Date: c. 1970s
Origin: Great Britain
Fabric: Polyester satin, leavers lace
Brand: Janet Reger
This bra and half slip set use an eau-de-nil toned polyester satin with an ecru leavers lace trim that has been machine re-embroidered with floral motifs. The bra has lightly padded cups with non-stretch wings, with a strip of satin covered elastic at the centre back. It fastens at the side back with hooks and eyes. The shoulder straps are comprised of part non-stretch lace and part satin covered elastic and cannot be adjusted. The coordinating half slip has an elasticated trim at the waist.
The eponymous brand was originally founded in 1967 following the designer’s studies at the world renowned Contour Fashion course at what is now De Montfort University. The business began with with wholesale trade before launching a successful mail order catalogue and then opening her first shop on Southwick Street, London, in the early 1970s. Following a move to the more upmarket Beauchamp Place in Knightsbridge, Reger continued to look for a location that would attract wealthy clients in greater numbers and, in February 1978, unveiled her new boutique at 12 New Bond Street (Reger & Flack, 1991).
Themed sections in the mail order catalogues from around this time focus on particular fabrics that evoke luxury – e.g. silk, French lace, and satin – but the exact fibre composition of the satin fabric was never specified. Her designs revolutionised public perception of what lingerie could be, turning them into fashion statements rather than purely functional undergarments, receiving much criticism at the time. Janet Reger passed away in 2005, but the brand continues to be run by her daughter Aliza Reger.
From the collection of The Underpinnings Museum