Index: Lycra Spandex


The Aesthetics of Synthetics: Lycra

A small selection of ephemera used to market DuPont’s’s Lycra Spandex fabric from the late 60’s into the late 70’s…. These are taken from an article I’m writing for Uppercase Magazine. It’s a visual survey of the design and aesthetics of DuPont’s marketing of synthetic fabrics from the 1920’s to the early 80’s.

The history of the development of synthetic fabrics is a fascinating nexus of science, industry, design, advertising, fashion and culture. In turn, the same goes for focusing specifically on the marketing and promotion of the fabrics themselves. It is a rich core sample of prevailing trends in design, typography, advertising illustration and photography, etc over the decades. Anyway, while putting the piece together I was especially charmed by the different modes and looks behind Lycra… not to mention being sent into sheer nostalgic tizzy over the very idea of the Dichter Institute Motivation Study of Women’s Attitude’s About Pantyhose. Who says advertising doesn’t contribute mightily to how we understand ourselves and our world? I’m sure that handy tome borders on philosophy….

Anyway – the article will be in the fifth issue of Uppercase Magazine. A few more previews to come. Stay tuned, etc.. (If Uppercase Magazine is unfamiliar to you, well then, get yourselves over to here for a gander. A lovingly assembled magazine about beauty squirrelled away in the nooks of the everyday…My full mash note to its awesomeness is here.)