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Berlei Advertisements

These cinema and television advertisements promote Berlei’s extensive range of foundation garments, corsetry and lingerie.

The National Film and Sound Archive holds around 90 Berlei cinema and television advertisements from the 1920s through to the 1990s. These advertisements include examples of silent and tinted film (like Camp-Berlei Foundation Garments: Physiological Support) as well as advertisements produced in the 1950s and 1960s for Berlei by Artransa Park Film Studios – a Sydney radio production house which went into television production in 1956.

Berlei’s cinema and television advertisements for its products over the course of the last century until today provide an important record of the development of women’s undergarments and corsetry over that time.

The common thread through all these advertisements is Berlei’s commitment to tasteful and comfortable lingerie and corsetry. From the 1920s when it made Berlei Corsets: Beautiful Lines of Woman Triumphant, Berlei has continued to promote its design as one of both fashion and comfort. Berlei’s advertisements also capture social customs, fashions, design trends, and the roles and projected images of women. A strong example of this can be seen in Berlei Cinema Advertisement: It Isn’t Done (1930). The advertisement samples the fashions of the 1930s but couches the ad in a narrative of a young naïve woman trying to make a good first impression in society. It is also a beautiful example of art deco set design.

Berlei foundation garments have a history dating back 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.

Advertisements often capture the details which shimmer around the edges of the products or services they promote, and this is certainly the case with Berlei. According to Berlei’s own advertising slogan of the past – Berlei products are the ‘the foundation upon which fashion rests’.

You can read more about the history of Berlei on the Berlei Australia website.

Titles in this collection

Berlei Cinema Advertisement: It Isn’t Done 1930

The art deco interiors with shaped mirrors, door frames and seating all align with Berlei’s reputation for quality and beauty.

Berlei Corsets: Beautiful Lines of Woman Triumphant c1920

This advertisement shows the fuller figures of the models as compared with models of today.

Berlei Underwear Cinema Advertisement: Sarong 1950

The Berlei ‘Sarong’ girdle is aimed at active women who want comfort and freedom to move at the same time.

Berlei Underwear TV Advertisement: Sarong Body Magic 1968

Berlei’s products are known for accommodating women of all shapes and sizes.

Camp-Berlei Foundation Garments: Physiological Support c1927

Today Berlei remains one of the most recognisable names in the manufacture and design of lingerie and underwear in Australia.