Dancing Sarong

Title:
Dancing Sarong
NFSA ID:
51224
Year:
1950
Category:
Access fees

A woman in a dress dances to cocktail music as a female voice-over explains the features of the ‘Sarong’ girdle the woman is wearing beneath her clothes. The action freezes as the camera zooms in and ‘sees through’ the woman’s outer clothing to reveal the girdle and how comfortable, flexible and flattering it is. Summary by Poppy de Souza.

Freedom of movement and comfort are the two strongest features of the ‘Sarong’ girdle. The girdle’s precursor, the corset, was part of the constraining and confining history which defined nineteenth century undergarments. Berlei’s ‘Sarong’ – along with many of its other product lines – made this uncomfortable foundation garment comfortable.

Berlei Underwear Cinema Advertisement: Sarong synopsis

The use of zooming in to reveal the girdle under the woman’s clothes gives a practical understanding of how the girdle works and how it supports and flatters the figure.

Berlei Underwear Cinema Advertisement: Sarong curator's notes

Featuring three versions of the same advertisement, the Berlei ‘Sarong’ girdle is aimed at active women who want comfort and freedom to move at the same time. In all three advertisements (two of which are curated here), the female voice-over is the same, but the women differ in the activity which the ‘Sarong’ allows them to do. In the first a woman walks a poodle; in the second a woman shows her golf swing; and in the third a woman dances freely. The changing activity subtly shifts the emphasis in the advertisement and addresses slightly different types of women. The common link, however, is that ‘every move you make’, the Berlei ‘Sarong’ girdle makes it with you.

Australian company Berlei has been a well-known name in corsetry and lingerie since the 1920s, and was founded by Fred Burley.

Notes by Poppy de Souza.