Lillian Bassman was one of the few highly successful female fashion photographers of the 1950s. In place of heavy-set women constraining themselves in what was essentially equipment, Ms. Bassman deployed immeasurably lithe models, conveying a world in which women seemed to linger in the pleasures of their own sensuality. In her eye the undergarment emerges as a wardrobe unto itself, as if anything else in a woman’s closet were simply an imposition.

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