Bralets here, corsets there; stockings, girdles, garters and lace-ups everywhere. However long and winding the road to the Victoria’s Secret runway may prove to some, there’s no denying the power undergarments have held over our society-at-large, transcending culture and history. Temper Magazine’s good friends at That’s It report!
Before we can focus solely on the 2017 Chinese market, we have to go back to the beginning — not with Eve, for obvious reasons, but with Cleopatra.
The word “lingerie” in se originated from the French word “linge”, meaning “linen” and was not frequently used until the late 1850s. Undeniably, women’s lingerie has changed dramatically over the centuries, conforming to each generation and its styles. While today lingerie is thought of elegant, beautiful and (for the most part) comfortable, it hasn’t always been that way.
The “ideal” female figure has changed drastically, and therefore so has women’s lingerie. But before we can focus solely on the China market, we have to go back to the beginning — not with Eve, for obvious reasons, but with Cleopatra. Let’s take a look at lingerie’s unique history from its earliest onset right up to 2017!
Temper Magazine’s Trending segment casts a net upon all that is throwing tantrums within the world of China Fashion across a variety of global sources. This very necessary segment makes for a collection of largely non-Temper Magazine-original content dipping its toe into the deep indigo-dyed pool that is the ocean of Middle Kingdom fashionable astonishment.
This time around, we take a look at the latest craze swamping the outermost corners of Mainland China: The Big L aka “Lingerie”. Natalie Bunbury reports for That’s It magazine.
In one form or another, women have worn garments to support, suppress or accentuate their breasts and this dates as far back as 3000 BC Ancient Egypt. Clothing was a status symbol for the Egyptians and higher-ranking women would wear narrow tunics as undergarments that started below the chest, extended to the ankles, and were supported by a crosswise shoulder strap. Sometimes they would draw tunics around to the front of their body to mould the waist.
During this time, the topic of sex was an almost shameful secret only discussed behind closed doors and only shared between man and wife. The suppression of sexuality then quite literally translated into sartorial matters – the corset. Nearly every aspect of this garment was created to pull, push and completely change the female body, from the drawstrings that cinched the waist together to the whalebone that pushed the breasts forward. The corset gave women this “boyish” shape that was so greatly desired. It caused women to suffer from organ deformation, crushed ribs and even miscarriage.
The bra was invented in 1910, thanks to Mary Phelps Jacobs. Through its creation, women were finally getting the choice and freedom that lingerie was meant to offer.
The bra was invented in 1910, thanks to Mary Phelps Jacobs. Through its creation, women were finally getting the choice and freedom that lingerie was meant to offer. Society’s corset requirement began to fade with WWI shortages and lingerie companies needed new solutions for their customers, one of these being the bra. During this time, a sleek and skimpy silhouette was very fashionable. This meant women were going to need underwear of the same cloth, and with this introduced the slip. In contrast to the suppressive nature of earlier centuries, the slip granted a newfound liberation and simplicity for women.
By this point, the image of lingerie and sex was finally socially acceptable, due to the rise of pin-up girls. Pin-up girls were pictures of often scantily-clad models printed on posters for the walls of America. On these models were the lingerie trends of the decade, advertising seamed stockings, bustiers and corselets. These trends grasped the newest image of sex – curves. This era of sexual liberation continued throughout the 1960s and 70s.
Cher famously brought the one-piece or ‘teddies’ back in style during this decade. This was a trend that had long been forgotten for quite some time. Along with the body suit, popular styles in the 80s were thongs, g-strings and any piece with a high-cut leg. Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” bustiers and ripped underwear inspired getup caused Frederick’s of Hollywood to sell out of the aforementioned items to copypasting diehard Madge fangirls all across the USA.
Care to catch up on Bunbury’s full unveiling of the most secret garment of them all? Read the full That’s It feature right here!
This trending topic was written by Natalie Bunbury for That’s It! 2017 All rights reserved
Introduction and additional editing by Elsbeth van Paridon for Temper Magazine
Featured Image: Copyright@Chairman Migo Media
Temper Magazine does not own any of the above content. All featured content belongs to Natalie Bunbury for That’s It 2017. All rights reserved.
After tackling Beijing for some six years where she worked for China International Publishing Group, she spent a moment in time moseying down steep alleyways and writing about their fashionable and underground features in Hong Kong.
Van Paridon most recently managed to claw her way through a Europe-based academic endeavor called "Journalism". 'Tis in such fashion that she has now turned her lust for China Fashion/ Lifestyle and Underground into a full time occupation.
Van Paridon hunts down the latest in Chinese menswear, women’s clothing, designer newbies, established names, changes in the nation’s street scenery, close-ups of particular trends presently at play or of historical socio-cultural value in Chinaplus a selection of budding photographers.
Paired with a deep devotion to China’s urban underground scene, van Paridon holds a particular interest in the topics of androgyny, the exploration of individuality and the power that is the Key Opinion Leader (the local term for “influencers”) in contemporary China.
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