Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lengberg lingerie

This ratty tatty underwear is proof that the brassiere as we know it is not a 20th c. invention. Evidence suggests that these were worn in the 15th c! This unprecedented find was pulled from a vault beneath the floorboards of Castle Lengberg (video in German here) in Nikolsdorf, East Tyrol, Austria. Organic material (twigs, straw, wood, and leathers) and textiles were used to fill a spandrel. Beatrix Nutz of the University of Innsbruck discovered the set with hundreds of fragments of clothing during renovations that began in 2008. The undergarments were constructed from lace and linen, and the bra has fitted cups and delicate straps. A total of 4 bras were found, 2 of which are much more rudimentary. It was previously believed that women of the time wore shorts on the bottom and a smock on top, so the news turns what we know about Medieval clothing on its head. Fashion curator Hilary Davidson of the Museum of London says it rewrites fashion history. "Nothing like this has ever come up before....It’s rare that everyday garments of any kind survive from this period, let alone underwear." The undergarments were apparently tucked away in 1480 during building extensions, and dry conditions kept them from disintegrating. The 1485 bra is featured in the
August issue of History magazine.
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