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Lingerie Française Exhibit to Honor French Lingerie Industry

The showcase will chronicle such moments as the invention of the bra in the late 19th century and the arrival of sheer underwear on the market in the Seventies.

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GETTING INTIMATE: The tail end of couture week will see the opening of a Paris exhibition honoring the French lingerie industry, tracing its evolution from the creation of the country’s corsetry industry in 1880 to today. Lingerie Française, the French association for the promotion of corsetry industries, is organizing the showcase, which will chronicle the invention of the bra in the late 19th century and the arrival of sheer underwear on the market in the Seventies in response to the women’s liberation movement and the sexual revolution.

“Women in the Seventies wanted invisible, light bras that they couldn’t feel,” said curator Catherine Ormen. To mount the show, she borrowed archive designs from Lingerie Française’s 17 member brands, including Aubade, Barbara, Chantelle, Empreinte, Implicite, Lejaby, Lou, Lise Charmel, Passionata, Princesse Tam Tam and Simone Pérèle.

Vintage advertisements will accompany the items on display, showing the evolution of women’s attitudes and silhouettes across the eras. The show will run from July 5 to 26 at the Espace Pierre Cardin in Paris, before traveling to London, Dubai and Shanghai.