16 April 2016 - 12 March 2017
Through over 200 garments, the V&A’s latest exhibition charts the history of underwear design from the 18th century to the present day. It’s definitely an eye-opening assortment, from the cuirass corset (1870s) which was made out of a piece of armour with a breast and back plate, to the shocking pink corset (shown here) from the 1890s which you’d expect to find in any Agent Provocateur shop today, to the sheer slip dress designed by Liza Bruce and worn by Kate Moss in 1993 (both in a Vogue shoot by Corinne Day and photographed by the paparazzi whilst going to a party). It’s a well curated show and is particularly interesting when it delves into why underwear developed as it did and the key points in its history. For example, the term Brasserie was coined in 1904/5, Lingerie is from the French word ‘Linge’ meaning linen and the corset only really graduated into the girdle as late as the 1930s due to the advance of latex. The show is on for a year so you’ve got a while to see it but don’t miss the accompanying talks too – Sarah Shotton, Creative Director of Agent Provocateur, will be talking to Kate Spicer on 15th April; musician Brian May will be talking about Crinoline (who knew he collected it and has written a book about it!) on 27th April and Antonio Berardi will be talking to Kinvara Balfour on 3rd June.