By Chris Nashawaty
Updated May 04, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

Wedged somewhere between the worlds of brown-wrapper smut and goatee-stroking high art, Taschen’s saucy photo books are a veritable Teutonic smorgasbord of thinking man’s (and woman’s) kink. Pin-Ups, the latest entry in the German publisher’s pocket-size Icons series, is dedicated to those garter-wearing gals of the ’40s, whose torpedo brassieres, fishnet stockings, and winking come-hither stares oozed sex to panting GIs stationed overseas. Back then these taboo boudoir shots must have seemed like titillating forbidden fruit, hinting that beneath every suburban housewife’s apron lay the naughty gear of a sublimated bedroom vixen. But today, as thong-clad Victoria’s Secret models stare from every billboard and bus stop, these relatively chaste images from a bygone era prove that sometimes showing less can reveal more.