‘Gilded Lilies’ examines the work of Sparklewren, one of the most influential and memorable makers in the modern corsetry movement. Sparklewren’s notoriously opulent aesthetic treats corsetry as a foundation in the architectural sense, creating the base for wearable mixed-media sculpture. This exhibit explores Sparklewren’s development, exploration, reinvention, and abandonment of numerous techniques for construction, fabrication, boning, patterning, and, of course, embellishment of corsetry. Also included are exclusive behind the scenes and editorial photography, sketches, fabric samples, and garments both inspiring to and influenced by the designer.
‘Lingerie For Your Hair’ examines the boudoir cap, an oft-neglected piece of lingerie with immense historical significance. The garment saw immense popularity in the 1910s and 1920s, a time of great social change: as women navigated changing attitudes towards sex, class and social status, the cap became an invaluable accessory. This exhibition charts the evolution of the cap, and explores notions of sex appeal and the concept of ‘the boudoir’.
Remaking The Past showcases the work from our 2017 collaborative project with LCF’s MA Pattern & Garment Technology students, who were set the challenge of replicating their choice of objects from the museum’s collections. Each garment replica is accompanied by detailed technical drawings and garment pattern, offering a fascinating insight into the complexity of underwear design and construction through the 20th century.
A celebration and exploration of the contemporary corset revolution, the exhibition shares the work of both modern corsetieres and the historical objects that left an indelible mark on design today.
38 exquisitely curated objects chart the best of modern corsetry and its historical influences. Highlights include a 16” waist corset by Dark Garden belonging to Guinness’ World Record Holder of the smallest waist on a living person Cathy Jung, and a couture creation by British designer Emiah with over 7000 hand stitched beads, taking over 1700 hours of hand labour.
On Friday 12th January 2018, the Underpinnings Museum held an academic conference 100% online as part of our ongoing quest to bring the history of underwear to a wider audience, making collections and research freely accessible. As social media can be a rather fleeting medium, in order to keep a permanent record of the conference proceedings we have documented each presentation through our blog.
How did technological advances affect bra-making? What were the wider reaching social consequences? Discover fascinating facts through this new exhibition boasting more than 30 rare and historically significant objects spanning from the 1900s to the 1970s. Exploring shifts in fashionable bust shape, comfort and attitudes to women’s bodies throughout the 20th century, the exquisite exhibits include a couture 1930s Kestos bra, an original Dior 1950s longline bra, 1900s garments and luxury pieces by French heritage design house Cadolle!
A series of 4 videos, detailing museum archive pieces, conceived by MA students at London College of Fashion.