Sky News Pictures Presents: 100 Years of the Bra

  1. Popular with men and women across the globe - albeit for varying reasons - the bra is celebrating 100 years.
    This gallery pays homage to the changing shapes, sizes, colours and guises of this century-old piece of lingerie.

    Dutch dancer and spy Mata Hari was among the first to front the emerging brassiere, in 1905.
    Two years later the bra debuted in US Vogue.

    The new designs caught the public's imagination.
    By 1925 department stores were selling suspender belt and bra sets.

    Men expressed an interest by 1933, as displayed by this scene from Tarzan The Fearless.
    Brave he may be, but how will our eponymous hero deal with the High-Priestess of Zar's bra strap?

    By the end of the Second World War, the bra had cemented its place as an outfit accessory.
    American actress Barbara Bates' Easter bunny costume obviously caught Hugh Hefner's attention, as Playboy magazine launched eight years later.
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  2. "A new and altogether different screen excitement" promised Alfred Hitchcock in 1960. The English director's fondness for blondes placed Janet Leigh in a bra to promote Psycho.
    Best not worn in the shower, though.

    By the 1980s the bra had made an impression in the music industry as well, with this portable stereo.

    That wasn't the only display of 1980s excess creeping into bra design.
    The world's biggest cups were unveiled in front of a lingerie store in the French town of Voiron at the end of the decade.

    More modest in size, though not in style, Jean-Paul Gaultier is credited with designing the most famous bra of the 20th Century.
    His black satin coned cups found their way into the public consciousness when they were sported on a world tour by Madonna in 1990.

    To her credit, Madonna was happy to draw attention to Gaultier's designs by wearing seldom else when performing in front of 115,000 people in Rio's Maracana Stadium.
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  3. Naomi Campbell helped high fashion briefly recapture the bra as a centrepiece of Christian Dior's 1997-8 collection.
    But it was another set of supermodels who became synonymous with a more impacting lingerie.

    That group included Slovakian model Adriana Karembeu, who succeeded Eva Herzigova as the face (and cleavage) of the Wonderbra campaign.
    The original "Hello boys" billboard greeting rose the profile of the company, and inadvertedly accounted for an increase in the number of traffic accidents involving "distracted" drivers.

    The Wonderbra was a High Street hit.
    A decade on, the new Multiplunge offered girls a variety of ways to wear the item.

    With celebrated bras come celebrated cleavages. UK model Kate Groombridge braves the elements to front up National Cleavage Day.
    The event announced the average British bra size is increasing.

    Models Marisa Miller and Heidi Klum (R) show their true colours when letting people in on a new uplifting range from Victoria's Secret.
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  4. Not all of the lingerie company's offerings are affordable though.
    This red hot fantasy bra set, modelled superbly by Brazilian Gisele Bundchen, is adorned with 300 carats of Thai rubies set with diamonds and semi-precious stones.

    Yours for £7.5m.

    This golden girl wears 18-carat cups to promote Australia's role as the world's third largest producer of the precious metal.

    Another golden design, but that shouldn't burden a girl's shoulders.
    This gold filigree bra weighs only 458.66 grams.

    If burning the bra has become a political statement of the past, recent designs have led modern forms of dissent.
    Greek artist Alexandros Psychoulis caused controversy with a series of bras attached with explosives - a reference to an Israeli supermarket blown up by a suicide bomber.

    Bras have also been used as a promotional tool for various causes.
    In the red corner, this capitalist cutie shows her support for the privatisation of Japan's postal service ...
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  5. ... while in the green, a model shows off her environmentally friendly Eco-globe bra.
    Made from materials including corn, Deccan hemp and paper, the lingerie set is fully recyclable.

    It may not be the sports bra popularised by the modern gym set, but a football World Cup wouldn't be complete without one.
    The Brazilian beaded bra is regularly picked out by cameramen looking to capture a buoyant match crowd.

    A recent charity auction held by Sotheby's offered punters a chance to pick up celebrity-made brassieres.
    One lucky bidder got their hands on this bra designed by Jennifer Aniston.

    Though the pick of the collection was Sheryl Crow's guitar-playing inspired set of cups.
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