I’ve been reading an article my sister sent me from the Sunday Times Luxx magazine. The article’s headline is Frontline Couture and it’s written by Janine di Giovanni, award-winning author and journalist. She has been covering global conflict and war since the 1980s and is considered one of Europe’s most respected journalists.
She writes about her visit to the salon of Alice Cadolle, on the rue St Honore, in Paris. Alice, known as Poupie, is the great-granddaughter of feminist Herminie Cadolle who invented the bra in 1889. She’s there to be fitted for a handmade bra which will set her back around £500. I don’t know about you but I imagine most if not all of us would balk at spending that much money on such a small item of clothing………actually I guess even a coat let alone a handbag that cost that much would make us shudder! So what is it that makes many women, wealthy and those on modest salaries pay the price tag for one of Madame Cadolle’s bras?
What is most important, says Poupie who now runs the salon (now into it’s 5th generation of Cadolle women) with her daughter Patricia – ‘is that we feel ‘bien dans sa peau’ – comfortable in our own skin’. Isn’t this the height of self esteem? Isn’t this, to feel comfortable with who we are, our true and rightful nirvana?
Janine di Giovanni has worked throughout the world in war ravaged countries, in places where it wasn’t good to have breasts, she says. She would often strap her breasts or wear over-sized men’s shirts to blend in. A woman very definitely in a man’s world. On returning from assignment to London she would always treat herself to lingerie. She says “No matter how broke, I would rather have nice knickers than eat dinner.”
You and I, we’re not necessarily fighting a real war, unless of course we are or have loved ones in the Armed Forces. Yet how many of us are fighting what feels like a very personal war either within ourselves or through illness of a loved one or through dysfunctional relationships?
Now more than ever is the time for wearing your Best Knickers Always and by all means use Best Knickers Always as a metaphor for whatever it is that makes you feel good about yourself. Do whatever it takes to give you the strength, the resilience, the wisdom to be your Best YOU.
For me it has always been wearing good lingerie, something right next to my skin that makes me feel ‘bien dans ma peau’. Whenever I’ve had to face a difficult situation I have always gone in to ‘battle’ with my armour on and for me that armour, what makes me feel empowered, wise, authentic, creative and most importantly feminine ……………it is the softness of my underwear next to my skin.
To all my warrior girlfriends who are going through untold hell on a daily basis at times, I have just three words for you………BEST KNICKERS ALWAYS!
photo credit : liquene