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  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1955 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Rigby & Peller (designer and maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Machine embroidered tulle and nylon with underwiring

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs J. Kenton of Rigby & Peller

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    On display in Values of Design, Design Society, Shekou, China

Foundation garments of the 1950s incorporated new light and highly tensile elastic panels, which reduced boning. Other innovations included high-line zipped and step-in girdles and corselettes (combined bras and girdles).

New supportive bras included plunge, half-cup and underwired designs. Beautifully crafted bras were made by elite corsetiere Rigby & Peller (est. 1939). Here whirlpool, circular-cup stitching creates a tilted, pointed bustline.

Physical description

Black machine embroidered tulle bra lined in black nylon, with blue and green flowers

Place of Origin

London (made)


ca. 1955 (made)


Rigby & Peller (designer and maker)

Materials and Techniques

Machine embroidered tulle and nylon with underwiring


Height: 15 cm, Width: 68 cm

Object history note

Rigby & Pellar was established in South Molton Street by Mrs Rigby and Mrs Peller in 1939. They remain elite bespoke corsetiers, but have also expanded to include high-street ranges.

Registered File number 1994/299.

Descriptive line

Bra, black machine-embroidered tulle and nylon with underwiring, Rigby & Peller, London, England, ca. 1955.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

de la Haye, A., The Cutting Edge London: V&A Publications, 1997, p.182

Labels and date

UNDERWEAR [case panel]

A couture garment usually included meticulously constructed undergarments. They were either integrated into the structure of the garment, or made separately.

In creating the New Look after the war, Dior used firm underpinnings such as girdles, under-wired bustiers, and tulle and horsehair petticoats. He placed extra padding on the hips and bust to ensure a smooth womanly figure.

As the 1950s progressed, foundation and support garments became increasingly sophisticated. Lightweight materials such as nylon and new stretch fabrics ensured greater comfort. [81 words]

[object label]
Rigby & Peller

Lightweight nylon and fine underwiring provided support without cumbersome padding.

Nylon and net, underwired

Given by Rigby & Peller
V&A: T.599-1995 [22/09/2007]


Tulle; Nylon; Metal


Machine embroidery


Fashion; Accessories; Underwear; Women's clothes; Europeana Fashion Project; Interiors; Household objects; Shekou; Values of Design; Design Society


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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