New York museum explores history of lingerie

From 18th century corsets to present-day bras made in stretch lace, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York charts the history of lingerie in a new exhibition.

Exposed: A History of Lingerie features more than 70 of the most delicate objects in the museum’s permanent collection, many of which have never before been shown to the public.

The exhibition opens with several pairings of objects that underscore the connection between underwear and outerwear.

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A 1950s nylon nightgown by high-end lingerie brand Iris, for example, is shown alongside a nylon evening gown by mid-century designer Claire McCardell.

Carrying on, the exhibition runs in chronological order, with the earliest object on view being a 1770 sleeved corset made from sky-blue silk with decorative ivory ribbons that crisscross over the stomach.

FIT delves into the lingerie trends from every decade, from a mid-1920s bandeau bra of yellow silk chiffon in ivory lace, to a silk teddy designed by Patricia Fieldwalker in the 1980s.

Contemporary lingerie is highlighted by a custom-made bra and panty in 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 designed by Gwen Stefani’s fashion brand in collaboration with Hanky Panky.

The exhibition opened on June 3 and will run through November 15.



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