Ivy Leaf's Diary




We wish all our Readers a Happy New Year




January 2020

This calendar was produced to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Spirella in Letchworth, UK.

So what is with 1963 and 1964?

1963 has the same calendar as 2013, the cover for the calendar of which is shown on the left. If you bought this calendar, you will remember that February even has the date 1963 on it.


1963 and 1964 were bang in the middle of the Golden Age of Girdles. What year has the same calendar as 1964? You guessed it, 2020. Happy New Year!


Roger K has reminded us of some delightful, politically incorrect advertisements from Warners in the 1960s.



February 2020

We must apologise for the lack of updates recently, however, like so many of our retired peers, we chose to travel to warmer climes during the British winter but we have now returned to England and look forward to the ever lengthening evenings.


Roger K kindly sent us some pictures that we had not seen before, one of which is displayed on the right (click for full resolution). What is going on here? What are the implications of that picture?


Meanwhile, A lady from New Zealand has sent us some pictures to rectify our neglect (so far) of New Zealand corsetry.


It never rains but it pours and we came across some classic Italian corsetry from Berné. The Italians certainly knew how to incorporate colour, fabric and (over-)engineering into their products.


We happened across a couple of advertisements for the famous Formfit Skippies panty-girdle. It shows quite clearly on the left, a slim young woman wearing the said garment and in the text, there's the usual guff about what it can do for you. In the middle is a similar advertisement, however, because it is drawn, the draftsman has taken considerable licence to extend the length of the garment. This always makes the garment look better. Just how many ebay adverts have a wide girdle placed on a slim mannequin with all the spare material clipped round the back out of sight? We all look better with a bit of vertical exaggeration! My husband then tried to fit the real model onto the cartoon and he discovered (I could have told him this anyway) that the top half of the model fits the cartoon almost one-for-one, however, below the bust line, the girdle has to be lengthened considerably and thinned down in the thighs. That's advertising for you.




March 2020

We do plan to offer some more of the collection for sale, however, this requires quite some delving through hundreds of garments and books and, as with all collections, once you start rummaging, inevitably you come upon an item and you think "Oh dear, I can't sell that!"

Meanwhile. we have come across some pictures of the Abdominal Dr. Wales's corset from the 1960s.


We received this request from a reader:


"Is there anyone out there in any country that can do real restorations on real classic girdles? 

I'm asking about bringing them back to factory specification like so many other antiques in the world today.

There would be some re-weaving involved and that would seem a likely niche market for a small loom."


In one of those bizarre quirks of fate, an avid collector sent us a photograph of a French girdle from the 1970s (inevitably featuring blue satin). The quirk was that we had an identical girdle out from our collection. The manufacturer was the JIP company.


We recently became aware of the amazing actress/artist, New Yorker, Suzanne Heintz. Watch this video for yourselves.


Meanwhile, there have been several updates to the more obscure parts of the web-site, one of which refers to Rose Byrne's Spanx that she wore to the Met Gala in 2016. The girdle (let's not beat about the bush here) that she shows off to presenter Laura Brown in an episode of 'Dirty Laundry' is un-boned and un-zippered, however, as a token nod to the panty-girdles of the 1960s, there is detailing reminiscent of the satin panels that used to be such a glorious feature of these garments. One can only encourage this progress.


We hope that everybody is keeping well during these challenging times. Britain is effectively in lock-down apart from essential excursions for food and one period of exercise alone or with one other household member. On the positive side, I have made a list of 'things to do' for my husband on which I forgot to add "Please update the web-site regularly".



April 2020


5th April 2020: 

RIP  Honor Blackman  (1925 - 2020)

It is always sad to relate the passing of another 1960s icon, Honor Blackman.


She became famous for her role as Dr. Cathy Gale in the Avengers (1962 - 1964). She left that very successful series to play the character of Pussy Galore in the film Goldfinger (1964). Both characters were intelligent, stylish women who were tough and quite capable of looking after themselves, quite a novelty at that time.


In the 1960s, her leather outfits in the Avengers caused quite a stir not usually being seen outside the fetish world. Her leather boots even became the topic of a song 'Kinky Boots'. The outfit enabled Dr. Gale freedom of movement to use her martial arts techniques (another novelty for a woman in the 1960s).


She was at the provocative vanguard of 1960s female emancipation.






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