Undressed at the V&A- An Exhibition for every lingerie lover.

After finally planning a trip to London to go and see the Undressed Exhibition, I was not disappointed. There was so much information and history to take in and I was there for a good length of time reading absolutely everything. I will not give full details of the exhibition as I do not want to undermine the wonderful exhibition that the V&A have put on, and I want you all to go and visit it yourselves.


I was delighted to arrive at the V&A on a Tuesday where I got a £5 offer. The ticket is normally £12 so this was an unexpected great start to the day.

As I went in to the exhibition the first thing I noticed was the old fashioned petticoats and bustles. This fascinated me because as a child I was intrigued by the dresses of Cinderella’s step sisters, I assumed they had weird shaped bottoms when I was younger but learned a few years later that it was some sort of underskirt that would give them this shape- If they were real characters and not cartoons… The exhibition allowed me to see these hooped petticoats and bustles for the first time in real life and I can’t say that I think they will make a come back any time soon.


The other thing that I thought was well presented in the exhibition was the corsets. They showed the health effects through x-rays of corset wearers. I felt like this was important because although corsets aren’t worn as an everyday underwear choice for most people, they still can have negative effects on your rib cage and internal organs that not everyone is aware of. I also found out that they have corsets for pregnancy and breast feeding?! Who knew! I have to say that the idea of wearing a corset whilst you are pregnant does not appeal in the slightest and I did have my concerns about a babies health if you were to wear one. The variety of corsets was incredibly interesting, from fashion to maternity to sportswear, it was a real eye opener to me as I am not a corset person.

Pregnancy and maternity corset has lacing down the sides to adjust, and opening slips for breast feeding

Upstairs, there was a section on lingerie as outerwear which I really enjoyed. It talked about how designers have pushed the boundaries with lingerie as outerwear and showed some celebrity red carpet looks with the theme of lingerie. This was one of my favourite areas in the modern section of the exhibition.

A Mr Pearl, crystal embellished corset for Dita Von Teese to wear at her burlesque show.

I was told that Undressed was quite a small exhibition but I thought it was a good size. It wasn’t too small and it wasn’t too large and it was filled with lots of interesting lingerie garments and the history behind them. I certainly felt like my knowledge of lingerie, historically and modern, has broadened. I would recommend Undressed to anyone, male or female, with an interest in lingerie. There is also an inclusion of men’s intimates throughout the exhibition.

I purchased the book from the V&A for £10.

If you have been, let me know what your thoughts are. And if you haven’t been, you’re missing out and should definitely go.

Book tickets here. You have until March 2017 to go.




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