Ivy Leaf's Diary




We wish all our Readers a Happy New Year




January 2019


Thank you so much for your enthusiastic participation regarding Victoria in the run up to Christmas. We have created a new page called 'A Fashionable Young Lady in 1962' and moved that entire Christmas section over to it.


So what have we got planned for 2019? Work on the book that has languished for two years has restarted and will be finished this year. It will be an A4-sized landscape-oriented book of at least 100 pages and will cover the lecture series 'Pulling Together'. Many photographs of our models will be included and the faces will not be blurred out because the book will never go onto the internet, it will be for limited sale only and, as always with the calendars, all profits will be donated to charity. Be warned, it will not be cheap but it will be a very limited edition..


We updated an entry in the 2018 diary that we always felt was a bit weak since it lacked a picture of a real old-fashioned Namsie girdle.


We must apologise for the lack of updates recently. Our excuse, along with many elderly folk, is that we exchange chilly Britain for warmer climes at this time of year. I wish we could exchange the politics as well. We are now back and suffering jet-lag as well as the shock of a 48 Celcius degree drop in temperature. Once we have settled down (and warmed up) again work on the book will proceed.



February 2019


We have been aware for many years of the German company, Felina, however, only just recently did we discover that it is still in robust operation and has been for the last 134 years. Few manufacturers can make that claim and we felt obliged to create a new page dedicated to Felina.


When making the calendars, one aspect of vintage foundation garments that fascinated our models, particularly the younger ones, was the number of bones involved. Bones, zippers, buckles, laces and suspenders all seemed to be complications unknown to the modern woman. Bones are important. We found a photograph of a modern women trying on an un-boned, Spanx waist-cincher (right). If it is tight enough to be effective, the horrible consequences shown in the picture can follow as the cincher simply obeys the laws of physics and tries to occupy the least possible space.


We received a charming account about wearing firm girdles in the 1960s.



March 2019

One of the contestants who beat the panel in that famous TV game show 'What's my Line?' was girdle tester, Jean Desmond (1919 - 2008). We have moved Miss Desmond to the Curiosities page that we have redesigned. We felt that there should be a 'girdles in the movies' section within 'Curiosities' and perhaps that might be promoted in the future to having a page of its own.


Being retired, my husband and I have the luxury of travelling more or less when we wish. We have a favourite hotel that we visit regularly in the Southwest of Britain. This hotel is decorated with numerous black & white photographs of a nautical theme pertinent to the area but also of a number of movie stars. In 2016, my husband was fascinated by a picture at the base of the staircase featuring Brigitte Bardot smoking in a white bustier (that no doubt she would have called a guÍpiŤre). At the time, we incorrectly identified this picture as coming from the film 'Two Weeks in September'. We now believe that the picture was taken between shots on the set of the much earlier film, Roger Vadim's 'And God Created Woman' (1956). Vadim was married to Miss Bardot at the time. The French theme is continued in further photographs to be found in this excellent hotel, one of which is an advert for Dior's Chanel No.5 (left).

It is funny how the mind works. From the Chanel picture, I saw the lady in a swimming costume, the gratuitous dangling lace at the hip reminding me of suspenders and immediately connecting with the French theme, my mind wandered on to perfume and corsets and, of course somewhat inevitably, to Jean-Paul Gaultier. 



Jean Desmond, girdle tester



                                                    Roger Vadim's 'And God Created Woman' (1956)



I wonder from which film this still was taken? That is Brigitte Bardot, but the bustier is completely different. It is in fact from Michel Boisrond's 'Une Parisienne' (1957).

"I have loved corsets since I was small.

When I was a child, my grandmother took me to an exhibition, and they had a corset on display.

I loved the flesh colour, the salmon satin, the lace."

Jean Paul Gaultier





free counter