Monday, September 10, 2007

NGC Goes Undercover

Secrets of the Over The Shoulder Boulder Holder

Millions of women reach for one every day, but how much do they really know about their most intimate apparel? Throughout history, undergarments have shaped women’s bodies to reflect the social expectations of the time. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the bra. From boiling cauldrons to silk looms to metal factories, National Geographic Channel (NGC) traces the evolution of one of woman’s most provocative pieces of clothing.

Science meets fashion on Friday, September 28, 2007, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, when NGC travels around the world to reveal the secrets, history and complex construction behind one of the most highly engineered garments in the Secret History of the Bra. Delicate fabric, exquisite details and curve-hugging cups make the bra an ultimate symbol of femininity, but behind the fragile exterior lies tough design, grueling construction and complicated science. Some of the facts and figures revealed in the special include the following:

* Caterpillar spit, dirt, crude oil and molten metal are several of the ingredients in a bra.
* There are over 40 components of a bra.
* Over 4 million new bras are created on average every day.
* Each woman owns an average of six and a half bras.
* In the last 15 years, the average bust size has increased from 34B to 36C.
* The modern system of bra sizing was invented in 1928.
* How many ounces in a cup? An A cup — approximately 8 fluid ounces; B cup — 13 ounces; C cup — 21 ounces; and D cup — 27 ounces.
* Women’s breasts can range from 10 ounces to 20 pounds, and a 1.6-ounce bra has to support all shapes and sizes in between.
• Consumers spend around $16 billion a year on bras.

Secret History of the Bra follows the garment from its gritty beginnings in an oil puddle to the high-glamour fashion show where it makes its debut. Viewers will hear from the designers, engineers, colorists, industry executives and consumers who work together to keep up with the undergarment needs of the modern woman. Even the simplest bra is composed of complex industrial parts that require the expertise of chemical engineers, biomechanics scientists, veteran seamstresses and color specialists. It takes hundreds of machines to produce an item of clothing that will start to wear out after 90 days of use.

From an athletic body bandage in the Roman Empire to a full-fledged sex symbol, the bra has endured dramatic changes in fit and function throughout its existence. The bra continues to evolve to meet the needs of a new generation of women.

Secret History of the Bra is produced for the National Geographic Channel by Winton/duPont Films. For Winton/duPont Films, David Winton is executive producer; writer, producer and series producer/director is Anna Fitch. For National Geographic Channel, executive producer is Noah Morowitz and senior vice president of production is Juliet Blake.