Monday, February 10, 2014

Lingerie Love

Public radio, I love it. So many interesting topics. Last night as I returned from an evening with AMWA women physicians (a wonderful evening, I might add), I listen to a Rick Steeve's radio show http://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/audio/radio/programs/program-354where he interviewed two women writers who had moved to France, Nina Sovich http://www.thesestolendays.com/ and Sarah Turnbull http://www.amazon.com/Almost-French-Love-Life-Paris/dp/1592400825?ie=UTF8&tag=CoffeeandaBookChick&link_code=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969
I suggest that those who love travel and all things French will enjoy his interview. I'm certainly going to check out more from these authors.
The part I liked best was their discussion about lingerie. I have french heritage and I am sure there must be a gene for love of lingerie and scientists can find it there in my genome!
I grew up in a poor household. For the most part, we had food on the table but not much in the way of stuff and certainly we only had simple clothing.Thank goodness for an amazing grandmother who could transform thrift shop finds! My earliest fashion remembrance is that I did not have "days of the week undies" like my friends. Yes, I did want them. It was Canada in the the 50's you must understand. Nowadays, I think every child in America has their favorite cartoon character on their disposable diapers and pull ups but times were definitely simpler then. At any rate, I always wanted fashionable clothing and that definitely included under fashions. I was so relieved that ugly girdles and boring garter belts were vanishing with the advent of pantyhose in the years of my late teens. I think Spanx, etc. are a definite improvement in foundation garments and garter belts now only seem to come in sexy lacy versions. Inexpensive undies were mostly white and boring in those days.
At my late teens, I moved to Montreal to attend university. McGill campus is situated on Sherbrooke Street in downtown Montreal. On Sherbrooke down near Cotes des Neiges Avenue existed a Simone Perele boutique. It was the late 60's and early 70's. Color and pattern were on-trend and this very French brand featured beautiful lingerie fashions in their just-below sidewalk level enormous plate glass display windows. Montreal is basically a mountain island city so my description of the levels of things may seem odd unless you visit there. Do visit! It's a wonderful and quirky city. Simone Perele designs featured vibrant colors and patterns, very unlike the usual offerings in the lingerie sections of popular department stores back then.  I would often stop to drool. Alas, a meagre student budget was not conducive to boutique shopping. Window shopping was much more my thing. Window shopping included browsing art galleries and I still regret that I could not convince the first husband to go out on a limb in 1973 and find the means to purchase that $5,000 group of Picasso etchings in a Montreal gallery. Those might have put us in a good financial position vs the debt in that eventual divorce, but I digress. (Of course, parting with them would have been so painful!)
Apparently, 17% of a French woman's clothing budget is devoted to lingerie, a fact I learned from the radio interview. I believe my budget nowadays may approach that. Yes, Simone Perele is a significant presence in my lingerie drawer. One of the benefits of my recent weight loss is that some of my favorite brands, like Chantelle, fit well now. I've always had a bit of a North American puritanical guilt about spending a lot of money on undies. Now that I've convinced myself it is a genetic trait - guilt no more. I will try to be generally prudent in spending; but, making sure that lovely undies are a part of the budget resonates with  strong "Yes!" and a fist pump.
Thanks public radio.





1 comment:

Cindy deRosier said...

I don't think I knew you were Canadian! It doesn't usually show up in your writing - I noticed meagre this time, but I don't think I've ever noticed it elsewhere. How did you end up in California?