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Undressed: 350 Years Of Underwear In Fashion


Sat 28 Mar 2015, 10:00am
Sun 12 Jul 2015, 10:00am

Where: Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo, New South Wales

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Adult: $15.00
  • Child: $8.00
  • Additional fees may apply


Listed by: tessrobrien

The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences is proud to reveal fashion’s secret history with a new exhibition, Undressed: 350 Years of Underwear in Fashion, opening at Powerhouse Museum on Saturday 28 March.

Organised by the world’s leading museum of art and design, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the exhibition features more than 80 garments from the V&A’s extensive collection of underwear, many which have never before been on public display.

The exhibition explores underwear’s function in decorating and manipulating the body. From corsets and petticoats, brassieres and boudoir wear to bustles, the exhibition spans 350 years of fashion history, bringing together the garments that secretly and privately reduced, lifted, padded, adorned, revealed and concealed the body.

“The V&A holds one of the most important and extensive collections of fashionable dress in the world, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase these examples of significant, rare and beautiful historical underwear,” says Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences’ Senior Curator Roger Leong.

Highlights include Queen Victoria’s undergarments, one of the earliest known bras, and many rare, delicate and beautifully detailed items worn by some of the world’s most glamorous women. Men’s underclothes will also be shown, as will everyday essentials by major retailers such as Marks & Spencer. From the dramatic engineering of a 17th century iron corset through to the satin revolution of the Wonderbra, see striking pieces by world famous fashion designers, Calvin Klein, Christian Dior, to the avant-garde freedom of Gianni Versace, Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood.

Undressed’s core themes include modesty and practicality; decoration and seduction; control and corsetry; volume, curves, bustles and petticoats; support, uplift and the bra; high fashion and underwear as outerwear; and body image.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated V&A publication, Underwear: Fashion in Detail, by the exhibition curator Eleri Lynn, containing extraordinarily detailed illustrations of the objects in the show.

Undressed: 350 years of Underwear in Fashion, an exhibition organised by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, will be on display from Saturday 28 March at Powerhouse Museum.