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UNDRESSED: A BRIEF HISTORY OF UNDERWEAR

 V&A_UNDERWEAR_02

V&A Museum exhibition until Sunday, 12 March 2017

Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear

Discover the fascinating and sometimes controversial story of underwear design from the 18th century to the present day

“Hold tight: the lingerie show that will take your breath away “
Anna Murphy, The Times

V&A_UNDERWEAR_04This exhibition explores the intimate relationship between underwear and fashion and its role in moulding the body to a fashionable ideal, with cut, fit, fabric and decoration revealing issues of gender, sex and morality.

Undressed: 350 Years of Underwear in Fashion

Underwear is fashion’s foundation. The majestic shapes of 18th century court dress, the distorted hourglass shapes of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, and Dior’s cinched ‘New Look’ were all dependent upon elaborate corsetry, technologically complex petticoats, hoops, and padded underpinnings. This exhibition will look at the history of private and intimate clothing – from corsets to court mantuas and boudoir wear to bustles – exploring underwear’s function in decorating and manipulating the body. Featuring highlights from the V&A’s extensive collection of underwear, the objects will be displayed thematically, and shown alongside contextual images from the V&A’s archives.

V&A_UNDERWEAR_01Both culturally emblematic and the most everyday of objects, underwear attracts interest, debate, and sometimes controversy.

Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear

will display more than 200 examples of men’s and women’s underwear from about 1750 to the present day. In particular, it will investigate how underwear design combines the practical and personal with the sensory and fashionable, in the process both protecting and enhancing the body. The exhibition will map developments in underwear design and explore the ways in which fashion designers have transformed underwear into outerwear.

Curating an exhibition is a process built on collaboration, between conservators, researchers, designers and other specialists. Our blog will allow you to experience some of their work through their own words. Our posts will also give us the chance to delve a little deeper into some of the themes, objects and personalities of Undressed.

The exhibition, Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear, will be on display at the V&A from 16th April 2016 to 12th March 2017.

Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Road,
London, SW7 2RL

# more info on website Victoria & Albert Museum

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