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Mulberry sponsors V&A's upcoming Bags exhibition

Dec 5, 2019

The next major fashion exhibition opening at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum will be all about bags, from designer handbags to vanity cases to military rucksacks.

Karl Lagerfeld's Lait de Coco handbag will be featured alongside designs by Balenciaga and Christian Dior - Jason Lloyd Evans

Every year for the past six years, the museum has staged a revelatory exhibition tracing the ins and outs of fashion’s most prestigious designers and the evolution of wardrobe essentials.

Shows about Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Mary Quant have been joined by exhibitions on the history of shoes and underwear. 

The museum’s latest subject is the bag, in all its forms. Sponsored by Mulberry, the UK luxury handbag brand, ‘Bags: Inside Out’ will look at the ultimate fashion accessory and our longstanding fascination with it.

While designer items from the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Hermès and Off-White will be on display, including an early 1900s Louis Vuitton trunk, Mulberry’s presence will be felt throughout the exhibition. 

Innovative Mulberry designs will be shown alongside statement handbags carried by Margaret Thatcher to Sarah Jessica Parker, while an exhibition section dedicated to ‘Status and Identity’ will likely feature the Alexa leather bag, named after the TV presenter and model of the same name.

Here, featuring an Hermès ‘Kelly’ named in honour of Grace Kelly and a ‘Lady Dior’ handbag named for Princess Diana, the exhibition will explore the powerful and influential world of celebrity endorsement. 

And the ‘Design and Making’ section will look at what happens behind the scenes in an atelier, with a ‘maker’s table’ allowing visitors to get up close and personal with bag making processes. Sketches, samples and prototypes from international fashion houses and Mulberry will show the innovative early stages of the design process, unveiling a world of skills passed down within heritage fashion houses.

A recent Mulberry collaboration with Acne Studios - Mulberry

A look to the future will finish the exhibition with a Stella McCartney backpack made from recycled ocean plastic waste and a bag crafted from decommissioned fire hoses by Elvis and Kresse.

Lucia Savi, curator of the event, said: “From a lavish 16th century burse made for royalty to the everyday tote bag, this exhibition offers an understanding and insight into the function, status, design and making of bags across the world and throughout history.”

Thierry Andretta, Mulberry CEO added: “As the largest luxury leathergoods designer and maker in the UK, bags have always been our passion. We are pleased to support this wonderful V&A exhibition that explores the unique status of these objects in our lives. Bags can be functional and beautiful, public and private; they carry cultural and personal meaning as well as our belongings and they are iconic pieces of design, worth celebrating in their own right.”

‘Bags: Inside Out’ opens at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London on 25 April 2020.

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