20 Aug 2013 0 comments



“It is important to understand the inside pieces: often they are what make fashion prestigious.”. It was 1797 or so when François Guillaume Roger Molé, owner of a costume gallery in Paris, said that. He was referring to the intricate system of objects and under garments, which we know under the name of underwear. Back then underwear meant crinolines, corsets and faux-cul, which significantly altered the natural female forms.

Underwear can tell the story of women’s emancipation, a path that is not always linear, but that counts revolutionary moments such as the liberation from corsets supported by Coco Chanel or the time when feminists were burning their bras in public. Today the exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris “La Mécanique des Dessous” makes a point on the hostory of underwear, starting from 1300 to the present days. There you can see the paraphernalia that made women breathless and fainting, while keeping their waist squeezed into few centimeters as Velazquez paintings.

But also very modern “instruments” are included in the show. Such as the famous Wonderbra that made the fortune of Eva Herzigova and (maybe) the happiness of millions of women emphasizing the canonic features of femininity.

Jean Paul Gaultier’s iconic cone-shaped bustiers famously worn by Madonna is also included in the show. And for those who want to seriously understand how this panniers and bustles worked there is a sort of “fitting room” where visitors may try on replicas of these undergarments. The exhibition is running through November 24th, 2013.

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