For Fall 2014, Chanel’s supermarket runway show featured floor-length skirts and dainty pastels, not with traditional feminine high-heels, but with modern, playful sneakers that challenged the phrase “beauty is pain.” There was something subversive about pairing an ensemble so prim and proper with with flat sneakers, making it socially acceptable for women to enjoy a sense of freedom away from the crippling high heel.
For Spring 2015, Karl Lagerfeld went even further. He released a powerful collection featuring wide-leg trousers, knee-length skirts, and of course, tweed. The show proved to be a colourful one with a strong message as models stormed down the runway led by Cara Delevingne, taking part in one of the most fashionable feminist protests to date. Models held signs that read, “History is HER story,” “Ladies First,” and “He for She” referencing a popular campaign for gender equality.
The latest trend in fashion seems to be sending the same message, and it isn’t a colour, pattern, shape or texture, but a movement towards empowerment and equality – and it all starts in your grandmother’s underwear drawer.
Brands by the likes of Me and You, and Ten Undies are beginning to acknowledge that comfort and style do not have to be mutually exclusive, and are taking a step back from traditionally sexy underwear to embrace the practicality and comfort that are granny panties.
According to the New York Times, brands aren’t the only ones embracing full-coverage underwear. Over the past year, thong sales have decreased by 7 percent, while the sales of briefs, boy shorts and high-waisted panties have collectively shot up by 17 percent.
This shift in shopping motives can be credited to the rise of hip new underwear brands and modern beliefs that acknowledge that we all have bodies and we all wear clothes, and fashion should be a comfortable, unapologetic vehicle for self-expression, self-discovery and identity. High-end fashion labels Altuzzara, Louis Vuitton and Chloe featured high-waisted pants for Spring 2015, while Emporio Armani made a case for loose-fitting trousers, making granny panties easier to get away with. Similarly, full-coverage underwear proved best in complimenting Gucci’s sheer bottomed skirts and dresses for the 2016 Cruise Collection, shown in New York City.
Julia Baylis, the designer of Me and You underwear told Times that although most lingerie is designed to appeal to a man, for her, the thought doesn’t even cross her mind. “That’s not even a consideration. This is underwear you wear totally for you,” she says. Baylis’ motive for lingerie design is made clear through Me and You’s best selling underwear – a pair of granny panties with the word “feminist” on the back, inspiring a copious amount of belfies (haven’t you heard? Selfies are so last year!).
Daphne Javitch, founder of Ten Undies, gives the New York Times her opinion on man-pleasing lingerie. “To be honest, men are into girls in T-shirts and white underwear,” she says. So, if full-bottom panties are comfortable, stylish, and appealing, I suppose our grandmother’s had the right idea all along. We’re just glad the lingerie industry is beginning to embrace variety, and change as traditional ideas of style do.
Without further ado, we give you our favourite granny panties.
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