“I see London, I see France, I see [insert name here] underpants. Is it blue, or is it pink? …”
Well, now that we have broken the ice, let us introduce you to the Fashion Institute of Technology’s latest exhibition, EXPOSED: A History of Lingerie, which will be around until mid-November.
If you are passing through New York and have an hour or two to spare in your busy schedule, go check it out! You’ll appreciate its simplicity and the unexpected fancy of 18th and 19th century undergarments. Many will surprise you in their modernity.
This exhibition showcases exceptional examples of HARD vs. SOFT undergarment types, bringing an understanding to many amongst us who only share the frame of reference of today’s more relaxed sartorial habits. Corsets with their stiff structure help create shapes or reshape the natural body line, whereas lingerie is soft and covers the body, protecting the garment from touching the skin.
This may sound odd, but this really was the reasoning behind undergarments centuries ago when textiles were worth their weight in gold. Today, lingerie is as much a luxury as it is a functional garment. That said, the examples on view will surprise you, such as a 1920’s undergarment that looks uncannily like a little summer dress by Chanel sold in the stores today.
On that note, remember the famed Christian Dior gown design by John Galliano worn by Princess Diana at the Met gala back in the 1990s? It referenced a 1930’s lingerie piece too.
EXPOSED: A History of Lingerie will run through November 15 at: