Today we are feeling historically inclined…

01. Underwear: from corsets to bullet bras and back

“As recently as 70 years ago, foundation garments, as corsets were called, were fundamental to the way that women dressed. This film features author Eleri Lynn shot in one of the V&A’s most evocative storerooms as she leads us on a tour of a long hidden world. Eleri’s brief history of shapewear starts with the hourglass and S-bend forms – and steel and whalebone engineering – of Victorian and Edwardian corsets carries on through the breast-flattening bandeau bras worn by 1920s flappers, the New Look underwear of Christian Dior, the conicle bullet bras of the 1950s and concludes with  the arrival of Lycra in the 1960s and the renaissance of corsetry through the new popularity of burlesque.” (V&A).

02. Militia Officer’s Hat

“This Napoleon type hat, the oldest man’s hat in the museum’s collection, dates between 1830 and 1835.  Made of dark brown wool with brown ribbon trim, a brown ribbon rosette and bow, and metallic rope, it’s one of several military hats from various eras that the museum owns.  A similar styled hat in the Sturbridge Village collection is made of beaver.” (Millmuseum).

03. Words, words, words

“Reading Bob Nicholson’s delightful article, “Racy Yankee slang has long invaded our language” which appeared in the Guardian got me thinking about a couple of words which have either been around a lot longer than people suspect or have changed their meanings.  Two words in particular came to mind; “pig” and “gay”. I think we have a tendency to view the first of these as an epithet applied to the police, particularly in America in the 1960s. Images of violence on the one hand and police brutality on the other conjure up visions of protestors screaming “Pigs” usually preceeded with another epithet beginning with the sixth letter of the alphabet.” (Vichist).

04. Exposition coloniale internationale, 1931 (Above).

“On May 6, 1931, the first of 33,000,000 people walked through the gates of the Exposition coloniale internationale in the eastern suburbs of Paris. The exposition, which continued for six months, included a recreation of Mount Vernon from the United States, along with pavilions from Italy, Japan, and many other countries.” (Graphic Arts).

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