Yesterday I came across a gallery of images for the new Musée des Arts Décoratifs exhibition La mécanique des dessous, une histoire indiscrète de la silhouette, which explores the mechanics of foundation garments.
The photography is extraordinary. Shot by Patricia Canino, the undergarments are superbly lit so that they glow against the dark background. I had to share them.
I’ve been to my fair share of historic fashion shoots, and it is incredibly difficult to execute these kind of images. First, the technical skills required to mount these garments must be flawless. The camera picks up the smallest wrinkles, so the form must be moulded to fit the piece perfectly. Then there’s creating symmetrical bows and finding the best drape of the fabric. The camera can spot stray specks of dust that the eye doesn’t catch. Sure photoshop can help, but the final image will be so much better if one takes care of those details from the start. And then lastly, it takes time and talent to light and photograph clothes like this.
I love underwear. It’s fascinating to me to examine the understructures that literally create the fashionable shape. And these images really show them off in the best light.