Happy birthday, Elsa Schiaparelli, iconic fashion designer who also helped revolutionize women’s underwear.
"Women’s underwear before World War II was kind of elaborate. It was usually made of silk and it had pleats and it had to be ironed. This was in France. There was no such thing as ‘drip dry’ and when the war started, most of the men went to the front and the women had to take jobs. There was gas rationing and so everybody had bicycles and you had to be licensed to ride a bike in Paris, and in one year bike licenses tripled; it went up to 11 million. The way women dressed with these long skirts and this very elaborate underwear didn’t lend itself to riding a bike so Schiap changed panties completely. First of all, there was famine, so she got rid of the buttons and put elastic in the waist so that as you were losing weight, your panties would stay on. Then, she made them out of drip-dry material, so you didn’t need a maid to iron them … and she added a double-slung crotch and suddenly women could ride their bikes with a lot more freedom."
More badass September birthdays here.