French lace lingerie jacket, c.1905
Lingerie from the Belle Époque is treasured by the collector for its romantic nostalgia. This was a period of extravagance in dress, when under garments were often more elaborately detailed than street dress. Savvy collectors, who like to wear their vintage pieces, have discovered these treasures are too pretty to hide. The provocative jacket came from a collection of fine French lingerie.
The lingerie jacket is fashioned from lightweight white cotton broadcloth with inserts of matching cotton lace. It is finely detailed with faggoted seams, pin tucks, wider tucks, and a hand-embroidered monogram BWJ. It closes in front with small concealed buttons and a narrow silk ribbon drawstring tie at the neckline.
There is a good reason why generations of fashion-savvy women have coveted handmade French lingerie from the early 20th century. It is not only exquisitely beautiful but also has a well deserved reputation for working "bedroom magic" on the wearer's partner.
In great design, often the smallest detail matters the most. The silk ribbon drawstring is a masterful touch. I can envision the scene on Bettina Wallace Jackson's wedding night in 1905. Her husband's eyes were fixated on the drawstring as his new wife came into the bridal bedroom wearing only our thrilling French lingerie jacket.
Bettina asked "Is everything alright, Dear?" He gulped and said, "Ummm......yes, Dear." On Bettina's return from the honeymoon, her mother inquired how things had gone with Mr. Jackson. Bettina replied, "Mother, everything went just fine!"
In the 15th century, the antiquated French word provocatif first appeared in English as provocative. From the 1620s on, the new English word took on the sense of "provoking sexual desire or temptation," although the word now has a more general meaning.
It measures: 36" bust, 25" waist, and 18" from shoulder to hem.