FIT’s Exposed: A History of Lingerie to Offer Plenty of Lacy Inspiration

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The M.A. Spencer Company Corset (back view), silk satin, circa 1898, USA

New York—Madonna might have kicked off the underwear-as-outwear trend back in the ’80s, but she certainly didn’t invent lingerie!

Lingerie has a long, storied history, helping literally shape women’s bodies throughout the centuries (whalebone corsets, anyone?). To see lingerie’s evolution, be sure to check out Exposed: A History of Lingerie at The Museum at FIT, opening June 3.

With lace a hot trend in fashion, especially for Fall/Holiday 14, this is a must-see.

The exhibition traces developments in intimate apparel from the 18th century to the present, featuring two types of lingerie: Hard (corsets, bustles and structured bras) and Soft (unstructured slips, nightgowns and panties).

Lingerie can serves as a barometer of the relationship between dress and the body, and many hidden subtexts can be inferred by the pieces on display.

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Marie Rose Lebigot for Lily of France Corselet; lace, nylon, elastic, circa 1954, France

The exhibition concludes with examples of high-end, contemporary lingerie including a custom bra and panty made from nude silk chiffon by Jean Yu and a retro-style lingerie set with provocative cut-outs by Chantal Thomass. Also featured is a L.A.M.B. x Hanky Panky long-line bra and panty from the exclusive design collaboration between Gwen Stefani’s fashion brand and Hanky Panky. This L.A.M.B. designed camouflage print on Hanky Panky signature stretch lace is fun, sexy, and fluorescent.

Exposed: A History of Lingerie runs through November 15, in the Fashion and Textile History Gallery at The Museum at FIT. It will also be accompanied by a book of the same name.

www.fitnyc.edu

 

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Lauren Parker

Lauren Parker, Editor-in-Chief, Accessories Magazine

As Editor-in-Chief of Accessories Magazine for the past 12 years, Lauren Parker has covered accessories both from a retail business perspective and a fashion point of view. In previous full-time magazine jobs and freelance gigs, she’s written about practically every angle of fashion lifestyle living, including accessories, fine jewelry, Caribbean travel, private jets, Hampton’s real estate, the New York art scene, the bridal industry, men’s lifestyle and being a mom. She loves meeting designers and seeing how their latest offerings capture the current zeitgeist and fit into the entire cultural and social picture.