"Lingerie has always reflected a woman’s place in society"

From an interview with Joyce Baran:

In a recent interview, Baran explained that prior to the 1830s, fashionable women in the United States imported their corsets from Europe. But in the mid-1830s, Strouse Adler began producing them in New Haven. The first garment the company produced was known as the “C B,” she said. The Roman numeral “C” represented 100, while “B” stood for the word “bones.” “Each corset was made with 100 whale bones” — making them a torture to wear.

A woman’s place was confined to the family and home — and her strait-laced, constricting undergarment reflected society’s strait-laced views, Baran noted. “By the turn of the [20th] century and the Roaring Twenties a whole new look emerged. It was a time of the Suffragettes . . . but women were still distorting their bodies, flattening them to look like a boy’s.

“It wasn’t until the 1930s — and the invention of [an elastic-like flexible] fabric that the shape of the garment actually reflected the shape of women.”

Baran herself is interesting:

Baran got interested in bras when she was in engineering school and got a part-time job as a fit model. Fit models for clothes stand up straight and look good. Fit models for bras are critics of how the bra under development feels, and why. Baran saw building a bra was not unlike building a bridge – a question of spanning certain distance and supporting a certain mass – and decided to learn how.

Too bad she only has this business card presentation for her website.

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