V&A will exhibit first 'gender fluid' collection of menswear

V&A is to stage first exhibition exploring ‘gender fluidity’ in menswear throughout history – from Renaissance paintings to Harry Styles’ Gucci suit

  • Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear will open in March next year 
  • Exhibition, sponsored by Gucci, will showcase menswear across the centuries
  • Collection presents 100 looks alongside 100 artworks across three galleries
  • The V&A has announced it will stage its first exhibition exploring gender fluidity in menswear throughout history. 

    Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear will include looks from big name labels like Gucci, classical sculptures, Renaissance paintings, as well as outfits worn by stars including Harry Styles and Sam Smith.  

    Opening in March, the collection will present around 100 looks and 100 artworks displayed thematically across three galleries, Undressed, Overdressed, and Redressed. 

    The Victoria and Albert Museum are set to display their first collection exploring gender fluidity in menswear throughout history. Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear will include looks stars including Harry Styles

    A photograph of Sam Smith photographed by Alasdair McLellan wearing a tie-neck shirt by Hermes will feature in the collection

    The Victoria and Albert Museum are set to display their first collection exploring gender fluidity in menswear throughout history. Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear will include looks stars including Harry Styles (left). A photograph of Sam Smith photographed by Alasdair McLellan wearing a tie-neck shirt by Hermes (right)  will feature in the collection

    The exhibition will explore androgynous clothing and feature Billy Porter's pink cloak from the 2019 Golden Globes will also be exhibited

    The exhibition will explore androgynous clothing and feature Billy Porter’s pink cloak from the 2019 Golden Globes will also be exhibited 

    Portrait of Prince Alessandro Farnese (1545-1592), c.1560. A young Italian prince in a fine embroidered cloak and hat. Wearing a doublet and hose

    An oil on canvas portrait of Charles Coote, full-length standing wearing pink robe and feathered hat, hand resting on sword in scabbard.

    The portrait of Italian Prince Alessandro Farnese (left), born in 1545, wearing a fine embroidered cloak and hat will feature alongside an oil canvas portrait of Charles Coote, standing wearing pink robe and feathered hat (right)

    Undressed, will explore the male body and underwear, while Overdressed, will examine the ‘elite masculine wardrobe’. The third, Redressed, reflects on English country tailoring and the origins of the suit. 

    Among the treasures going on display is a portrait of Italian Prince Alessandro Farnese, born in 1545, wearing a fine embroidered cloak and hat. It will be shown alongside an oil canvas portrait of Charles Coote (1610-1661) in a pink robe and feathered hat.  

    The Bronze Age Statue by Auguste Rodin, depicting a life-size nude male will be exhibited alongside images from Robert Longo’s famed Men in the Cities’ series, which he exhibited at Metro Pictures in 1981. 

    The exhibition is sponsored by Gucci and will feature the blue suit from the fashion house’s pre-fall 2019 collection worn by Harry Styles at his Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in New York in March 2019. 

    Billy Porter’s pink cloak from the 2019 Golden Globes will also be exhibited, alongside a photograph of Sam Smith photographed by Alasdair McLellan wearing a  tie-neck shirt by Hermes. 

    A wool coat, trousers, and silk top hat worn in the United States around 1845-1853

    In his staged, theatrical photographs, Omar Victor Diop dignifies Black historical narratives. They feature in his acclaimed 'Diaspora' series from 2014 and will be on display as part of the collection.

    Theatrical photographs by Omar Victor Diop (right) will feature alongside a wool coat, trousers, and silk top hat worn in the United States around 1845-1853 (left) 

    The collection is sponsored by Gucci and will feature the Italian house's pre-fall 2019 collection blue suit worn by Styles in the brand's Tailoring campaign and at his Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in New York in March 2019

    The collection is sponsored by Gucci and will feature the Italian house’s pre-fall 2019 collection blue suit worn by Styles in the brand’s Tailoring campaign and at his Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in New York in March 2019

    British-American fashion designer Reed is known for their gender fluid designs and the exhibit will feat outfits from their Fluid Romanticism collection

    British-American fashion designer Reed is known for their gender fluid designs and the exhibit will feat outfits from their Fluid Romanticism collection

    Alessandro Michele's red lapel coat for Gucci's 2015 Fashion Week collection will be displayed in the collection

    Alessandro Michele’s red lapel coat for Gucci’s 2015 Fashion Week collection will be displayed in the collection 

    An extract from Matthew Bourne’s all-male dance performance New Adventures will also be displayed alongside artworks by David Hockney and photographs of Oscar Wilde, Claude Cahun and Cecil Beaton. 

    An image from the 1979 album The Teds – a documentary photography book detailing the life of British youth subculture in the 1960s – by Chris Steele-Perkins, will feature. 

    From the high fashion world, Alessandro Michele’s red lapel coat for Gucci’s 2015 Fashion Week collection will be displayed alongside Orange Culture’s Autumn Winter 2020 Flower Boy two-piece set.  

    An extract from Matthew Bourne's all-male dance performance New Adventures (pictured) will also be displayed alongside artworks by David Hockney

    An extract from Matthew Bourne’s all-male dance performance New Adventures (pictured) will also be displayed alongside artworks by David Hockney

    The Bronze Age Statue by Auguste Rodin, depicting a life-size nude male will be exhibited

    Robert Longo's famed Men in the Cities' series, which he exhibited at Metro Pictures in 1981 will be on display

    The Bronze Age Statue by Auguste Rodin (left), depicting a life-size nude male will be exhibited alongside images from Robert Longo’s famed Men in the Cities’ series (right), which he displayed at Metro Pictures in 1981

    An image from the 1979 book, The Teds, by Chris Steele-Perkins titled Ted with comb will feature in the exhibit

    An image from the 1979 book, The Teds, by Chris Steele-Perkins titled Ted with comb will feature in the exhibit 

    Orange Culture's Autumn Winter 2020 Flower Boy two-piece set will be displayed

    Garments from Wales Bonner's Spring Summer 2015 Afrique collection featured

    Orange Culture’s Autumn Winter 2020 Flower Boy two-piece set (left) will be displayed as well as garments from Wales Bonner’s Spring Summer 2015 Afrique collection (right) 

    As part of the show focused on tailoring, the exhibit will feature a Nicholas Daley outfit from the Blackwatch collection

    As part of the show focused on tailoring, the exhibit will feature a Nicholas Daley outfit from the Blackwatch collection

    As part of the show focused on tailoring, the exhibit will feature a Nicholas Daley outfit from the Blackwatch collection as well as garments from Wales Bonner’s Spring Summer 2015 Afrique collection. 

    ‘Masculine fashion is enjoying a period of unprecedented creativity,’ the exhibition’s co-curators, Claire Wilcox and Rosalind McKever, said in a statement.

    ‘It has long been a powerful mechanism for encouraging conformity or expressing individuality.’