Discover the secrets that lie beneath fashion, as the Victoria and Albert Museum bares all in Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear.
From supporting and shaping the body in line with the latest fashion, to its sensual appeal, the exhibition looks at the changing roles and practicalities of underwear through the centuries. On display are more than 200 men and women’s garments and accessories, as well as photographs, films, packaging and fashion plates.
Highlights include an 1890s 19-inch-waist whalebone corset, cotton drawers worn by Queen Victoria’s mother and an 1842 man’s wedding waist belt, shown alongside more modern items such as Liza Bruce’s sheer dress worn by Kate Moss, skin-coloured leggings by Vivienne Westwood, plus designer pieces by Stella McCartney, La Perla and Paul Smith. The exhibition also examines the works of major players and influencers in the world of underwear, such as Paul Poiret and his uncorseted dress designs, and inventors who worked towards making underwear more practical.
An essential part of any wardrobe, underwear helps us to understand the changing ideals of beauty and body through history.