Walking into the V&A Museum in London you instantly feel in awe of your surroundings, the tall ceilings, intricate decorative detailing, floor to ceiling glass display cases and significant historical items in every direction, it is difficult to stay focused on what you have set out to see.
However my task was to come view the Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear Exhibition, as we have one of our best-selling Nicola Jane post-surgery bras, the Cara Padded Lace Elegance Bra (7041) featured in the Exhibition.
Having met with Susanna, one of the Exhibition Researchers early last year, I have worked alongside her, helping where possible to answer any mastectomy/post-surgery bra queries and help her choose the Nicola Jane style that she would like to use in the Exhibition. Susanna was very thorough when deciding which post-surgery style she wanted to include, and I can see why. Walking around the Exhibition I excitedly scanned the glass cabinets, trying to spot the bra I had come to see and there it was, placed on a black velvet mannequin I can proudly say the Cara Bra looks so feminine, the soft lilac colour and matching lilac lace detail sits so well against the contrasting black velvet, it is certainly not hard to believe that this bra is a Nicola Jane customer favourite!
The Exhibition itself is both educational and interesting, drawing you into the world of underwear and how it has developed throughout history. It takes you through different historical periods where undergarments were seen as a practical, through to more modern times where underwear has developed into a fashionable item in itself, pushing boundaries where possible. One theme that I noticed ran throughout the entire Exhibition was how undergarments have predominately been used to enhance or adapt a woman's shape, whether it is to increase bust size, create the illusion of a smaller waist through corsetry, or to provide the best support. Certain fashions in both clothing and body shape affects the design of these items but yet they are all designed to create a certain shape under clothing, just like the Cara Mastectomy Bra, which is designed to create a certain shape under clothing, post-surgery. The moulded padded cups create a smooth even shape, whilst the pockets are designed to hold a prosthesis creating an even breast shape.
Having seen the Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear Exhibition for myself I would certainly recommend going to visit the V&A Museum. The exhibition is on until Sunday 12th March 2017 and is located in the Fashion Temporary Exhibition Space.