While most gals know that a well-fitting ‘foundation’ undergarment is the sensible choice each morning, it’s hard not to reach for that flirty pair of delicate French fancies that poke out of the drawer. The Gauls certainly know how to do smalls: they pioneered a risqué approach to designing seductive unmentionables at the turn of the twentieth century and have since exported a clutch of iconic labels, including Lejaby and Aubade, Chantelle and Passionata. Pretty pieces by these brands, together with early examples of corsets, brassieres and garters are currently on display at new exhibition ‘Lingerie Française’ at the London Film Museum until October 7.
The show not only charts the evolution of fashions in lingerie, it also shows its influence on both society and the female figure. So expect vintage film footage and advertising posters among the girdles that gave girls a garçon’s figure in the 1920s, pointy pin-up bras from the ’50s and gravity-defying fabric engineering from the noughties. To emphasise the changing shape of underwear, the exhibition rounds off with an intriguing-sounding ‘holographic striptease’ that depicts the morphing female figure over the past 100 years. Saucy! Zena Alkayat
For info, see Lingerie Francais listing.