Undressed: 350 years of underwear in fashion July 21, 2014 22:33

We had a wonderful day trip to Bendigo for “Undressed: 350 years of underwear in fashion” and I’m glad we went to the morning talk by the Edwina Ehrman, Curator of Fashion and Textiles, Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Her talk was excellent, Edwina is very passionate about the topic and provided a lot of insight into pieces at the exhibition including the historical context for those garments.

Now it makes sense, why in “Die Fledermaus” Eisenstein was so enraged that Alfred was dressed only in a shirt! A man’s shirt was considered to be underwear and only members of the household would see a man in his shirt. To go out, a man would put on a waistcoat and a coat.V_and_A_Museum_Mens_Shirt

I finally got an answer to an age-old question I have had – what did the pregnant women wear?
Here it is – the pregnancy corset!  As Edwina Ehrman said, it is not as bad as it sounds, as these corsets had lace ups at the back and sides and could be adjusted as a woman’s body grew and changed.  Also, note the buttons under the bust – for feeding.V_and_A_Museum_Maternity_Corset_1900_FrontV_and_A_Museum_Maternity_Corset_1900_Back

Underwear_Fashion_in_detailAnother notable thing about the exhibition – is the catalogue. V& A produces fabulous books with lots of clear, colour photographs, excellent close ups and technical drawings for ALL items in the catalogues! Fashion addicts like me and my friend Natalia were all over it. Every seam is visible, technical drawing give an idea of the patterns… Heaven!

V&A Museum Half-boned Stays Britan, 1770s

All photos are  Copyright: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London