1940s quilted suspender belt, The Underpinnings Museum. Photography by Tigz Rice Studios

The history of lingerie is an important part of the history of women’s changing role in society, yet it is rarely given the attention it deserves. The Underpinnings Museum is a radical innovation in showcasing and documenting exquisite objects, dedicated to the evolution of underwear through the ages.

Whilst high profile exhibitions on the history of lingerie hit the headlines in Paris, New York, Sydney and now London, and brands seek to celebrate their heritage by looking to their archives for inspiration, lingerie lovers can struggle to find in depth information and analysis of garments. The Underpinnings Museum aims to satisfy this desire by offering free access to all, with high-quality photography capturing the garments in exquisite detail. Each object is accompanied by extensive technical and historical contextual information.

The museum creates an invaluable community resource: whether it’s for lingerie lovers, fashion students, historians or home sewers, permanent items and regular exhibitions offer an unparalleled depth of insight and fresh perspectives on the world of undergarments through the ages and across the globe.

Founded in late 2016 by a team of lingerie lovers, the museum is an ongoing project, constantly updating and expanding its collections. Beginning by documenting the extensive vintage collection of a founding member (dating as far back as the 1700s, all the way to the modern day), the project will add crucial historical pieces to the archive and explore contemporary design controversies.

This museum was successfully funded by a Kickstarter campaign in October 2016. To read more about the campaign click here, and to see a list of our supporters click here.