Why does the pin-up style remain a timeless trend?

What do Betty Boop, Rita Hayworth, and Marilyn Monroe have in common? Think hourglass figures, corsets, flared skirts, scarlet lipstick, and black eyeliner. Yes, I'm referring to the inimitable and timeless pin-up style, made famous by icons of animation and film! Join me as we explore the key moments in the history of this fascinating figure, symbolizing joyful and sensual femininity.

A Woman Unveiled

In the late 19th century, women began to assume new roles in society and express their desire to be perceived differently and more valuably. This era saw the first illustrations resembling photographs, featuring women proud to showcase themselves. During this time, there was significant pressure on how women should conduct themselves and live their lives. This form of art contributed to creating a new image of an independent, free, sociable, strong, determined, and self-assured woman. In the early 1900s, this art form flourished, becoming the most popular aesthetic communication during World War II.

Pin-Up, Birth of a Name

The term 'pin-up girl' was first used in 1941. 'To pin-up' in English means to hang up: photos of these playful and sensual women were hung on walls during World War II to motivate soldiers at the front. These images of doe-eyed, curvaceous young women reminded them of what they were fighting for and what awaited them upon return.

These years marked an evolution in women's roles. While men went to war, women took on traditionally male roles in families and the workplace.

They worked in armament factories as engineers or mechanics, became business leaders or intellectuals, and cycled, a mode of transportation popularized by suffragette Alice Hawkins, becoming a symbol of women's freedom. Hawkins, a leader of the movement for women's voting rights, was one of the first to wear trousers, shocking her contemporaries. Post-war, society sought to relegate women back to their previous roles as homemakers. While some accepted this, others did not relent in their march toward emancipation, showcasing a range of previously hidden abilities.

Discreet and Innocent Sensuality

Displaying their bodies without complexity in scenarios related to everyday life became part of this new identity. It was during this period that the term 'bombshell' emerged, referring to the alternation of cinched and flared lines reminiscent of a missile. However, this was a sexuality that was never vulgar, suggestive rather than explicit, where one is left to imagine. A simple, natural, and spontaneous sensuality, not taking itself too seriously, opposed to the mysterious, austere, and refined beauty typical of the 1920s and 30s. The pin-up figure reflects a need for lightness, as well as the explosion of hedonism and carefreeness that spread after the damages of World War II. Pin-ups began appearing in calendars, postcards, magazines, everyday objects, and even on warplanes!

Christian Dior and Pin-Up Culture in Europe

The war helped export American culture to Europe, including pin-up culture, which reached its zenith in the 1950s and 60s. While the pin-up style originated in the USA, France made a significant contribution, thanks to the creations of Christian Dior. In 1947, he introduced the New Look, establishing the hourglass silhouette as a new trend with corsets and crinoline skirts. Thus, the girdle was born, a lingerie piece combining a bustier with a garter belt to emphasize a wasp waist.

Pin-Up Fashion: The Essentials

Speaking of lingerie, it plays a crucial role in refining and shaping certain body parts to create the perfect pin-up style. Lingerie enhances a woman's shape, following and accentuating her natural curves. The corset is a key piece for any self-respecting pin-up, and waist cinchers are also highly appreciated. The bra, with its characteristic pointed shape, was revitalized by Madonna in 1990 with the famous corset bra, created by Jean-Paul Gaultier. The petticoat, mimicking the old crinoline, adds volume to flared skirts. What about the details? Pastel colors are the protagonists of the outfits, matched from head to toe. Essential pin-up accessories include scarves, tied around the neck or hair, butterfly or heart-shaped sunglasses, and gloves. Dominant patterns? Floral prints and polka dots in every variation! As for swimwear, it transforms to elegantly reveal certain body parts, enhancing rather than hiding them.

Pin-Up and Feminism

The pin-up figure is more complex than it might appear at first glance. Her poses and gestures are almost always dictated by a fortuitous event: a gust of wind lifting her skirt, a hook removing her bikini, or a puppy causing her to stumble. She embodies the girl-next-door attitude, mixed with discreet and seemingly naive eroticism. The illustrations depict her in the scandalous new outfits of the time and in various roles, be it a homemaker or mechanic. While the image of women as objects of male desire may seem contradictory to the greater freedom displayed at the time, in reality, the pin-up controls the image she wishes to portray: bold yet modest. She breaks free from the aesthetic dictums of the era. Pin-ups can be seen as pioneers of the first feminist movement, being unconventional, aware of the power of their beauty and their bodies.Today, choosing to dress in a pin-up style is equivalent to a statement of femininity.

Maria Elena Buszek, a professor of art history, stated: "Pin-ups provided a model through which women could become icons of contemporary femininity. Through these images, women represented themselves in both conventional and transgressive ways, becoming aware of their sensual potential at both personal and political levels"

In summary, the pin-up universe goes well beyond a style. It's a way of living unrestrainedly, with joy and lightness. A celebration of womanhood in all its forms and identities. Unlike other fashion styles that require conforming to a physical or behavioral model, there are as many pin-ups as there are women. Each of us may have different physical characteristics and unique life experiences, but the common point is feeling good in our skin, beautiful and sensual.

The pin-up woman embraces her constantly evolving identity and the shape of her body. She doesn’t hide her imperfections; rather, she highlights them with cleverness. I have created corset swimwear for all of us, the women of today, to help us enhance our natural beauty and feel glamorous even at the beach.