The first extensive online museum dedicated to all things lingerie, covering historical and contemporary design!
About this project
As seen in:
In a world with museums for almost every facet of human life, we are severely lacking one of the most important elements of fashion: underwear, the foundation of all clothing. With the wonders of the internet, we want to bring to you a glorious resource and tribute to the wonderful world of underthings: comprehensive and freely accessible to all, regardless of geographical location!
Our aim is to create a website that catalogues (initially!) Karolina Laskowska’s current extensive collection of lingerie, offering detailed imagery of every garment and valuable historical contextual information. All of this will be supplemented with specially curated exhibitions, blog posts and constant new additions. In short, the closest digital thing to the experience you’d get in an actual museum, and even a bit extra!
What will the online museum show?
Initially, we hope to document the majority of Karolina Laskowska’s personal vintage lingerie collection. This currently covers from the late 19th century through to the late 1950s. It is primarily European and American design and entirely womenswear.
If the museum proves a success, we hope to not only expand on these historical collections but to also move into underwear of different cultural backgrounds and to introduce a contemporary gallery to offer an insight into beautiful modern design.
All objects will be professionally photographed to ensure that all are accurately represented to a high standard. Where possible, each garment will be photographed on a period-appropriate mannequin to give an accurate representation of fit. The garments will also be photographed to show interiors and all relevant construction details.
Each exhibit will be accompanied by relevant contextual information. For example: the garment origin, fabrics used, construction methods, historical significance and much more.
In time, we hope to curate exhibitions exploring numerous valuable themes in the world of intimates, as well as to introduce guest curators to bring in new perspectives and knowledge.
Why should I care?
This museum will create an incredible resource for all lovers of fashion. For students, home sewers, costumers and many more. Even for those who just want to look at pretty things!
As frivolous as it may seem on the surface, underwear plays a pretty important role in people’s lives. Documentation of lingerie in the larger world of fashion isn’t as extensive as other areas, and it is important to document these beautiful objects for the future. These delicate garments are a finite resource that cannot last forever: in many instances, century old silk is already fragile and beginning to shatter. The online museum offers a perfect platform to record these items before they succumb to the ravages of time.
Why an online museum?
Sadly, the costs of setting up and maintaining a physical museum are frankly astronomical and deeply unfeasible. As nice as it would be to display these garments ‘in the flesh’ it just isn’t a realistic aim for the time being.
The benefits of creating this museum online are threefold. Creating it digitally will drastically reduce the overheads, leaving more budget for growing and improving the project. By not grounding the museum in a single physical location, anyone can access it for free. Finally, the digital format will allow us to give you much more of an insight into each garment than an exhibition ever would. We’ll be able to share images of every garment view, including, where possible, the inside construction details. We can share measurements, fabric types and even garment weights (particularly relevant in the complex world of corsetry!).
Who are we?
Karolina Laskowska – founder/director/general underwear wrangler. Karolina is a lingerie designer and vintage underthings aficionado. She studied BA Contour Fashion at De Montfort University and has won numerous awards for her design work. She has been writing for The Lingerie Addict since 2011. This museum was born of her desire to share her love of underwear with the world and to provide an invaluable study resource on the topic.
Lori Smith – blogger and researcher with a focus on twentieth and twenty-first century underwear. She studied MA History and Culture of Fashion at London College of Fashion (UAL) and has spoken about her research at the Costume Society’s study day, the Association of Dress Historians conference, the M&S Company Archive and the, Victoria and Albert Museum. She has been blogging since 2002.
Tigz Rice – photographer specialising in lingerie and boudoir with a vintage aesthetic. An Adobe Influencer and a Wacom Influencer, she originally trained in Illustration at Westminster University, before her work naturally progressed into the world of digital imaging and retouching. Alongside a client list which includes Cosmopolitan Magazine, Westfield London and St Germain Liqueur, her work has dominated the European burlesque scene since 2009 and Tigz was listed in the the top 10 non-performing females in the global burlesque community in both 2013 and 2015.
What is the plan?
Currently, the groundwork for the museum is already set. The website is in the process of being built and tweaked and the first ’round’ of objects are already acquired. An initial selection of 13 objects have already been photographed for the museum. During the process of the campaign, we will be documenting and researching further objects for the collections.
Unfortunately, much of the museum work cannot be started until funds have been raised by this campaign. We are not in a position to self-fund the entirety of this project but hope that it will strike a chord with enough people that want to make it a reality!
Once funds have been raised, the first plan of action is to order period-specific mannequins for the majority of garments to be displayed on. These mannequins are made to order so we anticipate this being one of the more time-consuming elements of the process. Turnaround time is estimated at approximately 1 month. The mannequins that we hope to acquire include: a generic ‘vintage’ figure in smaller proportions than contemporary sample size (to suit the majority of the collection), a Victorian corset body, an Edwardian corset body and a 1930s slimline figure. Karolina already owns a contemporary sample size mannequin for modern garment which a small quantity of garments fit. Certain objects are unfortunately too small or fragile to be shown on a mannequin but we will endeavor to showcase them as accurately as possible laid flat.
Once mannequins have been acquired then the photoshoot sessions can be booked in. Images would hopefully be completed in a matter of weeks, ready to be added to the site immediately and for ‘reward’ fulfillment. During these periods of waiting for imagery, there will be much behind-the-scenes work in building exhibitions, researching and writing up contextual information and so on.
After the initial website ‘grand opening’, we hope to update the site with new objects every few months.
Regretfully, due to the full time employment of each team member, the timescale of this project is a little unpredictable and determined by personal work volumes. We are, however, optimistic that the website will be operational within a couple of months of this campaign’s completion. It will not be ‘finished’, as the intention is for this museum to never be ‘finished’; we intend to add exquisite examples of underwear as often as possible!
What is the budget?
Our initial funding aim is £6300 to cover the bulk of set up costs. The three biggest costs for this project are photography, mannequins and cost of rewards.Each of these cover between £1200-2200 of the entire budget.
£1200 will cover 2 days of photography and 2 days of image editing.
£200 will cover the cost of travel to and from photoshoots.
£1300 will cover the acquisition of 4 period-appropriate mannequins.
£500 is estimated to cover the costs of exhibit research.
£350 is estimated to cover the costs of the website, administration and other running costs.
£2000 is estimated to cover the cost of rewards and postage.
£315 is estimated to cover Kickstarter fees.
£252 is estimated to cover payment processing fees.
£183 allows a little wiggle room should any estimates be too low.
This is the minimum amount of funding that we have estimated to cover the costs of getting this project off the ground. We hope to raise well above the goal. Any additional funding will go into the acquisition of new objects, more photoshoots and generally building and promoting the museum.
How can I help?
Aside from donating to this campaign, you can share this project on social media. If you have any of your own historical knowledge or vintage garments in your personal collection, we’d love to hear from you! We’d especially love to include undergarments from non-Western cultures.
What are the project rewards?
Postage costs not included. Postage costs will vary depending on location. Rewards are not returnable unless faulty.
If you wish to purchase multiple rewards, please either:
1. pledge the total value of the combined rewards for the highest value reward, and contact us at [email protected] to clarify which rewards you would like to receive
2. make multiple accounts to place multiple pledges
Unfortunately the current Kickstarter system does not allow for separate pledges to be made!
For rewards with multiple options, a survey will be sent out at the end of the kickstarter to verify your choices.
Underpinnings keyring £3
Receive an acrylic keyring with the museum logo and photoprint of one of our favourite objects. Choose from 3 different designs. Pledge £9 and select this reward to receive all 3 designs! Also be listed as a patron of the museum on the website.
Underpinnings greeting card £3.50
A beautiful double-sided lingerie-themed greeting card: printed with both the front and back views of the garment on opposing sides of the card for the full lingerie experience. Choose from one of 3 designs (1950s merry widow, 1930s strappy bra or 1900s tulle teddy). Printed on 350gsm card and comes with a white envelope. Inside is blank for your own message. Pledge £10.50 and select this reward to receive all 3 designs! Also be listed as a patron of the museum on the website.
Postcard pack 1 £5
A pack of 5 postcards, printed with a selection of our 1920-1930s lingerie images. Left blank on one side for your own messages. Includes: two strappy bras, two pairs of tap pants and a boudoir cap. Views will include mannequin photos, flat lays and detail close ups. Also be listed as a patron of the museum on the website.
Postcard pack 2 £5
A pack of 5 postcards, printed with a selection of our 1940-1950s lingerie images. Left blank on one side for your own messages. Includes: a lace appliquéd Merry Widow, a quilted satin bra, a quilted satin and lace suspender belt, high-leg suspender knickers and couture lace appliqué stockings. Views will include mannequin photos, flat lays and detail close ups. Also be listed as a patron of the museum on the website.
Postcard pack 3 £5
A pack of 5 postcards, printed with a selection of our 1900-1910s lingerie images. Left blank on one side for your own messages. Includes: a full length cotton and lace petticoat, silk tulle and lace teddy and a silk corset. Views will include mannequin photos, flat lays and detail close ups. Also be listed as a patron of the museum on the website.
Become a patron of the museum! £6
Be listed on the website as a supporter of the project, receive behind-the-scenes blog access for the duration of the project set up.
Mega postcard pack – 15 designs £12
Receive all 3 postcard packs at a discount! Left blank on one side for your own message, with pieces from our 1900-1950s garments. View above for more details on what this pack will include. Also be listed as a patron of the museum on the website.
Underpinnings Tote Bag – £10
A natural cotton tote bag, printed with the beautiful Underpinnings Museum logo in black on one side. Bag is 38cm x 43cm with long handles. Also be listed as a patron of the museum on the website and receive access to a BTS blog.
A5 catalogue – £15
An A5 printed booklet catalogue of the initial museum objects, ranging from 1900-1950s. Will include front, back and detail views of each garment, as well as written information on each object. Also be listed as a patron of the museum on the website and receive access to a BTS blog.
Polaroid photograph (limited) £20
A signed and dated polaroid photograph from the first photoshoot for The Underpinnings Museum. This will be selected at random from a variety of film borders, image styles and garments. Strictly limited edition. Also be listed as a patron of the museum on the website and receive access to a BTS blog.
A3 poster of exclusive Zoetica Ebb illustration – £20
An A3 poster print of an exclusive bunny girl illustration created by artist Zoetica Ebb, inspired by some of the 1930s objects in our collection. Also available as an Art print in a higher-tier reward. Sent in a poster tube. Also be listed as a patron of the museum on the website and receive access to a BTS blog.
Exclusive lingerie choker by Karolina Laskowska – £25
An exclusive lingerie-inspired choker created for this campaign by Karolina Laskowska. Black satin elastic, a delicate textured O-ring and a hand-wire wrapped freshwater pearl make this the perfect lingerie accessory. Choose from a black or ivory pearl, with a choice of gold or silver-toned components. Strictly limited edition.
Underpinnings Museum 2017 Calendar – £25
Lingerie for the whole year! A delicious 2017 wall calendar filled with 12 images from our initial museum photoshoot. A3 size. Also be listed as a patron of the museum on the website and receive access to a BTS blog.
Digi-lingerie pack 1 – £25
A digital download pack containing a selection of high-resolution detail images from the museum and 3 garment patterns taken from bras in the collection (include a 1920s bandeau, a 1950s spiral stitch bullet bra and a 1950s cathedral boned bra). Patterns will be taken directly from the garments in their original sizes and accompanied by detailed technical drawings. Also be listed as a patron of the museum on the website and receive access to a BTS blog.
Digi-lingerie pack 2 – £25
A digital download pack containing three video files of Karolina and Lori talking through their favourite museum objects in detail. Also be listed as a patron of the museum on the website and receive access to a BTS blog.
Underpinnings Museum silk knickers – £60
A silk and stretch mesh panelled knicker, hand-printed with the museum logo. Available in sizes UK 8-18. Silk colour will be a lucky dip depending on current stocks (mostly shades of pinks, reds and oranges). Hand made in the UK by Karolina Laskowska. Also be listed as a patron of the museum on the website and receive access to a BTS blog.
A3 Art print of exclusive Zoetica Ebb illustration – £65
An A3 high quality Art print on photo rag paper of an exclusive bunny girl illustration by artist Zoetica Ebb, inspired by some of the 1930s objects in our collection. Also available as a poster print in a lower-tier reward. Sent in a poster tube. Also be listed as a patron of the museum on the website and receive access to a BTS blog.
Lingerie mega pack – £225
Mega reward pack! Receive x3 keyrings, x3 greeting cards, x15 postcards, tote bag, A5 catalogue, 2017 calendar, silk knickers, Zoetica Ebb art print, digi-lingerie packs 1 & 2, BTS blog access and be listed as a museum patron. Save £31.50 when buying everything together!
Lingerie digital meet-up – £350
Have a one-on-one skype meeting with Karolina for up to 1 hour to discuss her favourite vintage pieces from the museum. To be arranged in accordance with GMT and subject to terms & conditions (selection of this perk indicates access to internet/webcam/microphone facilities and ownership of a skype account. Inappropriate conduct will not be tolerated and will result in the termination of the meeting). Also be listed as a patron of the museum on the website and receive access to a BTS blog.
Custom lingerie set – £1000
A totally unique, custom lingerie set made just for you by Karolina Laskowska. Receive a bra and knicker set made to your size and design preferences. Choose from a selection of stunning garment silhouettes, beautiful fabrics and exquisite embellishment options. (Please note that depending on garment sizes there may be certain limitations to the garment shapes and fabrics that can be used).
Custom corset – £5000
A totally unique, custom corset made just for you by Karolina Laskowska. Receive a steel-boned corset made to your size and design preferences. Choose from a selection of stunning silhouettes, beautiful fabrics and exquisite embellishment options. (Please note that depending on garment sizes there may be certain limitations to the garment shapes and fabrics that can be used).
Risks and challenges
The main risk is that we don’t successfully reach our funding goal; should this be the case, it is unlikely that the project will go ahead as we are not in the position to cover the extensive initial costs ourselves.
There are two main challenges that we forsee:
1. Sustaining the website running costs after the end of the campaign. We hope to keep a consistent stream of revenue through the sale of merchandise (such as postcards and catalogues) and through sponsorship opportunities and advertising with the lingerie industry.
2. Keeping the website fresh and engaging to all levels of interest. We hope to maintain a relatively consistent stream of new objects, as well as regularly offering curated ‘exhibitions’ that offer new themes and educational opportunities.
As most of our team are contributing to this project on a voluntary basis, there may be occasions where we are unable to prioritise the museum due to other responsibilities. Unfortunately, this may result in progress being slow. This is something that is largely out of the control of team members, but we will do our best to minimise any delays.