If you’re into lace and silk and satin (oh my!), you’ll surely appreciate the frippery on display at NVISION’s Flounce and Finery lingerie exhibit. Comprised of vintage pieces from the 1930s through the ’80s, the collection serves as a reminder of the many functions of undergarments, from preserving modesty to aiding the art of seduction.
“Lingerie trends were shaped by the desired silhouette of the time,” notes NVISION owner Emily Buddendeck. The shapewear of the 1930s and ’40s (proto Spanx, if you will) smoothed out the waist and hips to accommodate the lean silhouettes of dresses made with fabric rations in mind. In the 1950s, crinoline skirts emphasized Dior’s fit-and-flare New Look silhouette, while Rudi Gernreich’s no-bra bra offered more natural support under the soft, sheer styles of the mid-to-late ’60s.
Though it’s not unheard of to buy vintage delicates just to admire them, they can also be incorporated into modern wardrobes. Buddendeck recommends wearing a pretty bra or slip under a sheer dress for modesty’s sake. In my opinion, full slips make fabulously classy nightgowns à la Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8.
Often, slipping into a vintage negligee is about putting on an attitude, a persona. Imagine sitting at a mirrored vanity, delicately powdering your décolletage in a silky slip and garter belt. “It’s like putting on your armour,” says Buddendeck. “Sometimes you need things that make you feel pretty, that help you prepare yourself to face the world.”
Flounce and Finery lingerie exhibit, now through February 22nd, 4577 Hamilton Ave., Northside, nvisionshop.com