Madame Adrienne was a popular bra designer in the 50’s, back when lingerie was way more glamorous than anything Victoria’s Secret can come up with today. This article “How to sell a bra” and photos, are from a 1953 issue of Pageant Magazine.
The author states that in order for Madame Adrienne to sell her well designed, perfectly good everyday bras, she must dramatize the bra by “inventing, designing and publicizing other bras, equally well designed but somewhat more elaborate.”
This halter bra in the photo below is made of baby somali leopard and sold for $1200.00 back in 1953. It was also available in ocelot for the thrifty shopper at a mere $600.00. Hmmm, must have been from her “Soon to be an endangered species collection.”
These deep plunge, wire tops sold for $18.50 and $32.50. But if you had a rich sugar daddy, you could always have a sprinkling of real pearls added for $650.00, or even diamonds for $7000.00.
Below is a “bra, waist cincher and skirt in red nylon velvet with mink trim and cape stole. For cozy at-homes. $1200.00” This is just a 50’s way of saying a hostess outfit for a casual get together at your home. After all , one wouldn’t want to be stuck without something to throw on if visiting royalty showed up at the door!
This complicated little combo called the “Tulip”, was a “bra plus slip plus waist cincher plus petticoat”. A veritable steal at only $50.00! I don’t know why, but my weird mind is picturing some creepy guy on the the other end of the phone wanting to know what she’s wearing and when she tells him, he’s like “Never mind, lady. Sorry I asked.”
Model in top photo, below, is wearing the “Midas Touch” bustier, decorated in tiny golden crystal bugle beads, which sold for $250.00. Below is the “Snow Queen” in white satin, with mink lined fichu. Just a fancy name for a scarf, with the addition of fur, makes what is a plain bra worth $500.00.
These two lovely ladies modelled lingerie by day, but could be seen nightly performing at the famous Copacabana night club in New York City. Caption in photo states “Still just bras, but add a tulle stole and they become dresses.”
So for any of you young chickies out there who think the idea of underwear worn as outerwear was invented by Madonna in the 80’s, now you know.
It just goes to show how fashion history repeats itself, to be enjoyed another day with a whole new twist.
And if you wear a 36B, you can actually purchase an authentic 1950s Madame Adrienne bra for $35.00 over at Viva Vintage Clothing.