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


A reader kindly sent in excerpts from a 1966 edition of 'Intimate Apparel'.


How girdles are seen by women


April 2019


Readers occasionally ask if we have back numbers of our calendars for sale. Unfortunately, we have very few left; perhaps unfortunate is the wrong word since the proceeds go to charity, but unfortunate for the reader. We do have a few calendars from 2017 "Cathie and the Corset Lady" still for sale if you are interested.


The book progresses and we have been encouraged by some firm orders. We have recruited an actress who is a keen re-actor to pose for some shots that we feel will add a sense of style to the finished product.


We lunched with the actress today and were highly impressed by her detailed knowledge of clothes and foundation garments. She took away a number of items to see if they will fit her properly and in two weeks we will have a photo-shoot to fill in some necessary pictures for the book. The title page keeps changing and is currently as depicted on the right, but almost certainly, this will change. Our actress will replicate the pose that was used for the 2015 calendar with the wedding dress, open at the back with a glimpse of satin corsetry peeking out. We have a dozen or so poses that we feel will add to the finished product that currently is running to over 170 pages.


May 2019


13th May 2019: 

RIP  Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff  (1922 - 2019)

So sad to read today that Doris Day has passed away at the grand old age of 97. The quintessential All-American girl next door had an enviable figure yet she avoided blatant 'cheesecake' poses for the far more alluring image on the right.


Turning 40 in 1962, she would have known all about girdles, how to chose them and how to wear them. By modern standards she did not need any lower foundation garment, but we all wore girdles then.


Like Lucille Ball (1911 - 1989), she could have held her own with any of the glamorous actresses of the day, but decided to develop a niche as a comedy actress.





We have sorted out the problem with our email.

It was the usual case; an upgrade to improve the system didn't. Thanks to some clever people on the users' forum, we have managed to access our account once more. Many thanks to them.




is alive and well.


Meanwhile, we have held the photo shoot with our actress contact and she was marvellous. The photos, that will only be available in the forthcoming book, will, we feel, add a special element of style, elegance and even a touch of light-heartedness. What made working with this enthusiastic lady so enjoyable was her sheer knowledge of vintage garments and underwear. Like the late Lyn Locke, she really enjoys wearing foundation garments despite having an enviable figure that, by modern standards, does not need any shaping, but she just enjoys the feel and support of a good girdle. Interestingly, she did not like the panty-girdles that we offered but loved the corselettes.

We have approached several printers to determine the best way to produce the final article and we have a number of meetings in the next few weeks.


June 2019

It's all quiet on the corsetry front. We have to apologise for the dearth of input to the site over the last few weeks. The hectic June summer season in a small village is partly to blame, but the main reason is 'the book'. It seems to have stabilised at 202 pages, however, every time that we look at the layout, we change something and that is even before final editing. I hope it will be worth the effort. Meanwhile, can you guess what sort of foundation garment our model is wearing?

Congratulations to those that responded to the question above. One gentleman was so accurate that he almost guessed the brand and model. Our model is wearing a corselette.



July 2019


The first draft of the book has been received from the printers and, as always, a number of corrections will need to be made, however, we are really pleased with the result.


The second draft should be ready this afternoon and we look forward to seeing it. I hope all the corrections have come through properly.






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