Shades of the old Hollywood glamour! There may be a long cold winter coming up, but Frenchwomen will face it in high style with some of the prettiest lingerie, nightgowns, and bed linens on record.
A recent survey reveals that the average European woman spends 20 percent of her personal clothing budget on underpinnings, and the more frivolous, the better.
The leading trend is pure unabashed glamour spelled with capital letters, retro looks from the 1930s, and the big comeback of crepe de Chine, satin, and silk mousseline whenever the budget permits. And for those who tend to iron more wrinkles in than out, there are marvelous drip-dry synthetics standing in for the pure silks, naturally at a far lower price.
Lace is everywhere. Bridal type sets are staging another big comeback with gowns teamed to matching peignoirs and the revival of the frilly bed jacket even for women who have no time for a leisurely breakfast in bed on weekday mornings.
Statistics prove that women are currently often willing to spend as much for a beutiful nightgown as a dress or even an evening gown, and the magic label "fait main" (handmade) still seems to open all pocketbooks in this age of industrialization and mass production. Prices go from $100 to $300.
If retro glamour from the great preway days of Hollywood is the No. 1 trend, other styles look even further back to the Victorian era. Romantic long-sleeved "nightshirts" are appearing as frilled as a wedding cake with deep yokes worked in pin tucking or delicate floral embroidery on sheer cottons and batiste. Other nightgowns revive English eyelet embroidery trimming on prim high-necked long-sleeved chemise silhouettes with collarettes edged with ruffles.
When trousers and pantsuits became a veritable way of life back in the early 1960s, slips and petticoats nearly disappeared from the fashion scene. Not so today! Designers and manufacturers at the enormous biannual lingerie salon for professional buyers report a boom in orders for slips that has been unprecedented in the past 15 years. Again, styles concentrate on bias cuts to avoid any semblance of bulk beneath one's skirt or dress, to avoid rough scratchy tweeds or woolens from coming into direct contact with the skin, and finally just the self-satisfaction that everything "undercover" is on par with one's outer wear.
Newest color ranges play up the ecru and pale ivory hues along with all the powdery pastels. At Christian Dior, top lingerie colors for winter 1980-81 are antelope, ice blue, and salmon pink along with the eternal classics of black and white.
Last but far from least, all the emphasis on frankly feminine nightwear goes hand in hand with new bed linens. Today in Paris plain white untrimmed sheets suddenly seem as flat as yesterday's souffle. The trends are toward old-fashioned border patterns, floral frescoes, and frame-in coordinated effects , and hazy scenics slightly out of focus in delicate pastels.