Date: c. 1950s
Origin: Great Britain
Fabric: Nylon and lace
Brand: La Parisienne
This bra incorporates light padding and a low, quarter cup cut. Although it would give a lifted bust silhouette, it would have retained the pointed shape that was so popular in the 1950s due to the uncovered nipples. Although low cupped bras such as this were on occasion worn for this silhouette, the colour and construction of this piece suggests it was intended for boudoir wear more than anything.
The bra is made of an opaque red nylon, black lace and white interior padding. The bra is constructed entirely by machine, using only lockstitch. The cups are made with a single pattern piece, incorporating a lace overlay, red nylon outer layer and a white padded lining. The entire topline of the garment is trimmed with a scalloped cotton tape, twin needled to the garment lining. The bottom edge of the bra is taped in with a red cotton tape and the underwires encased in a lightly padded red taped channel.
A loop of elastic at the cup underarm encases two enamelled metal rings, allowing for the rigid nylon channel shoulder straps to be adjusted. The centre back of the garment has a loop of red elastic on either side, with the left side of the garment sewn into a piece of pre-made ‘bar’ tape that has been left raw at the centre back edge, and the right sewn into a hook.
The label states the brand name ‘La Parisienne’, space for a style number (which appears to have faded), the size ’34’ (likely referring to a 34″ overbust measurement’ and the origin ‘Made In England’. This bra was likely not a particularly high-end piece, as the design is very basic and the stitch quality not particular accurately throughout. The interior of the cups shows misaligned top stitching, and the shoulder straps and fastening tape are cut and left with raw edges.
From the collection of Karolina Laskowska