Torontoist took a peek at a vintage burlesque ad. As most things do these days, that sparked a thought about Lili and the ads for her lingerie shop. Here's an excerpt from Gilded Lili:
Always interested in fashion, Lili also opened up a mail-order lingerie business and a Hollywood boutique known as The Undie World of Lili St. Cyr. The catalog, which used both exaggerated illustrations of Lili and her glamour shots, promised that women would “be well dressed for that most delightful sport of all . . . [in styles] created to meet an unprecedented demand for the bold . . . the delicious . . . the naughty!” The sexy creations included bikini briefs, filmy negligees, lacy G-strings, and sparkly pasties, with names like Scantie Panties, Folies Bergere, Coy Miss, Lili’s Love, Lolita, and Fanny Hill.
Descriptions played up Lili’s connection to the lingerie. The ads divulged that in her personal appearances she wore the Illusion, a robe made of “yards and yards of sheerest Nylon--draped to reveal and conceal.” And they trumpeted the notion that “only Lili St. Cyr could design such a fabulous Nylon Lace dance set” as Lili’s Love, a halter bra and bikini. The lingerie boutique, which sold the same items as Lili’s mail order business, boomed and remained a Hollywood hot spot for over twenty years, attracting many designers and celebrities, including pop icon Madonna.
Want to see more of the catalog pages and ads? Kara Mae features a great gallery of them.