Parisian Stroll #16 – Behind the Seams

Les Arts Décoratifs de Paris takes an indiscreet look at the mechanics of Fashion!

Text: Christina Zikou


The ‘underworld’ of female and male undergarments and vestimentary devices fashioning the body by means of whalebones, hoops and cushions is to be explored within the Parisian exhibition La Mécanique des dessous, une histoire indiscrète de la silhouette. Since the 14th century, people use a wide variety of mechanics to artificially attain the ideal of beauty and follow the constantly changing dictates of fashion. Take a look below to find out some of the museum pieces which are rarely shown to the public.

The behind-the-seams history of clothing and fashion which comprises devices such as the fly, the pannier, the corset, the crinoline, the bustle, the pouf, the stomach belt and the bra has inspired many designers who expressed their vision of “concealed architecture” to catwalk.

Comme des Garçons prêt-à-porter SS 2012

Dolce & Gabbana SS 2007

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture FW 2008-09

Thierry Mugler prêt-à-porter SS 1992


*The exhibition “La Mécanique des dessous, une histoire indiscrète de la silhouette” runs from July 5th to November 24th at Les Arts Décoratifs – Mode et textile, 107 rue de Rivoli 75001 Paris. For more information, kindly visit the official site


photos via: and