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Undressed: 350 Years of Underwear in Fashion

Home > Brisbane > Exhibitions | Fashion | Museums | Unusual Events | Vintage and Retro
by Andrew Gill (subscribe)
Im a former English teacher, currently working in the world of galleries, museums and cultural services. More importantly I'm a dad and husband on the lookout for family friendly activities.
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Take a peak under fashions skirts
undressed, bra, undies, skirts, corsets, underwear, fashion
Undressed Exhibition

Ever wondered what Queen Victoria wore under her dress? No probably not, but if you ever have then the new exhibition at the Queensland Museum will show you. You will also get to sneak a peek under the skirts of Fashion from the 1750's through to today, including one of the first known bras, along with notable underwear-inspired evening gowns by Versace, Lagerfeld, Westwood and Gaultier. Another highlight for some visitors should be a couture gown worn by Emma Watson on the red carpet.

Undressed: 350 Years of Underwear in Fashion is a touring exhibition from the renowned Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the Queensland Museum is just the second venue of its worldwide tour (Victoria being the first, grumble grumble). State rivalry aside this promises to be a truly unique exhibition for everyone from true fashionistas to the just plain curios. It explores the evolution of underwear over the centuries and it is a fascinating history as modesty and standards of beauty changed. From silk and satin, to Iron and leather, underwear through history has sought to conceal, flatten, shape or accentuate the female form, and with diet and exercise only becoming the norm for developing the desired body in the 1960's, it was underwear alone that was responsible for shaping bodies into the standards of beauty of the day prior to this.

undressed, bra, undies, skirts, corsets, underwear, fashion
Courtesy QLD Museum

The official press release states "This exhibition looks at the history of private and intimate clothing from corsets to court mantuas and boudoir wear to bustles exploring underwear's function in decorating and manipulating and adorning the body". Read a little more on the exhibition and it becomes clear that the exhibition will delve a little deeper too, exploring our evolving attitude to sex, beauty and gender through the undergarments that have shaped women's bodies in an ever changing fashion landscape.

All told there will be more than 80 items on display, many of which have not been out of storage since they were collected, and have never been seen by the public before.

undressed, bra, undies, skirts, corsets, underwear, fashion
Courtesy QLD Museum

On show in the level 3 gallery from 12 November 2014 through to the 1st February 2015, tickets will be $21.50 and $19 concession but under 15 can enter for free. As with most significant exhibitions of this sort there are some rules, such as no photography and all large bags must be checked. Have a look at the website for more details. This exhibition is also not suggested for children under 12, although the museum confirms that there will not be any overt sexual references or imagery. As with everything that might be a little taboo, parents are advised to use your discretion.

undressed, bra, undies, skirts, corsets, underwear, fashion
Courtesy QLD Museum

There are also a few special events planned during the exhibition period.

Arts After Dark will be held on 5th December and will include a live Art/Fashion installation project by QUT Fashion Industry Professionals, and a showcase of local lingerie designers as well as a live DJ and cocktails. All for $26.50.

If you are more interested in being some of the first visitors ever to have a guided tour of the Queensland Museum textile collection, you can join a behind the scenes tour for $45 adults, $40 concession or $15 for kids, and this includes your entry into the exhibition and is on offer between 21st and 28th November. The tour will focus on objects in the museums Western Dress Collection spanning from c.1775 to 2009 and also gives you the chance to learn more about how museum staff store and look after these items.

So don't be shy, and don't think it's taboo. Go and learn about a usually hidden history before it moves on to its next venue.
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Why? To see how undies have shaped fashion, and women, over the years
When: 12 November 2014 to 1st February 2015, 9.30am to 5pm daily.
Where: Queensland Museum
Cost: $21.50 Adults, $19 concession, under 15 free
Your Comment
This is great. Don't miss it.
by Lynne Cargill (score: 2|776) 2069 days ago
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