Origin of the Trend: Lingerie

The popularity of Victoria’s Secret fashion shows is nothing but indicative of America’s obsession with lingerie. I’m not talking white t-shirt bras: ladies can buy the new Miraculous Push-Up bra from VS, decorated with Swarovski crystal “Elements” (a.k.a. high class sequins) and a $250 price tag. Sexy, right? And that’s a downgrade from the Fantasy Bra worn by Adriana Lima at this year’s show, priced at $2 million.

Since the majority of us can’t drop a couple million on lingerie (we’d be too afraid of ruining to actually wear it), the VS show features some affordable pieces, available in stores, that reinforce the 1950s style for lingerie of 2010. Inspired by early pinup girls’ garments and designed to accentuate the natural curves of a woman’s body, popular current designs in lingerie include high-waisted briefs, tap pants, corsets and bra-incorporating tops in pastel and nude colors.

These delicates follow the production of the twinset; a revolutionary duo of pieces imagined by a Scottish-based designer, Pringle, in the 1930s. According to TimesOnline.co.uk, the twinset sparked a movement away from modesty, expressed by wearing underwear as clothing. I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t be interested in wearing their underclothes on the outside, because they’re generally so comfortable. It’s unsurprising that the fad caught on. And lasted.

Madonna’s Jean Paul Gaultier cone-bra costume for her 1990 Blonde Ambition tour unleashed the trend toward sex in fashion, with ready-to-wear garments showing increasingly more skin. Women, compelled to mimic everything about Madonna’s flashy lifestyle, started experimenting with wearing underwear as outerwear.

Lady Gaga, often compared to Madonna, adapted the style icon’s courageous image in her video for “Alejandro.” In it, she sports a bra that hides a machine gun. Oh, and it’s cone-shaped. She also was spotted wearing a satin bra and tap pants to the Accessories Council Excellence Awards, proving, again, that she will always be one of the most outrageous proponents of confidence-necessitating fashion.

Katy Perry’s video for “California Girls” was equally as lingerie-advocating: her red and white candy cane bra as well as her cupcake bra look were completely impractical, but bold, sexy and unexpected at the same time.

On the runway, which can sometimes be translated to reality, Christian Dior and Marc Jacobs’ ready-to-wear collections for spring of 2010 were heavy on the bustiers and lacy slips. For a more accessible version of the trend, visit VPL in New York; the store specializes in sportswear-meets-underwear collections. Or just throw on a bra and a sheer t-shirt, paired with some heels and a blazer. This may be the easiest trend to participate in, ’cause we’ve all got underwear.

Publishing at The Lion, The Stitch, and The Wardrobe on December 17, 2010.

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