Monday, August 02, 2010

The History of Women's Lingerie | Italy

ran across these pages (again?) today. Wanted to note them, not for the accuracy of the text, but for the graphics. Some of the pictures are quite good illustrations of early lingerie models.

The History of Women's Lingerie | Italy
The bikini in Italy
Some bra history tidbits
La Perla

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Suspants--the panty garter saves the day

Panty Garter (suspender briefs in the UK)
Panty and garter combination used in place of a girdle or garter belt to hold women's stockings up.
Suspants was a panty garter offered by Blue Swan, a brand of the McKay Products Corporation, beginning in 1947. Suspants became so popular that the name became the generic name for all panty garters (a retro-proprietary eponym since the panty garter is not commonly worn today).
To accomplish its' task comfortably the garment was designed specifically so the weight of the wearer's stockings would not pull the panty down and movement would not stretch and tear nylon stockings. Garters could be removed and they could just be worn as a panty.

Trademark of Maidenform, Inc.

MAIDENFORM | Free Online Trademark Search | Trademark by Maidenform, Inc.

a page with trademark information about the Maidenform Company.

like originally registered 9/4/1951

eBay Guides - Guide to REAL vintage panties

eBay Guides - Guide to REAL vintage panties

Put old bras to good use: build a bra bridge, why not?

Put old bras to good use: build a bra bridge, why not?

Gaga for Barbie - TODAY

Gaga for Barbie

a TODAY Show slideshow in which fashion designers recreate the iconic fashionista singers looks with dolls.

Size and Age no longer fitting the same old ideas

Who can wear sexy lingerie continues to be less of a question as ideas change regarding beauty in the world. More options open up for women after motherhood and divorce, and for women beyond a size 8.

‘Cougar’ culture boosting sultry lingerie sales - TODAY Fashion & Beauty

Women 40+ buying lingerie thanks to rise in cougar "role models"
May 4, 8:51 AM Intimate Apparel Examiner author Alicia Vargo

Lane Bryant Cacique ad boosts sales and promotes changes in body image stereotypes:

Updated October 21, 2009
Pressure to Get Skinny Still the Fashion Norm, Even in the Plus-Sized Model World
By Allison McGevna -

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Maidenform links

Full Brief Panties: Male-Modeling Maidenform Dreams

this post from a pantyboy looking for female responses includes several Maidenform historical links to be checked out for inclusion in the history. I really like the I Dreamed campaign. Several ads can be found online, but not all & not in place. I have collected some of them offline.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Random Notes in Fashion History

Artful Mama's Ephemera: Undergarments
presents scans of advertisements "PRIMARILY IMAGES FROM THE: Bellas Hess &Co Fall and Winter Catalog. I'm not sure of the exact year....but, I'm guessing late 20's, maybe early 30's. Enjoy!!!"

These do give historical perspective.

Cowgirl Fashion–Prairie Rose Henderson
"In the early 1900s, Prairie Rose Henderson was a popular performer who created a bit of a stir by being one of the first to wear bloomers to ride." Her work would have come during the increase of social comfort around female athletes and the fashion developments which ensued.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Victoria`s Secret conquers Canada

Victoria`s Secret conquers Canada

The brand is presented in the fashion industry since 1977. During the long-term history the company repeatedly changed its priorities and searched for an own way of style, gradually having proved itself as the best manufacturer of female lingerie in the USA. The main reason of “Victoria's Secret” huge popularity, not only in America but all around the world, is the unique design that allows women to always remain unique and exceptional, stylish and self-confident.
Original models of women lingerie, amazing sleepwear, exclusive quality garments in pace with the latest fashion trends - this is “Victoria's Secret” brand characteristics. The source of excellence is covered within the fabrics, used only for leading couturiers collections, on which the company does not save the expenses. Ideal body fit – another trademark of the brand, a convenient system of size definition does not allow one to be mistaken. Customers consistently remain happy with their choice and the act of purchases itself that turns into delight for women, giving them a fine mood and blissful charm. “Victoria`s Secret” chic lingerie is regarded as an accessible luxury.
Beginning in 1995, “Victoria`s Secret” began holding the annual “Victoria`s Secret Fashion Show”, which is broadcasted primetime on American television. The show is a lavish event with elaborate costumed lingerie, varying music, and set design according to the different themes running within the show. The show attracts hundreds of celebrities and entertainers, with special performers and/or acts every year. The “Victoria`s Secret Angels” are a small group of top models contracted to the company, and as such are the brand's most visible models and spokeswomen.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

giant knickers gather attention--and signatures

Okay, I had to link to this July 2008 UK Twitter event (4Talent magazine · Twitter competition winner announced) because it touches on two personal themes: Panties and helping the community. Not because any real lingerie history is involved--although it might if there was someone extant big enough to wear these....

[sidenote alert: Ever notice how people can say "underwear" in normal conversation, but when they say "panties" all inflection changes and volume drops? As if it is somehow embarrassing or impolite to use the name of a garment where the general form has none of the same connotation. Oh well, two different people--one male & one female--shared the same story today & both had striking vocal changes when they mentioned the panties. By the way, neither used "underwear" in the story.]

Anyway these giant bikinis raised awareness for Oxfam & you can read about it by following the link above.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Marilyn Monroe's “Fling Bra”--malaprop-riate?

Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson on 1st June 1926 in Los Angeles, California, to Gladys Baker. She was later baptized Norma Jeane Baker (the identity of her father is undetermined) . After a few modeling jobs Norma Jeane dyed her hair blonde, borrowed her grandmother's last name, and, in 1946 began using the stage name Marilyn Monroe. She legally change her name on 23rd February 1956.

At 5 feet 5 1/2 inches tall and weighing between 115 - 120 pounds her shapely figure [measurements: 37-23-36 (Studio's Claim); 35-22-35 (Dressmaker's Claim)] caught the imagination of generations. Despite her voluptuous curves, Monroe boosted her bust to a D cup using a bra favored by strippers and burlesque dancers in the 1940s and 1950s. 
During the early morning of 5th August 1962, 36-year-old Marilyn died in her sleep, from a drug overdose, at her Brentwood, California home . She is encrypted at Pierce Bros. Westwood Memorial Park, in Los Angeles.
On Saturday 18th July 2009 London's International Autograph Auctions sold a bra previously "belonging to the professional wardrobe of" Marilyn Monroe. The bra, nicknamed “The Fling Bra, may have been worn by the star while shooting the famous subway grate scene for the 1955 movie "The Seven Year Itch".
This bra, held in a private US collection for 50 years, was part of Monroe’s wardrobe sold in Hollywood in 2005. The lingerie was expected to fetch £2,000 when auctioned alongside an unworn pair of nude, sheer, Christian Dior silk stockings. It brought $5,200 from an unidentified bidder calling in from Hong Kong.
Monroe's bra garnered the malapropic name "Fling Bra" during promotion of the auction. The name was incorrectly heard, picked up by the global media, and stuck. Marilyn's Fling fits her sexy image 67 years later.
Katie Halford, a designer for the vintage lingerie firm What Katie Did, reports, “Marilyn Monroe didn't like wearing underwear and, if she could get away with it, she wouldn't wear any".
Monroe's "Fling" is a sling bra. Designed to enhance the size and shape of her breasts while giving the illusion of not wearing a bra at all.
"The bra looks very complicated at first glance and it actually has four cups inside it," reported Richard Davie, from International Autograph Auctions. "There's an inner cup which is almost hidden, which would support her chest as normal. But then there's another larger cup about an inch further out” providing the illusionary larger size.
Sling bras are worn like modern quarter cup bras that support the breast from underneath and expose the top half of the breast, including the nipple, so that under thin/tight clothing it looks like the woman isn't wearing a bra. Inner Slings are curved strips of fabric, following the natural curve of the bottom of the cup; similar to an underwire, except soft.
Edged with cream velvet piping, the fling bra features a lace design and is sculpted in the cone style of the 1950s. On a technical note regarding vintage bras: velvet trim on the inside of the boning and straps is a luxury feature of couture vintage bras.
This heavy-duty bra--which "perfectly positioned" and enlarged the breasts--was reinforced with extra straps running in a triangle from the center of the bra over the shoulders and vertical 'bone' stays across both cups Underwired slings created impressive cleavage while placement of the straps gave the illusion that Monroe was not wearing anything at all.
This particular Fling Bra may have been worn during the filming of “The Seven Year Itch”, a 1955 American film based on George Axelrod's three-act play. The film was co-written and directed by Billy Wilder, and starred Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell, reprising his Broadway role.
That title phrase refers an inclination to become unfaithful after seven years of marriage. Seven-year itch had been known in the USA since the early 19th century as the name of a particularly irritating and contagious skin complaint. The name was well enough known by 1845 for the condition to be used as a metaphor for all that is annoying. The success of the 1955 film brought the term a new life.
Plot summary: A professional book reader for a publishing company (Ewell) must endure the dog days of a New York summer alone, while his wife and son find themselves at a oceanside resort. To pass the lonely hours, the overly-imaginative book reader fantasizes about a young model (Monroe) temporarily lodging in the apartment upstairs.
The film contains one of the most iconic images of the 20th century --The Flower. Photographer George S Zimbel provides the backstory: "A beautiful blonde in a white dress walks along Lexington Avenue with her "summer bachelor" friend. They walk over a subway air vent as a train speeds by below. The updraft of warm air catches her dress like a parachute. It billows up and up. The guy is flustered, the blonde is surprised. (End of scene.)”.
Zimbel remembers "the night (Sept 11, 1954) I shot Marilyn Monroe".
Fellow photographer George Karger asked the 25 year old Zimbel, "Kid, who would you photograph as the most renowned world figure?" "[H]ow about Marilyn Monroe?" The question was not rhetorical. Marilyn was coming to town and he generously gave me his credentials”.
In 1929 George S. Zimbel was born in Woburn, MA to Morris Zimbel and Tillie Gruzen. Zimbel continues to produce new work and print previously unseen images from his archive. In an era of increased manipulation of the photographic image by computer technology, Zimbel's commitment to the "straight" photograph has become stronger.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bra Glossary

Bra Glossary at Bare Necessities

primer on Open Cup Bras: the Styles

Tiffany Hart writes about bra parts

One Hanes Place's bra glossary

Intimate Guide's Bra Glossary - Understanding bra terminology
© 2008 Intimate Guide