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Power of Pink Berquet

What We Wore

The Power of Pink

Featured above: Underwire bra in pink and white striped cotton, Princesse tam.tam; bouffant panties in pink and white striped nylon, Empreinte; underwire bra in pink and white checked cotton with adjustable straps, Aubade; garter belt in pink and white striped nylon; panties in pink and white checked cotton, with coordinated bra, Aubade. Photo by Gilles Berquet for Lingerie Française Exhibition XIX-XXI.

These passionate pink beauties are emblematic of the swinging sixties: Young and free, with just a trace of the fifties in those girly garter belts. America was still in bobby socks when France was having fun with lingerie, reveling in transparent, colorful, and even psychedelic intimates. Lycra further revolutionized the world of lingerie in the sixties, letting women move and breath in ways they never had before. Going, going, gone was the rigid girdle: by the mid-sixties, more pants were sold in France than dresses (which then fueled the craze for nylon panty girdles). When panty-hose came along, the garter belt was definitively pushed to the back burner.

By the time the sexual revolution merged with feminism, some French women were burning their bras, but it was mostly in celebration of women's bodies, not in protest.   "On the brink of the 1960's," wrote French fashion historian Catherine Ormen, "a breeze of youth blew over the feminine figure." That breeze has never stopped blowing!

August 18, 2016