A new exhibition on the history of undergarments and how we have used them to reshape our bodies is currently running at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris.
The exhibition is entitled Behind the Seams: An Indiscreet Look at the Mechanics of Fashion, and will be on until November.
It explores the centuries-old practice of using lingerie to rearrange and constrain our bodies in line with changing notions of beauty.
200 items are chronologically displayed, and include a range of girdles, bustles, stomach-tucking belts, corsets and push-up bras, with the earliest dating back to the 14th century when physical changes created by undergarments indicated one’s status in society.
Contemporary items designed by Christian Lacroix, Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen and Dolce & Gabbana are also on display.
The low lighting and dark walls within the exhibition space have been used to create a magical atmosphere and ensure the focus remains on the objects displayed, scenographer Constance Guisset claimed.
Although Eurocentric, the exhibition is an archival moment that thoroughly illustrates the Western notion of beauty and how it has changed throughout history.