Longish strapless brassièrie of lace made with Ban-Lon yarn, cut low at the front and back. A tautened midriff is one of its accomplishments, a higher rounded bosom is another. By Lily of France.
In today's culture of constant exercising, dieting and plastic surgery to create the ideal body, the idea of using one's undergarments to sculpt the perfect body for one's outfit can seem pretty alien. This story from a 1958 Vogue looks at the different foundation garments to go under the most important fashion trends of the moment—from the chemise to a high-waisted dress—and it emphasizes how these garments do the work so one doesn't need to worry about exercising. While Spanx still fulfill the need for immediate body tightening, they are never half as pretty as these lace concoctions. Shot by a very young Guy Bourdin (far before he became famous for his surreal take on fashion photography), he silhouettes the lace-sculpted forms of the body against enlargements of the same lace, playing form against texture in a very pretty approach.
Photographs by Guy Bourdin for Vogue, April 15th, 1958.
Here, six ways a woman might manage most the new shapes in fashion now. The management, in every case, provided by lace—not only one of the prettiest foundations for a foundation but, surprisingly, one of the very persuasive.
(L) News in keeping with the lifted-waist idea—a girdle with a four-inch rise above the waistline (and a good deal of control below that). By Trea, of nylon lace and nylon power net. (R) A pantie girdle with a firm grasp of the chemise-situation. Front and back panels are satin woven with Lastex; elsewhere—two-way power lace of firmly reinforced nylon and cotton. By Simone.
The good-works plan in progress here—neater waistline (this brassière stops inches below waist level), flatter midriff, softly rounded bosom. Dacron lace lined with marquisette is the main controlling factor, with elasticized Dacros taking care of the side interests. By Bali.
(L) Long-legged pantie-girdle that's about equal—in effect—to months of exercise. The fragile-looking power behind it: lace of nylon power net, reinforced where muscles generally need extra support—abdomen, hips, derrière. The garters, incidentally, run sub-girdle—and smooth. At Bergdorf Goodman. (R) An all-in-one that could make almost any figure chemiseable—or more so. This, lace and power net, of Du Pont nylon, with a top-wired décolleté brassière. By Poirette.