Introducing… The Underpinnings Museum

Those of you who follow me on social media will know that I’ve been involved in a side project over the last few months, unsurprisingly relating to underwear. 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 was conceived a radical innovation in showcasing and documenting exquisite objects, dedicated to the evolution of underwear through the ages.

1950s lace ruffle Merry Widow. Image © Tigz Rice Studios 2016. http://www.tigzrice.comWhilst 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. It’s an ongoing project too, constantly updating and expanding its collections. Beginning by documenting an extensive vintage collection dating between 1880-1960, the project will add crucial historical pieces to the archive and explore contemporary design controversies.

The brains and sheer driving force behind the museum is lingerie designer extraordinaire Karolina Laskowska, with assistance from me and the extremely talented photographer Tigz Rice. We’re only a week in and the project is now over 60% funded on Kickstarter, so thanks very much to everyone who has pledged so far! Karolina has put together some amazing rewards so, if you have any interest in vintage lingerie whatsoever, I highly recommend you take a look at the campaign page.

All images via The Underpinnings Museum, © Tigz Rice Studios 2016.

UPDATE: We smashed our fundraising target! Thanks so much to everyone who pledged. The museum’s website is now live, so pop over and have a look at the launch exhibition!

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Pique Lingerie, photography by Maria Vaorin