aubade, Maison Lejaby and more. Having stopped in Paris, Shanghai, Dubai, the exhibit will be on view--free to the public-- at Chelsea Market from July 30th August 6th. Bras, corsets, panties, nighties and more are thematically displayed with relevant historical facts. 

 Minimalist design--reminds me of an expensive lingerie retailer

At the turn of the century, corsets shaped the woman into an "S," forcing the bustline forward, "shaping a single mound out of the rump toward the back, while outlining a wasp-like waist" [source: Lingerie Fran├žais press kit]. Soon, girdles and proper brasseries emerged for assorted body types and price points. Balconnets, bustiers, and bralets and in all shapes, sizes and depths of padding were stylistically introduced. 
 View from the entrance

Since the 50s and 60s, luxury lingerie has evolved to marry style and comfort through technical innovations. Shapewear and molded lace have been revolutionized to embody lightness and comfort, while facing fashion forward. Increasing, sizes, choices, styles and silhouettes appeal to every woman on the market. And yet, through the years, flowers have remained a reoccurring embellishment of choice. Whether public or private, 100 years of luxe lingerie are now in full view--stop by and have a look!

White, nude, pink, the girdle! The triumph of the girdle

A Breath of Freedom: The Colorful 1960's

So many choices!

July 31 press preview


  1. Would love to see this one! Thank you for the story and photos. x

    1. I recommend it--if nothing else there's good food and shopping available at Chelsea Market afterwards!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...