Origin: Manufactured in China, designed in the United Kingdom
A soft bra and full cut brief style, with the design inspired by the ‘souvenir’ lingerie sets of the 1940s. An example of these can be found in The Underpinnings Museum’s collection here.
The original c. 1940s lingerie sets were often embroidered with messages such as ‘keep your pants on honey until I come home’, ‘don’t touch’ and ‘off limits’. Although it may be argued that these were intended as tongue-in-cheek, they still reflected social attitudes at the time that women were the possessions of men. This design subverts that original message with the text ‘My pussy my rules’ embroidered on the knickers, instead promoting the concept of bodily autonomy.
The lingerie is made of a black polyester satin, machine embroidered with the aforementioned text on the briefs, ‘sweet’ and ‘sour’ on the different bra cups, and motifs of roses and hearts. Metallic gold stars highlight the embroidered design. Unlike the original souvenir lingerie sets, the Bettie Page interpretation is very much intended to be worn. The backs of the bra and brief are made of a lycra blend stretch mesh and both garments are trimmed with plush elastic. The bra has adjustable shoulder straps and fastens at the centre back with hooks and eyes. Although these features are something that we may now take for granted in modern underwear, these fabric technologies are conspicuously absent in the original 1940s designs.
The Bettie Page lingerie collection is produced by London based brand Playful Promises, and plays tribute to the famed mid-20th century pin up model. The designs are inspired by the costumes worn in her groundbreaking pinup and fetish photoshoots.
Playful Promises was founded in 2004 by Emma Parker. The independent brand is renowned for its unusually wide size range (encompassing over 85 different bra sizes), and for its commitment to diverse and inclusive imagery. The label focuses on directional and flirty designs, and regularly collaborates with influencers such as Gabi Fresh. In 2018 the label won the award for ‘Small Business Of The Year’ at the UK lingerie awards.
Kindly donated to The Underpinnings Museum by Playful Promises