"Undressed" exhibition to open at V&A
Now, it has taken a closer look at underwear through the ages with its latest exhibition, the humorously titled "Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear." This is the largest museum exhibition of underwear ever to go on display, and opens on April 16. Among the more than 200 examples of underwear for both sexes, visitors can see everything from corsets and crinolines to pop-art bikini briefs, a style that was associated with gay culture in the 1960's.
Part of the fascination of the exhibition is seeing how society's attitude to underwear has changed through the ages - from garments designed to be invisible to lingerie meant to be put on display. Prior to the launch, the V&A acquired more than 60 pieces for its permanent collection, including a waist trainer that looks right at home among the older corsets, and Acne Studios' unisex briefs.
Other interesting items include the sheer Liza Bruce-dress worn by Kate Moss in 1993 and an opaque Mary Quant-body, as well as a shelter suit worn in bomb shelters during the Blitz - underlining how underwear through the ages has always ranged between the functional and sensual.
"Undressed" is on from April 16 - May 12 at the V&A.
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