The V&A’s first major exhibition exploring the power, artistry and diversity of men’s fashion, this showcase places around 100 outfits alongside 100 artworks.
Displayed across three themed galleries, Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear explores the ways in which artists and designers, as well as their models and clients, have constructed and embodied forms of masculinity through fashion. The exhibition places contemporary looks by legendary designers alongside landmark loans and historic treasures pulled from the museum’s archive, including classical sculpture, Renaissance painting, iconic photographs and film.
Featuring looks by Harris Reed, Gucci and Grace Wales Bonner, as well as outfits worn by Billy Porter, Harry Styles, Marlene Dietrich and David Bowie, the exhibition is launching at a time of unprecedented creativity with menswear designs. The first room takes ‘Undressed’ as its theme, focussing on the male body and underwear, while the second room is ‘Overdressed’, exploring the elite masculine wardrobe. The final room, under the theme of ‘Redressed’ spans English country tailoring, the origins of the suit, the influence of military attire and changing attitudes to style.
Stretching from the history of lavish fashions in the European courts to the current explosion of energy and creativity in the current international fashion scene, this landmark exhibition for the museum puts menswear fully under the spotlight.