Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Happy 100th Birthday!

Where would we be without that hundred year old miracle - the bra.........?

Known during my youth in the UK as 'an over the shoulder boulder holder' (now that's a blast from the past!)....

THE first concept of a brassiere - from the old French word "arm protector" - appears in US Vogue.
THE Oxford English Dictionary includes the word "brassiere" for the first time.
AMERICAN socialite Mary Phelps Jacob, 19, buys a sheer evening dress and, annoyed at the bones protruding out of the corset, fashions her own underwear from two silk handkerchiefs and some ribbon. She is granted the first US patent for the brassiere the following year.
PHELPS patents her design under the name Caresse Crosby, and describes her invention as a backless brassiere. She sells the rights to Warner Brothers for £750 - a patent later valued at £7.5million.
DURING the First World War, the Germans denounce Parisian underwear as unGerman and dangerous.
RUSSIAN immigrant Ida Rosenthal and her husband William found Maidenform. In years to come she will pioneer the idea of different cup sizes for different women, as well as patent a bra strap fastener.
ENTER the shaped bra - the Kestos, fashioned from two triangular pieces of fabric, with elastic shoulders, a crossover back and buttons at the front to create two distinct cups.
WARNER'S creates the cup sizing system from A, B, C and D - nicknamed egg cup, tea cup, coffee cup and challenge cup.
NYLON adds practicality to the bras. Until now they have been made using just padding and wiring.
JUDY Garland wears a breast-binding device in the Wizard Of Oz to make her look childish.
BILLIONAIRE and aviator Howard Hughes designs a push-up bra for Jane Russell to wear under a tight silk blouse in the film The Outlaw. Jane Russell later claims she never wore it.
A WARTIME Berlei ad tells women that letting their figure go is "bad for morale and bad for efficiency, too". As women take on major roles in the hostilities, bras become more utilitarian and ugly.
THE end of the war marks the freedom of lingerie which becomes lacier and racier.
LYCRA fibre is invented by scientists at DuPont. Adding this stretchy manmade fibre to the mix means bras fit comfortably.
CANADIAN company Canadelle invents the Wonderbra, designed to "lift and separate" the bust. It still causes a stir 30 years later when Eva Herzigova stars in the "Hello Boys" ad.
TRIUMPH'S Doreen bra - a supportive, non-underwired style - goes on sale. It is the bestselling bra in the world today.
JANET Leigh's black bra was deemed too indecent for audiences in the 1960 movie Psycho but by 1967 there are no such qualms. Anne Bancroft reveals her lace bra in The Graduate and a generation swoons.
A DEMONSTRATION by radical feminists at the Miss America pageant leads to one of the most famous urban legends - that of the burning bra. The truth is no bras are burnt, instead they are dumped into a rubbish bin in protest. But a newspaper report mentions a bra burning and the image sticks.
HINDA Miller, Lisa Lindahl and Polly Smith sew two jockstraps together and call it the Jogbra. It is the first sports bra.
UNDERWEAR-as-outerwear - Jean Paul Gaultier creates a conical bra for Madonna's Blonde Ambition tour.
ITALIAN manufacturer Santoni develops a circular knitting machine that allows a bra to be knitted in one go. This leads to today's seamless, tagless bras.
LINGERIE goes green as Hanro, Chantelle and Ballet are among the brands offering bras in eco-friendly bamboo-blend fabrics.

Anyone for a bamboo bra?



David Edward said...

got anything for men to read?

Anonymous said...

A Bamboo bra? That would chafe wouldn't it?

OldLady Of The Hills said...

This is sooo very interesting...You know I never realized that the Warner's of WSarner's Bras were the brothers Warner!!! (As in film studio fame?)
There was a lot I had never read before and then ofcourse, much I remember....Happy 100th Birthday to the Brassiere!!! And thanks CQ for this wonderful informative hustory! Love that old expression you mentioned at the beginning...I never heard that...! (LOL)

Missed your visits, my dear...Everything okay with you, I hope....

Unknown said...

Bamboo, cotton, nylon....

just one that I can undo would be a start ;)

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Happy hundred! It needs all the support it can!

YellowRose said...

Thank heaven for the bra....if not for this wonder I'd hang to my knees!!! hee hee

David Edward said...

i think the bamboo bra would be acceptable as long as it has a clasp.