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Strappy Lingerie - Not a Modern Concept!

The 21st Century is often lauded as a time of sexual liberation, innovative design and a more "ouvert" approach to lingerie. Today's contemporary lingerie designs feature bondage-inspired strapping and harness detailing. However, this is not a modern concept at all! In fact, the lingerie and sexual fantasies of people of the past were just as debauched and naughty as we are today!

 A Strappy Brief style from Diana Slip, and our  Leila Brief

A Strappy Brief style from Diana Slip, and our Leila Brief

An early purveyor of this seductive style in the 20s and 30s was fetishwear company Diana Slip. Elegant lace and ribbon adorned the thighs of the models, clad in knee high boots, fishnets and armed with riding crops, shot by Brassai and Robert Schall. 

 A lace-up ouvert back by Diana Slip, and our  Amelia Brief

A lace-up ouvert back by Diana Slip, and our Amelia Brief

Diana Slip disappeared in World War II, however their provocative designs that would still be lusted after today prove that there's still a demand for lingerie with a side of whips and chains.

 Sally Keith, a burlesque dancer in a strappy costume, and our  Tamara Briefs

Sally Keith, a burlesque dancer in a strappy costume, and our Tamara Briefs

In the 1940s, burlesque became what we know it as today - the art of striptease - rather than the variety acts the word used to describe. The costumes, often handmade, regularly featured the strappy elements of lingerie we see in contemporary designs, revealing a tantalizing amount of skin, yet still covering up enough to get around censorship laws!

 Rudi Gernreich's monokini, and our  Hope Brief and Bra set

Rudi Gernreich's monokini, and our Hope Brief and Bra set

Rudi Gernreich designed the monokini in 1964 as a protest against a repressive society, not intending to manufacture it commercially, however due to their notoriety and powerful message about body autonomy, they eventually went into production. Whilst 3000 were sold, it is only known to have been worn in public twice - once at a nightclub, and another by an artists model who was consequently arrested. These never really seemed to catch on, even now people are unjustly offended by breasts! However, their strappy halter-neck style has inspired today's lingerie, especially our harness briefs!

 An illustration from a Frederick's of Hollywood catalog in 1966, and our  Tamara bra

An illustration from a Frederick's of Hollywood catalog in 1966, and our Tamara bra

Frederick's of Hollywood generated much of their sales through catalogs which were beautifully illustrated and featured erotic lingerie such as frame bras, shelf bras and ouvert briefs. The subtle strap across the top of the breast is a simple design addition that has inspired many bras after.

Strappy lingerie and harness elements have been part of design history for decades, and this revival of this style has been translated to suit modern tastes, paired with coloured satins, eyelash lace and uniquely printed fabrics. This poses the question about whether anything is truly original! Either way, we love the strappy styles of the past, as well as of the present! What do you think of the trend that shows no sign of fading?

Shop our strappy lingerie here.