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Art HERstory: Madame Adrienne


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Art HERstory: Madame Adrienne

Art HERstory: Madame Adrienne

The greatest of creators are sometimes mysterious. In some cases they choose to use an alias. Pseudonyms are common in the art world. Joanne Murray has J.K. Rowling, Samuel Clemens has Mark Twain, and Gabriel Bonheur Chanel has Coco Chanel. Madame Adrienne is no exception. She was a famous lingerie designer from the 1950s, but she did not use her government name. I don’t blame her. With designs like these, who needs to know all of her personal business? The designs speak for themselves!

Art HERstory: Madame Adrienne

An ad for Madame Adrienne's halter bra.

In the 1950s, women wanted to feel beautiful again. They were robbed of all things glamorous during the war and once again wanted to feel feminine. All the Hollywood stars were busty beauties with nipped waistlines. Curves were in and every woman wanted them. To meet demand, low cut corsets that enhanced cleavage began to surface along with intimates made with nylon and stretch yarns.

Madame Adrienne’s designs ranged from the extremely simple to the extravagant. One of her most well-known (and most expensive) bras is the halter bra made of baby Somali Leopard fur. It had a heft price of $1200 in 1953, but you could get the diva-on-a-budget version made of Ocelot for $600. Uh, I don’t think my boobie support should be worth that much.

Art HERstory: Madame Adrienne

The Madame also made corsets.

The Madame also made corsets. The popular deep plunge corsets went for $18.50 to $32.50. You have them bedazzled with diamonds and pearls. The pearl decorated version cost $650 and the diamond number $7000.

Art HERstory: Madame Adrienne

Art HERstory: Madame Adrienne

Madame Adrienne’s designs made and left a mark on the industry of women’s unmentionables. Some of her designs carried over into present day. Corsets and deep plunge bras are still sported over leggings and under dresses. We all know Nicki Minaj is the corset queen of America right now and Vicki’s is making a fortune on boob boosting bras. Thanks Madame Adrienne! You are definitely a saint to the mammary gland challenged women like myself1

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