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Unsportsmanlike Conduct

July 6, 2012

by Richard Vincente

I attended my first LPGA tournament in Canada last week and, although I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, it reminded me of a sadly enduring truth: people can be pigs.

I presumed the fairways would be lined with serious golf fans, but it seemed like many people thought they were really attending a fashion show or a bachelor party. I spent much of the day eavesdropping on whispered crowd chatter. And much of what I overheard was shockingly, regressively sexist.

Many men in the crowd were less interested in a golfer’s skills (which were seriously impressive) than in her legs, boobs, butt, hair and overall do-ability. I lost track of how many times I heard someone mutter a predictable pun about scoring or balls or shafts.

But it wasn’t just men doing the sniping from the sidelines. I listened in as female spectators swapped opinions on the players’ weight, age, fashion choices and attitude. “My, she’s a big girl, isn’t she?” or “She’s a pretty thing, wouldn’t you say?”

And when players bent down to retrieve their balls from the cup, many in the gallery – men and women alike – leaned forward, hoping to get a peek at their underpants.

This kind of thing must drive women athletes nuts. Whether they are golfers or soccer players or swimmers or gymnasts, they devote their lives to achieving the highest possible standard of performance … only to be viewed (by some) as contestants in a beauty pageant, evaluated by the same criteria as a runway model or centerfold.

Admittedly, some women athletes parlay their good looks and toned physiques into lucrative endorsement and even modeling deals (one LPGA star from Korea is known in her home country as “the supermodel of the fairways”). But the vast majority pursue athletic goals alone, and silently endure the sexist fog that envelops women’s sport. 
 
We’re going to see a lot of this in the weeks ahead as the London Olympics dominate the news and the complex culture of women’s athletics gets more attention. (Already we’ve seen controversy surrounding chromosome verification involving some Africa athletes, and a bizarre debate over whether female boxers should be allowed to NOT wear little mini-skirts in the ring.) There’s even a website (http://www.olympicgirls.net) that catalogues the world’s hottest sport babes and offers the most revealing images of them available.

And female Olympians who embrace, rather than ignore, their sensual selves tread a fine line between self-promotion and unsportsmanlike conduct. Last month, for example, Australian gold medal-winning swimmer Stephanie Rice found herself the subject of intense criticism after she tweeted the above photo of herself in a sexy swimsuit. Despite the fact she swims for a living. Go figure.

Olympic purists might not be offended by that example, but they are probably less forgiving when Olympic women start disrobing in public – for whatever reason.

That’s UK windsurfer Bryony Shaw in the main, top photo above, who was one of several British Olympians who were photographed in body paint to promote their appearance at the 2008 Beijing Games. That project recalled a similar promotional effort at the 2004 Games, when members of Britain’s women’s sailing team posed nude for a fundraising calendar.


Earlier this year, British lingerie designer Nichole De Carle recognized the almost primal sexual appeal of women athletes when she created a stunning calendar featuring members of Great Britain’s 2012 Olympic team – a project that gave enormous exposure to both the Olympians and De Carle’s label, while raising money for a women’s health charity. It was a bold project, and tastefully executed, which may be why it didn’t turn into a chest-thumping national controversy.

More recently, the Canadian women’s rugby team – probably the roughest, unsexiest women’s sport outside of kickboxing – raised eyebrows when they published a racy calendar featuring its members nude or semi-nude. Their reason? To raise funds for their Olympic and World Cup training, which tells you a lot about sports funding in this country.



But the Canadian team (which has done this kind of calendar several times) wasn’t just catering to prurient tastes; they are also trying to promote a new standard of physical beauty. “Having muscles is very beautiful and being physically fit is very attractive,” said team member Barbara Mervin. “We are elite athletes and we are proud of our bodies. … We hope we can help young girls to know that you can be 170 pounds and be absolutely beautiful.”

Having said that, Mervin admits that the $20 calendars are far more effective at raising money for the team than other, less provocative fundraising tools. When it comes to women’s athletics, like everything else, sex is what sells.

In a way, there’s nothing really wrong with that, so long as it doesn’t obscure the women’s performance on the field. In the end, women athletes would much rather earn a gold medal than a Maxim photo shoot.

Richard Vincente is the editor of Lingerie Talk, Canada’s leading lingerie news site.

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Seeing Double

June 24, 2012

By Richard Vincente


You don’t have to look very hard these days to find examples of how the evolving universe of fashion lingerie — the undiverse, as I call it — conflicts with public standards and exposes our mixed feelings about how, when and where we display our bodies.

We live in a society that celebrates and peddles sexuality with an increasing lack of restraint … but that same society also has a collective comfort level that is easily offended, even when it seems hypocritical.

Double standard? Or just the eternal tension between the progressive liberals we’d all like to be and conservative conformists we really are?

You can get a sense of this tension by looking at our attitudes toward celebrities and their fashion choices. For example, all-American supermodel Kate Upton (above) is going to sell a ton of magazines this summer thanks to her red-white-and-blue cover for GQ. I’m not sure what the DAR thinks about this, but so far Kate’s super-sexy, tolerance-testing take on Old Glory hasn’t drawn many complaints. It might be against the law in some countries to put the nation’s flag to this kind of use, but in America it’s just edgy and clever (at least on Kate Upton).

Alas, poor Jill Biden apparently isn’t entitled to the same laissez-faire leniency. The vice-president’s wife set the Twitterverse and blogosphere buzzing this week when she was spotted shopping at a La Perla store in Chicago. You’d think a girl would be safe shopping for some decent undies, but Madame Veep touched off a controversy over the wisdom of buying luxury lingerie in the middle of an election campaign that, to a large extent, is focused on the growing economic disparity among Americans.

If you ask me, though, I think many people were just made uncomfortable by this fleeting glimpse into the very private world of a public figure (there was similar hooting and hollering last winter when it was erroneously reported that Michelle Obama had been spotted in an Agent Provocateur store in New York).

We prefer our underdressed celebs to be packaged and put out for public consumption, like Kate Upton, rather than speculate on what they might look like, or do, in their spare time. Stars who pose in racy get-ups are always welcome; those who are seen, candidly, in the same attire make us uncomfortable.

If there’s a double standard there, it impacts on the lingerie community, which has aggressively promoted the underwear-as-outerwear trend over the past few years, persuading once-shy women that it’s okay — even fashionable — to show off some of those lacey goodies. Lingerie today isn’t just about comfort and fit, it’s about self-empowerment — and the fashion world has made self-exposure a desirable, almost virtuous, character trait.

But be careful. Public perception, as always, lags behind fashion trends. And there’s a reactionary press (and public) ready to tsk-tsk like hyperventilating hens whenever some women show a little too much skin.

Earlier this week, for instance, newly engaged singer Miley Cyrus (yes, she’s an adult now!) made headlines once again when photos of her in public dressed in a cami-and-boyshort combo were published online — as if her outfit somehow crossed a line of taste or morality. Sigh. When it comes to pushing boundaries in this business, doesn’t it always seem like one step forward, two steps back?

The same reaction greets superstar daughter and party girl Paulina Gretzky (above), who loves the outerwear look and gets in big trouble every time she steps out in a bodysuit or corset. The 23-year-old not only got her grounded by her famous dad last fall when her style choices became widely circulated on the Internet, she’s also earned international notoriety for simply adopting a fashion trend that has become increasingly commonplace. Here’s how the Vancouver Sun reported her recent appearance at an L.A. Kings hockey game:

Paulina Gretzky skipped the nearly nude outfits for a Los Angeles Kings hockey game with dad Wayne Gretzky at the Staples Centre in L.A. on Monday.

The 23-year-old siren – known for her racy online photos – looked downright ordinary without the extensions and extensive cleavage.

No word of whether the decision to cover up was her own – or another crackdown from Dear Old Dad …

Ouch! If that kind of judgment was applied equally and universally, the fashion community would be in big trouble. Luckily, it’s not.



At the same time as Miley or Madonna or Octomom are getting pilloried for wearing somewhat less than a burqa in public, others like Emma Stone and Kristen Stewart (above) are being applauded for recent photo shoots in revealing lingerie looks. In those cases, the young stars are celebrated for untypically stepping outside their comfort zones to explore new fashion choices and new sides of their own personalities.

I know it’s asking a lot, but wouldn’t it be great if we could allow all women to do the same without risking judgment, condemnation or recrimination?

Richard Vincente is the editor of Lingerie Talk, Canada’s leading lingerie news site.

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The Queen’s Knickers

June 1, 2012
Bestselling kids’ book has a special place in Jubilee celebrations

When the Queen visited a nursery school last winter near her Sandringham estate as part of her diamond anniversary activities, the giddy 3- and 4-year-old pupils had a surprise for her: they hung up hand-made replicas of her underwear for a display called ‘The Royal Laundry’.

“Oh,” the amused monarch commented, “they’re doing the washing.”

This sort of cheeky display might have earned you a stay in the Tower of London a few centuries ago, but in today’s Britain the subject of Her Majesty’s bloomers is standard chatter among commoners from age 3 to 93.

So much so, in fact, that when HRH steps out this weekend for her Diamond Jubilee festivities, a lot of onlookers will be wondering: What’s she wearing under there? The ‘At Home‘ briefs printed with corgis? Or the Union Jack pair reserved for foreign visits? Or, more likely, the VIP — Her Majesty’s Very Important Pair of panties?

She can thank Brighton author-illustrator Nicholas Allan for all the naughty speculation. This year marks not only the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne, it’s also the 20th anniversary of Allan’s groundbreaking children’s book, The Queen’s Knickers.

Aimed at the pre-school crowd, The Queen’s Knickers is a slightly silly (and fictional) exploration of HRH’s large underwear collection, which includes specific pieces for particular occasions — the woollen Balmoral set for chilly days, the floral Garden Party pair, and the Horse Riding set with extra bum-padding … to name just a few.

The Queen has a special bureau to store her undies and a maid named Dilys to manage the royal lingerie. The story takes on added importance when the Queen’s knickers trunk goes missing and a little girl is called upon to help find it.

People who don’t live in Commonwealth countries, and thus aren’t subjects of the realm, might have a hard time appreciating the appeal of such a yarn. And let’s face it, the story wouldn’t translate well in other cultures: can you imagine a kids’ book on Michelle Obama‘s undies, or one about Silvio Berlusconi‘s thong collection?

In the UK, however, the enduring appeal of The Queen’s Knickers reveals a lot about the Brits: both their fascination with (and adoration of) the royal family, and their sly and subversive sense of humour. No culture in world history has spent so much time, and had so many laughs, making fun of their own underwear.

The Queen’s Knickers, which was reprinted this year to coincide with the Diamond Jubilee, has also provided an important public service by humanizing the Queen for young readers and showing the workings of the royal household to be a lot more than just pomp and ceremony. Besides, it’s hard not to love a monarch who supposedly wears knickers imprinted with images of her favorite dogs.

(Author Allan has built a successful career by reducing stuffy or taboo subjects to giggle-worthy yarns. He’s done kids’ books about a giant toilet paper roll, an adventurous sperm named Willy, a princess with a big bum, and what Santa does when he needs to pee.)

And the impact of The Queen’s Knickers goes far beyond the printed page, as Her Majesty learned during her school visit in February.

Allan does occasional school visits, where children are invited to draw and display their own “queen’s knickers” and, to help celebrate Jubilee year, publisher Random House is encouraging British schoolchildren to create underwear-themed bunting to hang from school windows, front porches and anywhere else the Queen might see it during this weekend’s pageant. (Here’s a link with instructions.)

Seeing her subjects have so much fun tittering about her undies is probably not the Queen’s preferred legacy after 60 years on the throne. But The Queen’s Knickers, and the genial tolerance that Her Majesty has shown when confronted with the story, also reminds us of one of her most endearing qualities: she loves nothing more than giving her subjects something to smile about.

To learn more about how UK lingerie labels are celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, read Richard’s article on Lingerie Talk.

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A Lingerie Revolution in France

May 18, 2012

by Richard Vincente


We seldom think of the lingerie industry as a microcosm of the fashion world or of society in general. But in France, at least, it’s both.

A recent poll showed that 91% of French women and 83% of men believe that lingerie is an important part of life and l’amour. But who knew that spirit would spill over into the historic election that returned the Socialists under François Hollande to power this week?

It’s no exaggeration to say that Nicolas Sarkozy, the once-popular French president who was humiliated at the polls, might still be in office if it weren’t for his clumsy handling of women’s lingerie.

No, it wasn’t a Berlusconi-style sex romp that brought Sarkozy down, or trouble in the bedroom with his superstar wife, or something seedier like his rumored manipulation of the Dominic Strauss-Kahn scandal that has captured headlines for the past year.


The chaotic election cycle in France was bursting with issues over the past few months, but perhaps none was as gripping — and as illuminating — as the plight of a small group of women involved in the honorable French tradition of making high-end fashion lingerie.

Earlier this year, the 82-year-old brand Lejaby won court approval to close its last remaining plant in France and move production offshore to Tunisia to cut costs. The decision affected only about 90 employees but, as one newspaper described it, it was “a symbol of all that is wrong with the economy.” And it quickly turned into a media circus and a flashpoint for voter anger as the election neared.

Workers at the rural factory in Yssingeaux — mostly middle-aged seamstresses who would lose their jobs — staged colorful protests outside the doomed plant and at one point brought in mattresses and set up camp on the factory floor.


The situation resonated deeply with anxious voters because it provided a real-life tableau of several grim macro-economic issues afflicting the country. Unemployment was at a 12-year high. Industrial jobs were disappearing rapidly and now accounted for only 12% of jobs nation-wide. The textiles industry, in particular, had been decimated by offshore competition, including the relatively new threats posed by low-cost labor in North Africa, Romania, Croatia and other nearby countries.

Saving Lejaby and its workers became, briefly, a sentimental national cause. The French not only love lingerie, they also take enormous pride in the country’s longtime international reputation for producing sublimely artistic undies. Although most leading lingerie labels now manufacture elsewhere — in fact, only 5% of clothes now sold in France are made there — the exodus of Lejaby represented one more blow to national pride.

It also provided campaign fodder for politicians. As the Lejaby protests played out on TV news shows nightly, the Socialists visited the picket line and promised (somewhat vaguely) to find a way to save workers’ jobs. But Sarkozy had something else in mind.


Visiting the Lejaby factory in March, the president announced triumphantly that he had helped negotiate the sale of the plant to LVMH Moet Hennessey, owners of the iconic Louis Vuitton brand, which is owned by Sarkozy’s friend Bernard Arnault. “You have left your troubles behind,” Sarkozy told the workers, who will now be retrained to make leather goods instead of underwear.

Ah, if it were only that simple. Instead, many voters saw Sarkozy’s intervention as nothing more than opportunistic cronyism — a one-off favor that could hardly be counted on to breathe new life into France’s shriveling industrial base.

Both Sarkozy and his rival Hollande advocated more protectionist policies aimed at saving French jobs, including a new “Made in France” buying policy and trade platform that sent shivers through the Eurozone. Protectionism has an undeniable patriotic appeal, but during an election campaign it can come across as desperate pandering. For Sarkozy, it was too little too late.

And his fate should make other political leaders in both Europe and North America pay close attention to other Lejaby stories unfolding in their own backyards. Industrial nations around the world are in the throes (and in many cases at the end) of a massive global shift in labor and capital that threatens to undermine national economies and, as in France’s case, eat into the national psyche.

Sarkozy at least made one meaningful gesture in his flailing campaign, although the symbolism was ultimately ironic.

Along with their campaign rivals, Sarkozy’s party purchased thousands of campaign T-shirts from French manufacturers to drive home the “Made In France” message. They cost 3 to 5 times the price of similar goods made and shipped from China.

Read Richard Vincente’s columns daily at LingerieTalk.com

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An Intimate Canvas

May 4, 2012
Lingerie designers turning to art world for inspiration

By Richard Vincente

“I have always liked painters. It seems to me that we are in the same trade.”
 French fashion designer Paul Poiret

Art and fashion have been inseparable ever since the first caveman decided to decorate his animal-hide wrap with a few charcoal stick figures.

But even the French couturier Poiret — whose affinity for artists and illustrators of the early 20th Century is well known — probably couldn’t have envisioned the way art (and artists) are influencing contemporary lingerie design.

In case you hadn’t noticed, artistic inspirations are showing up with increasing regularity in lingerie collections these days. Just what you need to feel like a living masterpiece.

Some established brands have been long admired for a painterly flourish that elevates their designs above boilerplate printmaking. I’m thinking of Natori’s exotic couture robes; the exquisite slips from Marjolaine; and even the floral wonderland that is Claire Pettibone‘s world — to name just a few.

More youth-oriented labels like Black Milk and Ed Hardy borrow heavily from pop art classics, while the new California brand Private Arts has a clever idea: creating undies that look like vivid urban graffiti.

Even mass-market brands are turning to the art world for ideas. A couple of years ago, Etam‘s resident model/muse Natalia Vodionova created a wonderful capsule collection based on folk art from her native Russia. And this year, Hanky Panky produced a print alternately known as the Matisse or the Impressionist. It doesn’t really look like anything Matisse painted, but its colorful swirls could be borrowed from his palette.

All of this suggests the awakening of a new sensibility in lingerie fashion, as designers (and their customers) experiment with new styles, colorways and prints that are meant to be savored and appreciated as artistic works in their own right.

And whether it’s coincidence or not, several design labels have found inspiration recently in the worlds of art and architecture, resulting in the creation of memorable hybrid garments that are like living canvases.

Spanish corsetiere extraordinaire Maya Hansen used digital reproductions of Renaissance portraits for her remarkable 2011 collection Queens of Spain, while the stylish British designer Nichole De Carle created bodies, bras and briefs that mimicked the graphic lines of great European cathedrals. Closer to home, Zinke created an original zigzag print (above) as the centerpiece of its new swim collection. If you look closely, you’ll see echoes of Frank Lloyd Wright and other art deco masters in the hypnotic pattern.

And then there are the truly unique modern hybrids that result from culturally inquisitive designers looking to make a personal statement — and push the boundaries of both fashion and art.

Teo Griscom, who owns the experimental New York label Unforeseen Circumstances, created original prints for her latest collection that are a tribute to the late primitivist painter Cy Twombly, whose abstract scrawls polarized the American art scene through the latter half of the 20th Century. Her efforts (see top photo) were made more poignant by the fact that Twombly himself died shortly before Griscom’s collection made its debut.

Arielle Shapiro of Ari Dein didn’t borrow an artist’s print for her spring 2012 lingerie collection; she immersed herself in the life and wanderings of Peggy Guggenheim, the quixotic heiress who assembled one of the world’s great modern art collections in the post-war years of the last century. Ari  channels Peggy’s spirit with a delicate collection in colors inspired by Venice, where the heiress spent most of her life.

The Romanian designer Ruxandra Gheorghe speaks volumes with deceptively simple graphic patterns in the latest collection from her Ludique label.  The pattern above was inspired by the iconic monuments of the great Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi, whose Column of Endless Gratitude (right) was an homage to his country’s heroes from the First World War. (Although the shape on the brief looks like a diamond, it’s actually a clepsydra, a kind of ancient water clock.) That reference might be lost on Ludique‘s foreign customers, but for women in Romania these pieces make an impactful political and artistic comment.

And probably no label comes closer to marrying the worlds of lingerie fashion and modern art than The Lake & Stars, the super-brainy line adored by smart girls everywhere. You need a catalogue to keep track of the esoteric references and inspirations in their inventive designs, but one print from their spring collection really stands out.

The Superstudious original print shown above (right) was actually designed by New York artist Francesca DiMattio, whose surreal canvases (think M.C. Escher meets Picasso) involve layered, complex explorations of architecture and geometry — which is probably a fair description of The Lake & Stars‘ aesthetic, too. Is it any wonder that designers Nikki and Maayan call Francesca “their muse”?

What’s most exciting about all this is that the possibilities of such creative cross-pollination are endless … and probably just beginning.

Art bleeds into everyday life in innumerable ways; in fact, it’s an essential part of our experience. Your fashion choices are an expression of your engagement with the world around you. Is there any reason your underwear shouldn’t be part of that dialogue?

Of course, those of us who celebrate the artistic aspirations of lingerie design look forward to the day when this mixing of media doesn’t seem so unusual. And can the first gallery or museum exhibition of modern masterpieces in intimate wear (sorry, last year’s Gaultier exhibition doesn’t count) be far off?

Maybe not. Last weekend, during the alternative fashion week known as Fashion Art Toronto, Canadian artist Karey Shinn created a shredded bodysuit (above) for a runway performance piece called Cosmetic Green. It was, she said, a tribute to the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson‘s eco-bible Silent Spring and was, like so much else these days, heavily influenced by Alexander McQueen‘s radical mashups of fashion, art and culture.

“I am inspired to do this hybrid fashion event,” Karey said, “at a time when fashion designers, in their capacity as artists, are driving more people through the doors of art galleries around the world than conventional art shows. … This is a wonderful time to be an artist doing fashion.”

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Lingerie, Gender and Identity

March 30, 2012
Learning to Embrace the Transgender Experience

by Richard Vincente

A year ago, a Toronto family made international headlines for their decision to not reveal the gender of their new baby to anyone outside the immediate family — in effect, raising a ‘genderless’ child.

It wasn’t a publicity stunt or provocation. The parents were highly educated and caring people who simply wanted their child to develop (at least in its early years) free from the gender-based behaviors, social codes and expectations that are imprinted on us from the moment we are given our first pink or blue booties.

As you might imagine, their story ignited howls of condemnation from around the globe. Nothing threatens the security of our social order more than people who mess around with gender, those two pigeon-holes we are all slotted into at birth.

Chrysalis Lingerie, a new brand that will be North America's first fashion lingerie label for transgender women when it launches this spring.

I thought about that a lot this week when I published a feature article on Lingerie Talk about Chrysalis Lingerie, a new brand that will be North America’s first fashion lingerie label for transgender women when it launches this spring.

To be honest, I didn’t think most readers of Lingerie Talk (or Lingerie Briefs) would be future customers of Chrysalis, but their enterprise seemed important and deserving of attention. I braced for whatever criticism might follow.

Surprisingly, that article quickly became the most widely read piece we’ve done this year and was retweeted and syndicated all over the web. What was going on? And why would so many people care about what I thought was a niche product and a niche issue?

Jenna Talackova, a contestant in Miss Universe Canada pageant was kicked out after it was learned she had been born a male.

At about the same time, the discrimination faced by the transgender/transsexual community was getting exposure elsewhere.

In Vancouver, a contestant in Donald Trump’s Miss Universe Canada pageant was kicked out after it was learned she had been born a male and later underwent sex reassignment (or gender confirmation) surgery to live life as a female (she calls herself “a woman with a history” – how awesome is that?!). An online petition seeking Jenna Talackova‘s reinstatement has so far gathered more than 40,000 signatures. Watch for developments in this benchmark case next week.

Then, in another coincidence of timing, the Dr. Oz Show yesterday devoted an extraordinary hour to the challenges faced by TG/TS women and their families. If you didn’t see it, look for it: it was edge-of-your-seat television filled with tension, emotion and plenty of raw truth.

The most interesting person to watch on the program wasn’t one of the heroic women who came forward to tell their stories; it was Mehmet Oz himself, the admired and empathetic doctor who has done so much to transform health and wellness education. Even though he’s addressed this topic before, he often appeared disoriented and nervously struggled to find the words to phrase his delicate questions, like he was tiptoeing through a sexual, social and biological minefield.

He admitted to knowing little about the medical issues related to gender transformation and, in one awkward moment, suggested viewers watching at home might want to have their children leave the room.

This isn’t a rap against Dr. Oz: it was simply fascinating watching him struggle toward understanding the issues faced by TG/TS people and find room for that new knowledge in his own belief system. And I think his experience will make it easier for others to do the same.

The Dr. Oz Show discusses the challenges faced by TG/TS women and their families.

I know how he feels. When I interviewed Cy Lauz, one of the co-founders of Chrysalis Lingerie, for our article, we talked about my comparative ignorance and how to communicate Chrysalis’ mission in a way that avoided the stereotypes and misconceptions that dog transgender individuals.

That article would be a big learning experience for me, too. Although I’ve had many, many gay friends over the years, I’ve only had the most peripheral acquaintance with two people who identify as transgender (one M-F, one F-M; both of whom underwent hormone therapy but did not pursue sex reassignment surgery). Their experience, to me, seemed unbearably heavy and fraught with barriers at every turn. I found it hard to imagine the eventual payoff that could ever make such a painful journey worthwhile.

Delving into the topic challenged me to open up, to learn without judging, and to embrace a truth that goes beyond our binary view of gender. Nature, as Cy reminded me, is infinitely varied and for every social or biological template their are innumerable permutations. And all are part of the human family.

Like many of you, I won’t be a customer of Chrysalis Lingerie, but I’ll support what they’re doing in any way I can and I hope the fashion lingerie community welcomes and supports them too. After all, lingerie, as most people in the industry will tell you, is all about your sense of personal identity — how women view themselves, how they want to be viewed, and how they can transform themselves.

The Chrysalis team isn’t just selling undies, they’re inserting themselves into the fashion and media mainstream as a way of advocating for change, acceptance and empathy on behalf of people who have to fight for their chosen identity every day.

Like everyone else fighting this battle, they deserve to be welcomed — in the words of the teen daughter of a transgender woman on Dr. Oz’s show — with an open heart.

Transgender woman  You can read Richard’s profile of Chrysalis Lingerie on Lingerie Talk here.

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Richard Vincente

Intimate Intelligence

 

Richard Vincente is the editor and publisher of Lingerie Talk, Canada’s leading weblog covering the fashion lingerie market. Since Lingerie Talk’s launch in early 2010, Richard and his team of contributors have provided a reasoned and authoritative commentary on trends, collections and personalities in the lingerie industry.
 
Richard is a lifelong print and web journalist who has covered many of his personal passions, including politics, music, travel and social causes. He is a former editor with the Toronto Globe and Mail, Canada’s leading daily newspaper, and owned and managed a community newspaper for several years. Since 2003 he has focused exclusively on web publishing ventures.
 
Intimate Intelligence will look at broader cultural issues that affect, and are affected by, lingerie fashions. Your feedback and suggestions are welcome.
 
Visit Richard’s external blog LINGERIE TALK.