Lingerie Francaise Presents 150-Year Retrospective of French Lingerie




Continuing its world tour, the Lingerie Francaise exhibition will be presented at the famous Sagamore Hotel Miami Beach during the Art Basel Fair in Miami Beach from November 29th through December 6th, 2016.

Free and open to all, the exhibition showcases the ingeniousness and creativity of French lingerie which, for over a century and a half, has been worn by millions of women worldwide. The exhibition is an immersion into the collections of eleven of the most prestigious French brands: AUBADE, BARBARA, CHANTELLE, EMPREINTE, IMPLICITE, LISE CHARMEL, LOU, LOUISA BRACQ, MAISON LEJABY, PASSIONATA and SIMONE PÉRÈLE. With both elegance and playfulness, the story of an exceptional craft unfolds in a space devoted to contemporary art.


The heart of this historic exhibition takes place in the Game Room of the Sagamore Hotel. Beginning with the first corsets of the 1880’s, the presentation documents the custom-made creations of the 1930’s, showcases the lingerie of the 1950’s that was the first to use nylon, and culminates with the widespread use of Lycra® in the 1980’s, an epic era of forms and fabrics. This section focuses on contemporary and future creations; including the Lingerie Francaise sponsored competition’s winning entry by Salima Abes, a recent graduate from the university ESMOD Paris.

An exclusive collection of approximately one hundred pieces will be exhibited, all of them emblematic of a technique, textile, and/or fashion innovation. A selection of landmark pieces will trace both the history of intimacy and the narrative of women’s liberation. Unique pieces that reflect the daily lives of millions of women – corsets, panties, bras, girdles, thongs, and bodysuits will come to life through video installations, advertisements, and the most outstanding photographs from each era. Holographic sequences that evoke the evolution of lingerie, the body, and the expression of emotion and movement that defines the crossroads of form and function will further enhance the exhibit.

This rich and captivation presentation, both chronological and thematic in nature, will allow visitors to better understand the depth, diversity, creativity, and complexity of this artisanship. To better understand this process, a virtual tour is already available through the app “IZI.Travel – French Lingerie”: each section of the exhibition corresponds to a QR code that provides a guided tour that is downloadable on one’s cellphone in multiple languages.

Even more amazing is the unusual integration of this exhibition within the Sagamore Hotel itself, where a true dialogue is established between lingerie and a selection of contemporary art: At the Game Room’s entrance, spectacular and uncompromising nudes by Vincent Corpet underscore the seductive and sexy cachet of lingerie. This is also perfectly illustrated in the paintings of Frederic Leglise, where lingerie is used to hide or reveal the models’ bodies. Annie Goetzinger’s illustrations from the comic strip “Girls in Dior” – a bestseller translated into twenty languages – evokes the pomp of the 1950’s in the section of the exhibition dedicated to the rise of industrial 3 lingerie, the triumph of the pinup, and the introduction of nylon. Finally, in the stateof-the-art section of the exhibition, graphic works by Margot Van Huijkelom emphasize the links between fashion and lingerie. Lingerie was born in the 16th century and has its linguistic roots in the word “lin”, which means “linen” in French (French also brought us the word “linge” and, later, “lingerie”). We’re also reminded that the whiteness of lingerie was first used to emphasize the cleanliness of the person who wore it.

Intentionally minimalist and uncluttered, the exhibition is beautifully showcased at the Sagamore Hotel. In addition to the Game Room, the exhibition continues throughout the ground floor of the hotel in the form of various installations, with contemporary lingerie pieces from each of the eleven French brands displayed on realistic mannequins, in videos, and in the lobby, where a dramatic presentation will both amuse and surprise visitors! Here again, lingerie continues to dialogue with art. The discourse is highlighted by the selection of artworks curated by art advisor Sebastian Laboureau on behalf of the Sagamore Hotel. In the spectacular works of Sabine Pigalle, women are sublimated by the chef d’oeuvres of the old masters. Further conversation is created by falsely naïve black and white photographs by Yoichiro Sato.

Drawing on inspiration from contemporary art as well as the imagination, Lingerie Française is creating an exhibition within the exhibition by showcasing the work of photographer Gilles Berquet, the creative director of the book “French Lingerie” (published by Plon in 2012, on sale in English during the exhibition). Known for his erotic photographs, Gilles Berquet presents a dreamlike and very personal vision of the latest designs of the eleven participating brands in the Circular Room of The Sagamore. Forming a cabinet of curiosities, these photographs are the result of a commission by Lingerie Française and testify to the special relationship that French Lingerie has always maintained with the creativity and zeitgeist of the times. Photographer Gilles Berquet will be present at the opening reception and some of his other works will be on display at the entrance of the hotel.



The French Lingerie exhibition is announced in the front windows of the Sagamore Hotel by the amazing photographs of Gilles Berquet.

In the lobby, a surprising installation greets visitors and captures the extent to which women are “lingerie crazy”. A realistic mannequin is displayed as a fashionable shopper who falls in the middle of the lobby and tries to put all her bags of lingerie back together, while another mannequin dressed in only in a negligee and leaning on the check-in desk, looks on with an air of bemusement.

In the three windows overlooking the Game Room, the oldest and the most precious pieces of French Lingerie will be on display: An elastic mesh CHANTELLE corset from 1880 that was a hugely successful novelty item at the time, because it brought comfort to women in an era when social etiquette didn’t allow women to move, literally and figuratively. In a second showcase, two very rare pieces represent the transition to a more modern design of undergarment: Around 1905, the corset was split in two; the top was a bra and the bottom was a waist-cincher with garters for stockings. Waists continued to be tightened, carrying on the established tradition of a time when women wore corsets since childhood.

Little evidence of the corset remains from the time of the First World War. What is certain is that women led more active lives and, consequently, fashion changed. Skirts were shortened and fashion was streamlined and simplified. At the end of the war, women of the 1920’s therefore had a totally different allure: The “tomboy” look of a liberated woman became the height of fashion. Bandeau bras flattened busts and curves were eliminated by the panty-girdle. This let women wear the short, straight, floating dresses of the Roaring Twenties.

The last showcase is dedicated to 1930’s, when beauty conventions became more traditional once again: Women thrived on fashion’s sophistication and undergarments were custom-made. Women even wore bras at night to protect their busts, as evidenced in the MAISON LEJABY bra with open cups. Lingerie was nude-colored and came in subtle shades of pink. During this decade women wore girdles even when they were pregnant! The CHANTELLE girdle on exhibit was adjustable according to one’s stage of pregnancy.


French lingerie dresses all women! That is its mission.

Throughout this narrative that begins in the late nineteenth century, French lingerie is used to shape women’s figures according to the latest fashions, the desires of women, and technological advances. Whether they were originally embroiderers (LOUISA BRACQ), mesh manufacturers (the origin of CHANTELLE and AUBADE) or custom corsetieres (BARBARA, LISE CHARMEL, SIMONE PÉRÈLE,) – all of these brands were industrialized after the Second World War. That’s the case of AUBADE, BARBARA, CHANTELLE, LISE CHARMEL, MAISON LEJABY, and SIMONE PÉRÈLE. Other brands, such as EMPREINTE or LOU, were born after the war, an era that saw the birth of nylon and mass consumption…

(First niche): Nylon was immediately considered a revolutionary material: It washed easily, dried quickly, did not require ironing, and allowed color in lingerie. In 1947, women’s figures were influenced by the “New Look” of couturier Christian Dior. To follow this new, very feminine fashion trend, women emulated pin-ups: ingeniously designed bras and bustiers, wide straps and special boning (inverted or set between both breasts) created high, pointy busts; waists were refined by guêpières or basques, and hips were rounded by petticoats. Women’s figures in the 1950’s were very sexy but also very sophisticated, as evidenced by lingerie adorned with lace.

(End of the first and second niche): The 1960’s saw the arrival of a new generation that imposed its own beauty standards on society: Women’s figures were elongated, busts were slight and perched high, and lingerie took on the Brigitte Bardot look. Pantyhose appeared, making the garter belt obsolete. Straps became elastic, lingerie came in sets, and panties and bras came in every color of the rainbow.lou

In full sexual revolution, American feminists burned their bras in public, but French lingerie held out: It’s true that women wore girdles to slim their waists, but shhhh! – no one let their little secret be known! When it came to bras, each brand had its bestseller: they were light, technically advanced and, during the 1970s, designed to create a youthful-looking bust.

Women soon discovered the benefits of sports: Athletics (jogging, aerobics, etc.) were widespread and gave people dream bodies. The muscular body triumphed in the 1980’s and did away with constrictive undergarments. Bodies were so beautiful and people so proud of them that they wore tight-fitting Lycra®. This was a revolutionary material at the time that made every other fabric seem elastic and it was used in lingerie as well as clothing. Lingerie, in fact, became a fashion item in and of itself. New brands came on the scene like PASSIONATA and IMPLICITE, aimed at a younger, fashion-conscious consumer. Seductive and very glamorous, lingerie now dared communicate openly in magazines, on television, and on the street. The campaigns of AUBADE or LOU are, in this respect, unparalleled in their creativity. This is evoked in the slide projections next to lingerie pieces.

(Third niche): The 1990’s saw people turning inward and into their own private environments. Lingerie, thanks to Lycra® and microfibers, took on the appearance of a second skin and was now available in nude tones. Invisible and comfortable, like MAISON LEJABY‘s “Cloud” (which sold 10 million units in 10 years), this nude lingerie went well with the thong and revealed body parts that had previously remained hidden (hips, bellybuttons, mid-sections). Lingerie soon had tattoo effects (like MAISON LEJABY‘s “Indiana” and CHANTELLE’s “Africa”), echoing the trend of adoring one’s skin with tattoos and piercings. “Intelligent” lingerie (BARBARA) came on the scene and, thanks to Lycra® , effortlessly refashioned and embellished the figure.

Then, in 2000s, fantasy took center stage. Inventive and highly creative, brands offered lingerie with exclusive finishing like Calais lace and colorful embroidery. LOUISA BRACQ, the most recent addition to the pantheon of French Lingerie, was previously a famous embroidery house – a heritage that is clearly evident in its lingerie. Each brand multiplied it lines and collections to satisfy the increasingly demanding needs of its clientele, designing lingerie in all sizes – from band widths to cup sizes. The latter was the special niche of EMPREINTE, which was a pioneer in full-cup lingerie since the 1960s.

Haute couture lingerie also adapted to the needs of women worldwide (LISE CHARMEL, SIMONE PÉRÈLE). Each item, decorated with lace and exclusive embroidery, was a technical achievement because every size and every variation in depth of bra cup required rethinking technical logistics and ornamentation. A 3D animation brings these challenges to life: no less than thirty parts of various origins and constitutions need to be dyed and assembled to precision of a millimeter, while meeting specific safety standards required of lingerie, since it is the first element that touches the skin.

This is evoked in a 3D animation showing the breakdown of a bra. Extraordinary savoir-faire is thus required – precisely that of French corsetieres who, from generation to generation, have exalted the craft to the status of art.



Vincent Corpet

When he turned twenty, Vincent Corpet decided to become an artist. He entered the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris in 1979 and left two years later with a Diplôme Supérieur d’Art Plastic (an advanced degree in plastic arts). He painted his first picture on June 8, 1982, at a time when people saw no future in pictorial art, viewing it as outdated. But since this first work, more 3,800 paintings have come out of his studio, 1,300 of which have been exhibited. The artist has participated in 150 exhibitions in France and abroad, 50 of which were one-man shows. His uncompromising and unassuming nudes are “anatomical”, without perspective and painted realistically. They remind us that the mission of French Lingerie is to dress all women. They also suggest that women can be infinitely sexy when they wear lingerie…

Jeune fille en Dior

Annie Goetzinger

Fashion is a tradition in Goetzinger’s family: a grandmother who was a couturier and a great aunt who worked in Lanvin’s first atelier. Although she studied fashion design, Annie Goetzinger is one of the few women to have illustrated comic books. Her first series, “Casque d’or” (Glénat, 1976), won two awards at the Angoulême festival. She then illustrated “Aurore, the Life of George Sand” (Women’s Publishing, 1978), then worked in the development of theater costume design, illustrations, short stories, and cartoons for newspapers, including the prestigious French daily Le Monde. The author of multiple series that have been very successful, her work is represented at the exhibition by illustrations from the book “Girl in Dior” (Dargaud, 2013), a bestseller translated into many languages. The illustrations of “Girl in Dior” evoke the splendor of the 1950’s. They recall how the grandiose fashions designed by Dior- and copied by millions of women – were grand, sophisticated, but also very constraining.


Margot Van Huijkelom

Represented by Galerie Sofronis Arts (Luxembourg), the Dutch artist Margot Van Huijkelom is a painter and fashion illustrator. She moved to Paris with a Masters Degree from the Ecole des Beaux-arts ARTez (School of Fine Arts ARTez). Her work has appeared in numerous publications: Taschen, Vogue Japan, Official Japan-as well as full-page publications in Le Monde during Fashion Week Haute Couture Paris. It’s in Tokyo that Margot discovered the discipline of Ukiyo-e (prints), which has a significant influence on her work: delicate features on handmade paper. For Margot, fashion illustration is a vast playground. The women she stages in her work tell stories that go beyond fashion… The sensuality of materials and fabrics that evoke facial expressions sometimes hide and sometimes reveal the female anatomy, as if Margot were suggesting that we should not trust appearances, and that the personality of women and their beauty cannot be reduced to the clothes they wear.



Gilles Berquet

Born in the late fifties, Gilles Berquet expressed an early talent for drawing. A graduate in painting from the National School of Aix en Provence in 1981, he became a photographer-artist. He worked at “Jardin des modes”, then worked as a photographer in fashion, film and art publishing. Passionate about the use of photography by the surrealists – Man Ray, Hans Bellmer and Pierre Molinier – his work will develop around the idea of transformations, and especially those of the body transmuted through erotica. As such, his work will become a manifesto for freedom of sexual representation, especially as expressed in minority practices. In all cases, Gilles Berquet likes to play with deceptive appearances made possible through photography, and thus perfectly utilizes its ability to transfigure reality. Lingerie Française has reserved a special space in the Sagamore Hotel for Berquet’s work. The “Circular Room”, as a curiosity cabinet, presents his latest works that depict the most recent creations of the eleven French lingerie brands present in Miami.


Frédéric Léglise

Frédéric Léglise was born in 1972 in Nantes. He lives and works in Paris. His work is populated with girls: portraits and nudes of women from his entourage. An additional part of his work consists of self-portraits produced partially from his own shadow. Frédéric Léglise has participated in numerous exhibitions in France and abroad, and several times at Art Basel (1900-2000 Gallery). His work is present in many public and private collections (Frissiras Museum, Athens; MMSU, Rijeka, The Red House – Fondation Antoine de Galbert, Paris …).


Sabine Pigalle

Was born in 1963; lives and works in Paris. Her work is characterized by the offbeat and by hybridization, reappropriation, and the archetypal. Sabine Pigalle produces transversal work that combines paintings and photographs, ancient and contemporary art, as well as figurative and abstract art.


Yoichiro Sato

A fashion and portrait photographer, Yoichiro Sato was born in Tokyo and is now based in Paris. His work is featured in Elle, Figaro Magazine, Grazia Italy, Marie Claire, Vogue Bambini and various other international magazines as well as advertising campaigns. While continuing to pursue his career as a photographer, Yoichiro directed two short films. He is represented by Sofronis Arts (Luxembourg).


Catherine Ormen: Exhibition curator, Lingerie Française XIX-XXI

A graduate of the Ecole du Louvre, Ecole Heritage and Studio Berçot (fashion design), Catherine Ormen is an independent curator, teacher, and expert in fashion heritage, lingerie, and luxury. She is the author of several reference books on fashion history and lingerie, including Comment regarder la mode, histoire de la silhouette (Hazan), winner of the 2009 Grand Prix for fashion book, Histoire de la lingerie, published with designer Chantal Thomass at Perrin (2009), and Lingerie Française XIXe-XXIe siècle (Plon, 2012) (French Lingerie XIX-XXI), which will accompany the French lingerie exhibition at the Sagamore Hotel. Her latest publications are l’Art de la Mode, published in October 2015 by Citadels & Mazenod, a colossal work that was awarded the Drouot Coup de Coeur award, and All about Yves, a lushly illustrated book published by Larousse on October 5, 2016.



Promincor – the French Lingerie Association for the Promotion of Corsetiere Industries (“Promincor – Lingerie Française”) brings together eleven prestigious French brands around common values. These brands include: AUBADE, BARBARA, CHANTELLE, EMPREINTE, IMPLICITE, LISE CHARMEL, LOU, LOUISA BRACQ, MAISON LEJABY, PASSIONATA, SIMONE PÉRÈLE. The aim of this Association, founded in 1970, is to allow these French lingerie brands to speak in a single voice on the international stage and promote the industry by showcasing its many facets to all professionals as well as to the general public. This promotional effort is reflected in its participation at trade shows under a common banner, as well as in the organization of fashion shows, trade shows, press conferences, and by culturally significant events such as exhibitions, publications and/or retrospectives.

This exhibition was made possible by DEFI – La Mode de France (the Fashion of France), and the “Comité de Développement et de Promotion de l’Habillement” (Committee of the Development and Promotion of the Clothing Industry), which promotes the French apparel industry and publicizes its products, its know-how, and its industries both nationally and especially internationally.

The exhibition has also benefitted from the support of the Fédération de la Maille & de la Lingerie (the Federation of Knitwear & Lingerie), which brings together in a single community 120 companies that operate at all levels of the textile and clothing industry (cloth, fabric, outsourcers, brands, distribution) around a singular vision for specific projects and markets.

Finally, it is hosted in Miami Beach by the Sagamore Hotel Miami Beach, which made this event possible and expressed joyful enthusiasm for Lingerie Française.




1671 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA

Opening Hours

November 29th, 2016: 10:00am – 7:00pm

November 30th – December 6th, 2016: 9:00am – 9:00pm

Free Admission

For further information, please contact:


Phone: +33 1 49 68 33 70 [email protected]

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