Exposed: A History of Lingerie

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Exposed: A History of Lingerie is on view now through Nov. 15 at the FIT Museum. The museum has, in its holdings, more than 50,000 garments, some dating all the way back to the 18th century. Lingerie has evolved greatly over the centuries, making this an intriguing exhibition of an oft-overlooked part of fashion and fashion history.

Items on display that I found particularly interesting were: The Princess Slip— a floor length item from the 1880’s with brightly colored ribbon highlighting the shoulders and calfs. Directly across from it is a modern piece by Chantal Thomas, which includes a very sensual bra, underwear and suspenders ensemble.The contrasting looks make it seem as if Scarlet O’ Hara and Lady Gaga are having a ultimate showdown. It’s a wonderful comment on how beauty and femininity have been altered throughout the ages; garments that are splendidly elegant and fashionable, yet out of their eras could be deemed promiscuous or the former too modest.

The idea behind the exhibit is to demonstrate different types of beauty. It was curated by Colleen Hill, under director of the museum Dr. Valerie Steele; using under garments and illustrations by Jean Paul Gautier, Suki Cohen, Louis Dahl Wolfe, and Donna Cho.







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