an NFSA website

Camp-Berlei Foundation Garments: Physiological Support (c.1927)


This tinted cinema advertisement for Camp-Berlei foundation garments includes mannequins and live models wearing a range of dresses, coats and hats by various fashion designers. They are all underpinned by the ‘basis for all frocking’ – Berlei foundation garments.

Curator’s notes

According to Berlei’s own advertising slogan of the past – their products are ‘the foundation upon which fashion rests’. In this advertisement we see both the fashions and the foundations in a tinted advertisement running over six minutes in length.

Berlei foundation garments have a history dating back to 1912 when Fred Burley founded Unique Corsets Limited with his brother Arthur. Berlei grew from a small store in Market Street Sydney where it offered ‘made to order’ corsets for discerning clientele. In 1919, Berlei Limited was born and since then the company expanded its product line into the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Today Berlei remains one of the most recognisable names in the manufacture and design of lingerie and underwear in Australia.

At the end of this advertisement, a title card explains that the fashions worn in the ad, along with the Berlei foundation garments modelled, could be viewed in 1927 on ‘living models’ by anyone interested at Berlei House which was then located in Regent Street, Sydney.