The New Pink — Pussies, Panties and Protests
Above: Held over the same weekend, the Salon International de la Lingerie and Interfilière in Paris and the Women’s March in Washington championed the same cause: women’s freedom of choice. Photo by Adrian Leeds.
“Lingerie is about the senses, not the sexes. Women defy labels and stereotypes in life, love, and lingerie, preferring instead to make their own decisions.” – Kathryn Kemp-Griffin.
Story by Kathryn Kemp-Griffin, TLJ’s Associate Editor for France.
Never has it been cooler to be a girl (despite her rights being challenged). And never has lingerie been more relevant.
On January 21, while the lingerie industry came together in Paris for the opening of the Salon International de la Lingerie and Interfilière, demonstrators across diverse backgrounds came together for the Women’s March in Washington and around the world.
Above: Antinea photo by Promincor-Lingerie Française.
In Paris, on the Human Rights Esplanade at Trocadéro, women protested in pink knitted hats while others pranced in small pink underthings in Parc des Expositions, the vast exhibition hall at Porte de Versailles. In both locations, despite the dress code, women paraded for equal rights and equal choices.
Above: Maison Lejaby.
The new pink: worn as a knitted pussy hat, lacy panties — or both!
Imbued with softness and strength, today’s pink is here by choice, which wasn’t always the case. Once a mandatory color, pink accompanied young girls and their frills and thrills until feminists decided to sacrifice pink and anything else deemed too girly in their efforts to achieve gender equality.
Lingerie has always reflected the status of women’s emancipation, from the birth of the bra in the late nineteenth century to the braless decade of the seventies. For the women who were accustomed to corsets, the bra represented freedom, and for the early feminist movement, the bra symbolized oppression.
Above: Empreinte photo by Salon International de la Lingerie ©Angels’Sea Studio.
Unfortunately, however, somewhere during emancipation, as women struggled to have their voices heard, they became numbed to the inherent pleasure and joy of their bodies — and their lingerie. For many, femininity and feminism clashed, in spite of a shared etymology that unites the qualities and characteristics of being a woman. When women stopped wearing beautiful lingerie to seduce they also tossed away their own personal pleasure.
“What does lingerie mean to me?”
All that is changing. Catchy songs about “girl power” and advertising slogans such as “Fight like a Girl” empower young women to embrace and believe in themselves.
Above: Elise Anderegg.
A visit to any lingerie boutique reveals a staggering number of lingerie categories, ranging from natural and sporty to sexy and designer. With so much choice, women can finally ask — and answer — the question, “What does lingerie mean to ME?” Both philosophical and practical, the question enables women to define their own lingerie signature, which, of course, is as unique and fascinating as their penned one.
Above: Maud & Marjorie.
Lingerie is about the senses, not the sexes. Women defy labels and stereotypes in life, love, and lingerie, preferring instead to make their own decisions. This message resonated on the catwalk and from corner to corner at this year’s Salon International de la Lingerie and Interfilière.
Above: Salon International de la Lingerie Runway photo by ©Angels’Sea Studio.
There are no rules or guidelines, simply a desire to trigger different sensations.
3D Lingerie Sculpture by Jessica Haughton. Photo by Kathryn-Kemp Griffin
Designed to inspire the senses, Whisperings offered a space of reflection on the dreamy lightness and beauty of lingerie. Designer, Jessica Haughton, showcased her experimental collection with 3-D printed silicone; leading embroiderers of St. Gallen in Switzerland experimented with innovative techniques to capture the poetry and emotion of fabrics, and Eastman launched Naia®, their new ultra-light, silky cellulosic yarn in response to the growing demand for materials originating from sustainable sources. Beauty and lightness reigned.
Photo by Kathryn-Kemp Griffin
This shift in perspective marks a profound change for many women who had previously only experienced lingerie as a mirror of male fantasy rather than a reflection of their own.
Walking together in solidarity, feminism and femininity find harmony in lingerie; a new and unexpected paradigm for women in which to express equality on their own terms. Whether we stand up for those rights wearing granny panties or crotchless ones is entirely up to us.
Brand Contact Information
Elise Anderegg: www.eliseanderegg.com
Jessica Haughton: www.instagram.com/barebauxintimates
Madame Aime: www.madame-aime.com
Maison Lejaby: www.maisonlejaby.com
Maud & Marjorie: www.maudandmarjorie.com
The New Pink — Pussies, Panties and Protests Gallery
About Kathryn Kemp-Griffin, TLJ’s Associate Editor for France
Kathryn Kemp-Griffin is the author of Paris Undressed: The Secrets of French Lingerie. A journalist and entrepreneur, Kathryn has been living in Paris and working in the lingerie industry since 1990 when she started her own lingerie company, Soyelle, before founding Paris Lingerie Tours, a luxurious experience that goes behind the seams of the lingerie capital of the world. In 2010 Kathryn founded Pink Bra Bazaar, a non-profit organization dedicated to breast health and supporting women with breast cancer.