Musée dauphinois
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Wrapping Your Waist in Whalebone
This fun exhibit (until mid-2014) traces the history of French lingerie in the Rhone-Alpes region of France, where the industry was concentrated for decades - so much so that even American firms had plants here. The show traces the history of French lingerie from its early handmade days to modern fabrics and shapes, working its way through unionization and design. The corsets are particularly impressive, with whalebone compressing waists to tiny sizes, as small as 16" in circumference, a symbol of women's subservient social status.
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