Undressed: An Exhibition of Underwear

Apr 19, 2016 0 comments

Underwear worn by British supermodel Kate Moss, corset worn by American burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese, boxers worn by star footballer David Beckham and drawers worn of Queen Victoria’s mother are some of the exhibits that are on display at the Queensland Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The exhibition titled “Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear” 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,” reads the mission statement on the museum’s website. Billed as the biggest exhibition of underwear ever to go on display, the exhibition will showcase over 200 pieces of garments representing over 350 years of development and history of underwear fashion.


Photo credit: The Guardian

The exhibits are displayed by theme, and separated into sections such as “Fashion, Health and Hygiene”, “Volume; Performance Underwear” and “Support: Bras and Girdles”.

Among the exhibits are such rare examples as custom-made “stays” worn by working woman in England in the 18th-century, and constricting 16th century iron corsetry, to avant-garde freedom by 20th century designers such as Versace, Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood. Aside from the regular cotton and satin, one can see lingerie made from paper during the lean times of World War I, and even undergarments made from brass and glass.

The exhibition will run until March 12, 2017.


Petticoat, Booth & Fox, about 1860, Britain, London, and Ireland, Cork. Photo credit: www.vam.ac.uk


Cotton and lace corset, 1890. Photo credit: www.vam.ac.uk


Bust bodice, satin, ca. 1929. Photo credit: www.vam.ac.uk


Little X Silhouette girdle, lycra and nylon, 1960s. Photo credit: www.vam.ac.uk


Photo credit: www.vogue.co.uk


Photo credit: www.vogue.co.uk


Photo credit: www.vogue.co.uk


Photo credit: www.vogue.co.uk


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