On Sunday afternoon I went along to the Victoria and Albert Museum to check out 'Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear'. It's a temporary exhibition which follows the evolution of underwear design from the 18th century to the present day, with over 200 examples of everything from everyday items, to the luxurious and custom-made. The exhibition covers the notions of the ideal body through the ages. The beautiful corset below shows how tiny the waists were expected to be!
The exhibition also highlighted how lingerie still influences the fashions of today. London Fashion Week is in full swing and several of the collections use underwear influences with a new twist.
Preen uses corsets in their Autumn/Winter '17 collection, but layer them over chunky-knit sweaters.
This beautiful camisole top from the V & A collection uses soft silk and delicate lace trim.
The Christopher Kane Autumn/Winter '17 collection also uses delicate lace as shirts and dresses, but pairs them with an oversize knit in pastel pink, or layers it with a dramatic white fur-lined coat.
The silk and lace negligee from the exhibition, below, is just stunning in its delicacy and attention to detail. I love the v-shape that the lace creates.
Erdem used a similar type of lace and bias cut-style to create flowing dresses in shades of lilac in his Autumn/Winter '17 collection.
The example on the below right shows how large knickers have also been a part of underwear history, great for holding in the stomach area and contouring the body.
Large knickers were also represented at London Fashion Week, at the Anya Hindmarch Autumn/Winter '17 show, but they were more like baggy bloomers than body con fashion. She also included knitted play suits, all in a fabulous Alpine style.
The Undressed exhibition closes soon, and I recommend going along there before it goes.