Basic Luxe: What Lies Beneath

GREENSATINI’d like to reassure you right away – there won’t be any photos (or modelling – Heaven forbid!) of underwear or smalls, just my little collection of vintage underthings. I’ve rediscovered the pleasure of wearing proper lingerie that are still basic in terms of function. I know we live in an age of lycra and other synthetics that enhance our bodies and make laundry so much easier but I long for the days when slips and teddies were normal, everyday wear and not elevated to super luxury, high end, high priced status.GREENPEACH The full silk satin slip in a pale sea green was hand made with tiny stitches, beautiful embroidery and a scallop hem. I think I found this in Covent Garden in the early 90’s. I’m not sure how old it is but maybe from the 50’s at a wild guess – the bust part is rather generous. It can definitely be worn as a Summer dress although I don’t think I ever have – on account of the generous bust part 🙂 The tiny spaghetti straps are adjustable with little bone buckles and loops. The peach slip is probably more recent than that and made from rayon or nylon.PEACHRAYONLooks like regular machine stitching and a bit of hand embroidery. I can’t remember where I found this, so long ago. The whole lingerie as outerwear thing is nothing new but it launched the career of Stella McCartney as a graduate, who showed a lingerie inspired collection at Central St Martin’s, London and was offered the top job at Chloe before she’d managed to clear out her locker. And of course we know all about Jean Paul Gaultier’s work with Madonna and the conical bra/corsets.IVORYSATIN This is a full length ivory silk satin nightie I made myself using a remnant from Liberty (for once being short has a silver lining meaning a metre length of fabric comes down to my ankles). I actually wore this out in the early 90’s with a skinny silver glitter belt from Oasis and there’s photographic evidence. It is showing the wear being ivory satin but still beautiful and heavy. I made it to match a gorgeous silk dressing gown that made me feel like a 1940’s movie star 🙂TEDDIESMore frivolous pieces – the teddy – shell pink satin from M&S waaaay back in the days when they produced nice things and the ivory version was a gift. I think in this day and age of unisex fashion, lingerie remains uniquely feminine and I want to hang on to that.TEDDIESCLOSENothing much beats the feel of pure silk against the skin. Sometimes it doesn’t work because I suffer terribly from static – is there a cure – it’s incredibly annoying especially for others who are on the receiving end of unsolicited mini electric shocks! I remember reading something about Greta Garbo on the film ‘Anna Karenina’, she insisted on having real silk lingerie and petitcoats of the period. She was initially refused and told – I paraphrase – no one would know – to which she replied, ‘I’ll know!’ It really does make you move differently. And when undressing, how much better is it to reveal such delicates?SILKSLIPSMore modern – ahem – but still from circa 1995 slips from La Senza – does anyone remember the frenzy that surrounded them, they were the Victoria’s Secrets of that era? The silk is ok and these gems have survived but I went into one a couple of years ago looking for some pyjamas and was shocked by what they offer now. But then I suppose that’s the way everything seems to be going. So when I choose my basic smalls, they have to be good enough go under all these nice old things.

Thanks for reading!

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7 thoughts on “Basic Luxe: What Lies Beneath

  1. ladysarahinlondon

    Beautiful things- thank you dear silkpath for a very informative post. I agree with you about lingerie glories and the need to retain the femininity. So hard to find nice silk things now…

    Reply
  2. Vix

    Beautiful things. There were a couple of vintage St Michael teddies at yesterday’s jumble and I was astounded that no-one bought them. I’m not really a fan of wearing undies but I do love the old stuff. x

    Reply
    1. silkpathdiary Post author

      Thanks so much Vix! There used to be an antique market where my parents live that had the most gorgeous vintage silk everything, then it just disappeared. Those were the days before vintage hit the big time 🙂 xx

      Reply
  3. rukshanaafia

    I used to have silk satin things – some vintage and some Ayten Gasson . But I couldn’t stand the ironing !

    Reply

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