Bacchante Romper Inspiration

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The first “combination” undergarments late 1870s, combining chemise and knicker into a single garment. Over the following decades as hemlines rose, it too shortened, and became known as a camiknickers. This garment has persisted, though taking on different names until the present. More information on the combination drawers through to teddys can be found on here on fashion-era.com.

 

This particular iteration of the Camiknicker/ Romper/ Teddy is cut on the bias, harkening back to the 1930s. A deep cowl neck and six criss-crossing adjustable straps on the back make the design unique and interesting.

 

When I showed the finished garment to my sister, who studied classics, it reminded her of Ancient Greece, and the story of the Bacchae. It is thus named Bacchante, in honour of the followers of Bacchus.

 

I like to think in stories and characters, so this name makes me happy. I picture female classics students in the 1930s, frustrated by their male-dominated world meeting in the forest to share wine and food and stories. To enjoy silk lingerie without shame, and without being belittled or sexualized for it.

Helena Smith