The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie

Genre: Nonfiction, Women's Studies; Author: Malu Halasa, Rana Salam

The most traditional Syrian women ?are shrouded in burkas when they shop in the souks, where they buy some of the most astonishing and beautiful underwear in the world. ? Journalist Malu Halasa and designer Rana Salam show Westerners the opulent bra-and-panty sets, which put red latex, plastic flowers, and toy cell phones in places where most women prefer breathable cotton. For some Middle Eastern wives, the over-the-top lingerie is a rare chance for sexual expression; ?for others, a desperate defense against straying husbands. Though the reporting fascinates, it’s The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie’s photos of spectacular skivvies that will spark ? debate on gender politics (and taste). B+

Originally posted September 24 2008 — 12:00 AM EDT

More from Our Partners