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All is revealed at Lausanne's history museum

Lausanne's history museum is likely to look more like a strip-joint than an educational establishment, when an exhibition on the secret history of underwear opens there this week.

This content was published on February 17, 2000 - 16:34

Lausanne's history museum is likely to look more like a strip-joint than an educational establishment, when an exhibition on the secret history of underwear opens there this week.

But the organisers are stressing the serious aspect of the collection, which brings together exhibits from the end of the 18th century to the present day.

"The History of Underwear - from secrecy to transparency" deals with changing attitudes to lingerie through the years. Originally something to be concealed, underwear is shown emerging in the 60s and 70s in the guise of T-shirts and bodies.

Underwear's modern publicity machine is also considered, with an examination of the role of catalogues, posters and the media. But the exhibition goes even deeper to investigate the new phenomenon of 'spiritual underwear', as video-confessionals show people stripping away the details of their private lives.

Conceived by the sociologist, Luzia Kurmann, the exhibition has already travelled through Lucerne and Lenzburg. It will be showing in Lausanne until the end of July.

By Mark Ledsom

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