Slip into something a little more comfortable—today’s new 5+5 interview gets up close and personal with Cora Harrington, founder and editor-in-chief of The Lingerie Addict. Harrington, who we’ve been thinking of as the First Lady of Lingerie (though Commander-in-Briefs also came to mind) is an internationally-recognized authority on intimate apparel, quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Vogue, Forbes, Elle and more. She’s been blogging since 2008, and turned her passion for underpinnings fashion into a full-time job in 2012.
The Lingerie Addict is the world's leading and largest lingerie blog, dedicated exclusively to intimate apparel. Whether sharing lingerie-adjacent ideas for at-home quarantine entertainment, making the case for lace as a gender fluid fabric, lining up cool loungewear to keep you comfy, covering the best binders for transmasculine folks, or unpacking the meaning of "handmade", Harrington and her featured writers emphasize inclusivity and the artistry of the genre. Flipping through the site, it’s super clear that lingerie a form of self-expression, that it can be empowering and mood-altering, that it’s for everybody and every body. (Harrington’s taken a clear stand on body shaming, and we’re here for it.)
Harrington’s goal is to open up and honor the world of lingerie, to demystify and endorse it as an avenue to creativity and fun. If that sounds like your bag, you’ll wanna check out her book In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie—an indispensable resource for those interested in wearing or exploring any kind of intimate apparel (with a foreword from burlesque legend Dita Von Teese). You’ll also wanna read her 5+5 of course, where she shares her thoughts on five favorite 20x200 art pieces and answers 5 quick Qs. She talks her love of historical fashion editorials, the magic that is the Metropolitan Museum of Art, why she opted to illustrate her book with Sandy Wirt’s stunning watercolors instead of photographs, and more. Read on! — Team 20x200
5 Perfect Picks
3) Fashion Models in Swim Suits by Toni Frissell
As someone who works in the fashion industry, how can I not choose a fashion photo? I adore historical editorials. The symmetry in this piece especially appeals to me.
4) Counter Intuitive by Margot Guralnick
After months spent indoors from the pandemic, a little taste of nature is what I need. The mushrooms and flowers in this painting remind me of childhoods spent in the park pressing leaves.
5) Washington D.C. Government charwoman by Gordon Parks
As a Black woman, I believe it's important to recognize my history and those who came before. I feel incredibly privileged to be able to live my life as a full-time writer, and I know that privilege is built on the backs of my ancestors.
5 Q's + 5 A's
1) What's your favorite museum?
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. When I moved to New York, it was one of the things I was most excited about visiting as often as possible. Of course, I love the Costume Institute exhibits, but my favorite of spending a few hours at The Met wandering into one of the emptier, quieter parts of the museum. It feels like a refuge from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan.
2) What's your most coveted coffee table book?
Underwear: Fashion in Detail (Hardcover edition)
3) Do you prefer a single statement piece or a salon wall?
My apartment has a long, wraparound hallway, so I'm hoping to turn that into an art gallery of sorts, focusing on women artists.
4) If you could be reincarnated as an artist, who would you want to be?
5) As longtime followers of Lingerie Addict, we know you obsess over the finer points of all manner of underthings. Your book, In Intimate Detail, is accompanied by beautiful, minimal watercolors that are works of art in their own right. What went into your decision to opt for these artful illustrations over photography?
I wanted my book to feel both timeless and accessible. Photography tends to show its age over long periods of time. Styles and aesthetics change; what seems modern in 2020 might be outdated in 2030. Watercolor illustrations allow my book to have longevity. In terms of accessibility...people often compare themselves to the models in photographs, even when they don't consciously intend to. Illustrations mean people can appreciate the pieces in their own right. They can envision themselves in the lingerie I'm talking about because there is no model taking up space in their mind. And watercolors are just pretty to look at too! Sandy Wirt, the artist, truly brought my book to life.
The 411 on Cora Harrington
Named “the woman changing the way we think about lingerie,” by Forbes Magazine, Cora Harrington is the author of In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie as well as the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Lingerie Addict, the world's leading digital lingerie magazine. She is an internationally-recognized authority in the area of intimate apparel, having lent her expertise to publications such The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, WWD, Bloomberg, The New Yorker, Allure, Vogue, Elle, Glamour, GQ, and The Root. Cora currently lives in NYC with her husband, and is working on her second book.