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Jan 14, 2022
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Men's clothing in the spotlight at Victoria and Albert Museum

Jan 14, 2022

The Victoria and Albert Museum will present, from March 19 to November 6, the exhibition "Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear," dedicated to the history of men's clothing, as well as to the evolution of men's appearance and masculinities. Over a hundred looks and as many works of art will be assembled to present a picture of the diversity of men's clothing, as well as open up dialogue on ideas about gender identity.

Long neglected in favor of women's wardrobes, men's clothing will be the focus of a major exhibition at the V&A in London in a few weeks' time. "Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear," organized in partnership with Gucci, is the first exhibition at the famous museum to pay tribute to the diversity of men's clothing, from the Renaissance to today. 

Through three galleries, organized thematically, no less than a hundred outfits will be on display, mixing designer creations and period costumes, as well as a hundred works of art -- sculptures, paintings and photographs -- from the V&A collections and loans. Spanning the Renaissance to the contemporary period, the exhibition will bring together looks by Harris Reed, Gucci, and Grace Wales Bonner with paintings by artists Sofonisba Anguissola and Joshua Reynolds, as well as contemporary artworks designed and created by Robert Longo and Omar Victor Diop. To reflect the evolution, and plurality, of masculine identities, the museum will also present an excerpt from a dance performance by Matthew Bourne's company New Adventures.

Beyond a simple retrospective of menswear, the exhibition will invite visitors to question the diversity of male sartorial expression, particularly in recent years, via a host of icons whose looks blur the boundaries between the genders. Harry Styles, Billy Porter, Sam Smith, David Bowie, and Marlene Dietrich, are among the key figures whose style visitors will learn about throughout the exhibition.

The three galleries will address three major themes -- Undressed, Overdressed, and Redressed. The first will focus on the male body and undergarments, while the second will look at the male wardrobe of the high-society elite, from the Renaissance to the present day. The third will look at the history, construction and evolution of suits and tailoring over the centuries.

"Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear," in partnership with Gucci runs March 19 to November 6, 2022 at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

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