Underwear has the ability to symbolise and reveal so much: intimacy, sexuality, gender identity, liberation and power (to name just a few). Below, Chitè explores lingerie in movies through top 5 iconic underwear moments for the contemporary woman.
Lingerie in movies: Easy A
Olive Penderghast’s collection of tongue in cheek ‘A’ stamped corsets is the centre-piece of high-school comedy Easy A. With the aid of her boldly promiscuous lingerie, marked A for adulteress in echo of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Olive re-claims her socially-given title as sexual pariah. Olive’s performative harlotry is a dig at the patriarchy, sexual peer-pressure and slut-shaming.
Lingerie in movies: Grease
In the iconic Grease slumber party, girlish innocence meets matured sexuality. Sensibilities clash as frilly pyjamas encounter wine, cigarettes and sexy slips. Marty’s scarlet red kimono is scandalous against Sandy’s puritanically white, floor-length nightie. “Keep your filthy paws off my silky draws”, twines Rizzo, in imitation of Sandra Dee’s virginal demeanour. In this coming-of-age romp, each nightwear piece is a symbolic icon of each Pink Lady.
Lingerie in movies: Bridget Jones
Who is Bridget Jones without her big knickers? In a pant-prolific shot, Bridget compares mesh black thong with big, stretchy pink-skin-coloured pants. Consuming the camera in turn, the garments are held at eye-level for inspection. The “scary stomach holding-in pants very popular with grannies the world over” are victorious, an icon of the singleton seeking to shape her flesh for the male gaze. But more simply and more importantly, the pants are a comedic homage to the messy and flawed woman (as we all are), hopelessly trying to navigate her 30s. Love-interest Daniel Cleaver discovers Bridget’s “absolutely enormous pants”, proclaiming “hello mummy” in a comedic wink to the giant pants. And in the end, sporting horrific tiger pants in the freezing cold, her love-match Mark Darcy likes her just the way she is, pants and all.
Lingerie in movies: Marie Antoinette
Famed for her words ‘let them eat cake’, it seems fitting that the aesthetic scape of Sofia Coppola’s revisionary biopic Marie Antoinette is comparable to entering a patisserie. Indulgent eye-candy abounds; pastel aesthetics, exuberant costumes and frilly décor humming of pastries, fancies and tiered cakes. It is whispered that the young Marie looks “like a little piece of cake”, from her whipped hairdo right down to her iconic frosting-white stockings piped with icing-sweet blue blows. In an iconic cinema lingerie moment, she wears nothing but these stockings, reclined on a chaise longue, covering her pale nude form with a frilly pink fan, exuberant white feather billowing from her piled-high hair. Marie is a slice of sickly sweet seductiveness.
Lingerie in movies: The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The exuberant and camp lingerie choices of The Rocky Horror Picture Show are pure gender-bending ingenuity. Frank-N-Furter, adorned in black glitzy lingerie, complete with garters, gothic elbow-length gloves and chunky pearl necklace and heels, is an icon for drag and underwear equally.
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