Bags: Inside Out
This September, the V&A will open Bags: Inside Out, the UK’s most comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the ultimate accessory. From designer handbags to despatch boxes, vanity cases to military rucksacks, the exhibition will explore our longstanding fascination with the bag.
Featuring innovative designs from Mulberry to Karl Lagerfeld, statement handbags worn by Margaret Thatcher to Sarah Jessica Parker, the heritage of Hermès to the streetwear of Off-White, and an exclusive look inside the world of the factory and atelier; Bags: Inside Out provides an unprecedented look at this global obsession. Often projecting bold statements to the outside world whilst concealing our most treasured belongings, the exhibition will explore the function, status and craftsmanship of bags. Examined through around 300 objects varying in scale from tiny purses held on a fingertip to luxurious travel trunks, this thematic exhibition will explore the worldwide heritage of these highly covetable objects from the 16th century to today.
Lucia Savi, curator of Bags: Inside Out at the V&A, said:
‘From a lavish 16th century burse made for royalty to the everyday tote bag, this exhibition offers an understanding and insight into the function, status, design and making of bags across the world and throughout history. These portable, yet functional accessories have long fascinated men and women with their dual nature that combines private and public. By exploring their continuing importance in our lives and as part of the history of design the exhibition highlights the V&A’s mission to illuminate the past and inspire designers of the future.’
Thierry Andretta, Mulberry CEO said:
‘As the largest luxury leather goods designer and maker in the UK, bags have always been our
passion. We are pleased to support this wonderful V&A exhibition that explores the unique status of these objects in our lives. Bags can be functional and beautiful, public and private; they carry cultural and personal meaning as well as our belongings and they are iconic pieces of design, worth celebrating in their own right.’
Image © Victoria and Albert Museum, London