While in 1968, feminists burnt their bras in an attempt to free themselves from the shackles of a reductive sexism, today we are seeing a new form of women’s emancipation, expressed with tolerance and self-assurance. The bra is no longer considered as the enemy, a barrier to comfort and freedom of expression. With the rise of body positivity and women’s selfacceptance, lingerie is no longer a seductive tool that caters to the male gaze, dictated by a stereotyped fashion: as designated spokesperson for body celebration, the fashion is definitely for bodywear!
Women are now buying lingerie to satisfy their own selfimage, like a beauty product. A new generation of bra that is more subtle in its approach to comfort for all, has allowed us to reinvent the codes of sensuality (MarieYat, About, the Skarlett Blue cotton range, Löv the label, Neïwai, Moons and Junes, MilaKrasna, Understatment Underwear). With an aesthetic borrowed from dance, bodysuits become leotards and the bra
becomes more like a top (Undress Code, Just a corpse, About, DSTM).
While some women are keen break with certain norms to wear soft and simple lingerie, others will choose a more elegant comfort with bralettes and bodies made entirely of tulle and lace, embellished with silk, satins, embroidery, decorative straps and other frills (Lonely, Mey, Myla, Le petit trou, Aubade, Silent Arrow, Gisela, Jolidon).
Eager to reconcile themselves with their bodies and their image, women have finally managed to free themselves from clichés and embrace this hybridisation of fashion that has turned the industry on its head. Bodywear lingerie now aligns itself with the style codes of ready-to-wear, where the most comprehensive collections come in sizes XS/S/M/L/XL, not including cup size. Some even offer just one size only, such as the Soft Stretch by Chantelle collection.
There are no shortage of options, to meet the demands of women in all their diversity, and the high standards they require. Freed from selfcriticism, lingerie now highlights features what were previously seen as flaws (MarieYat, Chantelle, Lonely, Silent Arrow, Le Journal Intime, etc.). The restrictive architecture of past models becomes a structured design, enhanced with highly photogenic colours that are designed to be
shared. Mismatching is no longer off-limits, and is sometimes even the focus of a range (Lonely, About, Chantal Thomass). We are embracing a new approach to lingerie And it feels good. It’s sort of a new feminist
feminism: to live our best lives, let’s stop hiding!
Le Journal Intime
The lingerie sector is becoming ever-bolder, offering products that amaze us at every turn.
Undergarments are becoming stand-alone pieces to be glimpsed or simply seen, flirting with the worlds of ready-to-wear and accessories.
The interesting aspect of this evolution is, of course, that lingerie has gradually gained prestige as an essential product, beyond its practical purpose. There is now definite interest in the fashion side of lingerie to match our own personal style and is increasingly design-oriented, thus reaffirming its identity!
The appearance of bralettes, a major element at Myla, Lonely, Gisela, and Aubade, has revolutionized bras, envisioning lightweight pieces for small bustlines, with more fashion and more fun, but without all the previous constraints. We needed to distance ourselves from the pragmatic side of lingerie, with its primary support function. Women have been waiting for more modern products that have something more creative to say, where the superfluous becomes essential to the notion of pleasure: frou-frou, all-over lace, etc.
Inspired by haute couture brands, this trend toward hybrid lingerie has seen the inception of collections that want to show off and that adorn both casual and sophisticated outfits. Feminine undergarments, functional underwear, sportswear, streetwear (Chantelle, Black Limba, Anita)…styles are blending together and reinventing themselves in a desire for elegant comfort and easy-wear pieces. There is a move toward simplification that is also emerging through the use of a sizing system inspired by ready-to-wear (S, M, L or 1, 2, 3).
Based on this modern trend of products that are hybrids of fashion and lingerie, technicians (Bonbon Lingerie, Mapale Wear, Milakrasna, Silent Arrow, DSTM) have taken the liberty of adding shapes, colors, lace, and strapping effects, seeing these items as fashion accessories for stylish silhouettes, and to proclaim loud and clear a much less formal, more socially engaged version of femininity.