NYC’s FIT Museum exhibit charts the history of lingerie


More than 60 lingerie styles, each giving an insight into the exciting history of the wonderful essential garment, have been put up on display at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York.

Dubbed as ‘Exposed: A History of Lingerie’, the exhibit aims to chart the development and changes in intimate apparel designs and styles belonging to the 18th century till the present day.

Organized by the FIT museum’s associate curator Colleen Hill, the event also focuses on the pivotal role played by intimatewear in inspiring outerwear designers, such as the set of exhibit where an Iris label created 1950s nylon nightgown is kept alongside an evening gown designed in the similar fabric and silhouette, from Claire McCardell.

Displayed in a chronological order starting from the oldest, the exhibition showcases a 1770 sky blue silk and ivory ribbon and whalebone corset, a full sleeved white cotton dressing gown with a smocked, pointed waistline from 1840s, an embroidered 1878 morning woollen robe, an 1880’s cherry red wool and silk piece and a bustle from the same period.

Some of the other attractions of the display are a Fernande Burel designed printed silk chiffon and lace tea gown from circa 1900, a brocaded silk 1920 corset with waist slimming elastic panels, an appliquéd mid-1920s yellow silk chiffon and ivory lace bandeau bra and a 1930’s peach silk satin all-in-one along with a lace skirt slip from the French luxury lingerie brand Cadolle.

The display also includes a 1940s diaphanous yellow silk crepe nightgown by the Hollywood-based couture lingerie designer Juel Park, a 1950s tulle, taffeta and horsehair layered Dior petticoat, a Rudi Gernreich-designed mid-1960s wireless pad-free bra, and a 1993 pyjama top and bottom set by Erica Tanov.

The display’s more contemporary lingerie collection features pieces designed by names like Jean Yu, Chantal Thomass and Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. x Hanky Panky.


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