Mink Stoles, Lingerie, and Chocolate: Museum of Fashion Explores the Evolution of Undies
Forget the smile; for women, you're never fully dressed without the right lingerie. What clings to your frame underneath can either make or break your outfit. And to those fearless few, lingerie has even started transmogrifying from underwear to outerwear. It started with a movement blamed on Madonna and has been widely accepted and received by every horny teenager sifting through Nasty Gal's inventory on the reg -- they're starting early these days.
Once thought as the forbidden fruit of the garment world, lingerie was sacred, and restricted to only the eyes of one's hubby (we presume). Fast-forward to present day and behold: The rock hard bodies of Candice Swanepoel and Lily Aldridge unabashedly bathing in bejeweled, cleavage-clad Miracle bras and cheeky boy shorts, invading the mail boxes and television screens for every hubby to openly feast their eyes upon!
But before the leggy angels of Victoria's Secret larked runways in 22-pound mega wings, guys were hootin' and hollerin' at Joan Crawford in a soft lace chemise in the 1950s.
That's right, kids. A lot has changed in the past couple decades. For Keni Valenti of Wynwood's Museum of Fashion, the history of unmentionables and their evolution through time is well worth mentioning. The exhibition, Boudoir, (fitting title), is dedicated to the sexy vintage styles.
Valenti, a major vintage junkie, has amassed a 20,000-plus collection of couture clothing over the past 40 years. Last month, he hosted a Best of New York exhibition with guest curator Max Wilson from Parsons School of Design, and an Indian-inspired show the month before. Needless to say, the man's got one hell of a closet.
For Boudoir, Valenti has teamed up with local prop stylist and vintage lingerie collector, Cristina Forestieri, to strip the residential bald-headed, blue mannequins all the way down to their skivvies.
"Keni has an amazing collection and I can in no way compete with it," Forestieri says, even though she's contributing to nearly half of the pieces displayed at the exhibition.
Valenti peeks his head out from behind the gold, metallic curtains that meet the museum's high ceilings and mask the back stock of his collection, which is rumored to have two levels. "They call me the Wizard of Wynwood," he says. His closet full of antique goodies is so coveted that it's landed Valenti as one of 75 2014 Knight Foundation finalists.