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Art Bra

From its beginnings until now

By going beyond its original function of form-fitting undergarment designed to support or cover the wearer’s breasts, over time bra became a real fashionable object to express female sex appeal and expressions of sexual fantasy, or to make a statement as evidenced by Jean Paul Gaultier’s designs and Madonna’s Blond Ambition Tour. Wearing a garment to support the breasts may date back to ancient Greece. Women wore an apodesmos, later stēthodesmē, mastodesmos and mastodeton, all meaning “breast-band”, a band of wool or linen that was wrapped across the breasts and tied or pinned at the back.

Some women have protested societal expectations and sometimes school and workplace dress codes that require women to wear support garments. As early as 1873, author Elizabeth Stuart Phelps advocated that women burn their corsets. This was echoed in 1968 at the protest during the Miss America Pageant when women symbolically threw a number of feminine products into a large trash can. A reporter conflated their protest with Vietnam-era men who burned their draft cards, creating the trope of bra-burning feminists.

Over and above trends and protests, the most important factor women seem to look for is a bra that’s comfortable. Anything that pinches, pulls, or pokes, usually gets buried at the bottom of the underwear drawers, unless you’re very passionate about the medieval era, Wonder Woman or chastity things as the ones created by Brooks Coleman. Unlike Brooks and other stylists, someone found inspiration just to provide funds for Breast Cancer Research, as in the case of Ellen Sheppard and her Miel Corazon or the group Graphic 5 and their Teacup Bra.

Among the most inspirational places when it comes to bra, and not only that, is certainly the World of WearableArt — WOW —, an internationally renowned design competition that attracts entries from over 40 countries. But in case you can’t find inspiration for your personal bra, even there, you could always go to your local pet shop and buy two bags of goldfish: guaranteed result.

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