I first mentioned the idea of curation in lingerie in my review of the Lascivious Ana bra and Roxy knickers. The way I think about lingerie is constantly evolving– but if I was to define the need that I feel to acquire beautiful lingerie, I think that it would really go back to the desire to build a collection in the lingerie version of an amazing art collection. All the images are beautiful pieces that now reside in the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where these precious pieces of lingerie are elevated to the level of markers of history (and are very lovely to look at).
This is really quite a different point of view than I had at the beginning of my interest in lingerie– although I wanted beautiful things, I was much more focused on the practicality and comfort level of the bra or panties rather than any kind of innovative or intriguing design. It’s not that these vital concerns are no longer important, but the way that I feel about my pieces of lingerie has altered: I see them now as valuable, beautiful objects regardless of whether they will be wearable under an everyday t-shirt. And my tastes continually get more adventurous; pieces that a year ago I would have said I would never be able to wear, I now desperately want to incorporate into my everyday wardrobe.
The affection that I have for my lingerie really hit home to me when I recently realized that I just could not wear the first beautiful bra I had ever bought anymore– the stretch lace had just been stretched much too far. I was really quite sad; the bra was still lovely to look at and it had sentimental value. I momentary thought about discarding it, as you usually do with clothes that do not fit and will never fit again. But I just couldn’t do it. As my first piece, it is too significant to simply give away like you would do with any other clothing item (NB: I will admit, I do also have a pair of size 6 Cole Haan boots that haven’t fit me for years but I love too much to give to anyone who doesn’t seem sufficiently deserving; if you have small feet, worm your way into my affections and you may get them).
But now, as I pick out my lingerie everyday (or at least, most days), I imagine myself as a blank gallery wall on which I can display any piece of lingerie that I choose. It doesn’t matter how I feel about my body that day or if I have a few self-doubts– which I try to conquer– when I’m wearing something beautiful, I’m focusing on the choice of this beautiful, valuable item that is today’s exhibit. And that even while my lingerie is clearly an expression of my own love and interest, I am also giving it value and pride of place when I decide to wear it. Of course, this exhibition may be private– but that didn’t and doesn’t stop private collectors of books or manuscripts of coins or cars around the world from taking joy in their tastefully selected pieces. And that’s another reason that I love to share my lingerie reviews with you; I get to display my collection in a way that you can see what I like, while focusing on the sensuality rather than simply the sexual nature of wearing lingerie.
I’m also a huge art history nerd, so that I do love to immerse myself in a well curated painting or sculpture exhibit whenever I can, which might make the connection between lingerie and art just seem natural to me. However, I would love to hear what you think– do any of you feel that you see your lingerie as more than a tool but as a valuable object? Or is that just one of my strange whims :).