February 20, 2018
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Exhibit on French Lingerie History at the Toronto Gallery

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A traveling exhibition, featuring both old and modern pieces of French lingerie and that has been to various parts of the world, has ended at the Design Exchange Toronto Gallery.

The organizing group was on a world tour and had made highly successful stops in London, Dubai, Shanghai, New York and Berlin.

Curator Catherine Ormen explains that the exhibit aimed to share the “history of French lingerie,” one that she explains is all about “savoir-faire, creativity, and also seduction” with its viewers.

There was a total of 210 exhibits on display ranging from nineteenth century bras and corsets to the newest lingerie on the market today. Of the exhibits, one of the most popular was a holograph show that featured a life-sized striptease and illustrated how the evolution of lingerie development reflected changes in the average woman’s silhouette throughout the years. For the more anthropology-oriented, there was a “lingerie seismograph” that showed how lingerie is an indicator of society’s values.

Ormen further explained that so much about lingerie has changed since its beginnings. She noted that in the 19th century, elastic knit was the material of choice for these provocative undergarments, but that manufacturers opted for nylon in the 1950s before shifting to Lycra fibre.

She also shared that the old-school corsets “weren’t so comfortable to wear” but that manufacturers have, since then made comfort an important consideration in their new designs.

Ormen acknowledged the importance of lingerie when she described it as the “first envelope of the body”, giving the body both protection and the ability to seduce.

In fact, she believes that when a woman has beautiful lingerie, she feels “more beautiful, and then more seductive.”

“When a woman puts on a luxurious piece of lingerie, it makes her feel more confident, and as a result, more sexy. Thus, when a woman chooses lingerie for herself, she should pick the one that will reflect the emotions she wants to evoke.”

What’s important is that the choice of lingerie speaks what the woman feels.