Exhibition On now until Sunday, 12 September 2021

Bags: Inside Out

  • On now until Sunday, 12 September 2021

  • Temporarily closed

  • Gallery 40

  • £12.00

    Concessions apply.
    Advance booking is recommended.
    Members go free, but need to book.

    Opening hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 10:00 – 17:00.
    You are welcome to explore the permanent collection after visiting the exhibition.

From rucksacks to despatch boxes, Birkin bags to Louis Vuitton luggage, Bags: Inside Out explores the style, function, design and craftsmanship of the ultimate accessory.

Sponsored by

Mulberry is a British luxury lifestyle brand that was founded in 1971 in Somerset, where we continue manufacturing leather bags to this day. We employ a community of craftspeople across our two factories and are proud of the responsible approach we take in creating exceptional accessories that are truly made to last.

Exhibition Highlights

bag and purse
Bag and purse, by Emily Jo Gibbs, 1996, UK. Museum no. T.531:1, 2-1996. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Red velvety pouch with sequin detailing and gold embroidery of the monarch's coat of arms (a lion and a dragon).
Burse, 1558 – 1603, England. Museum no. T.40-1986. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Model with a white bag in the shape of a milk carton, saying 'Lait de Coco'. She tips it towards her mouth.
'Lait de Coco', evening bag, Karl Lagerfeld, 2014. © Jason Lloyd Evans
Cream handbag with a rope handle, opened up. Contents include a fan, binoculars, a mirror, and a pen.
Handbag, by Lemiere, about 1910, France. Museum no. T.219 to F-1965. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Worn square, red box with lock on the front. ER royal insignia and Winston Churchill's name on the top in gold writing
Despatch Box owned by Winston Churchill, by John Peck & Son, about 1921, London. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Purple sequin bag with glittery closure clasp
'Baguette' bag, by Fendi, 2000, Italy.
chatelaine
Chatelaine, 1863 – 1885, probably England. Museum no. M.32:1 to 13-1969. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Pentagonal orange purse with gold embroidery and yellow, orange, green and red tassels
Dowry purse, mid 20th century, Sindh. Museum no. IS.21-1981. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
evening bag
'Fabergé Egg', evening bag, by Judith Leiber, 1983, US. Museum no. T.511-1997. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Left: Black slightly shiny handbag with handle and silver closure. Right: Brown handbag with plaited handle and buckles
Mulberry 'Bayswater' and 'Alexa' bags from the private collections of Kate Moss and Alexa Chung, 2003 and 2010, England. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
International Woman suitcase by Tracey Emin for Longchamp
Tracey Emin for Longchamp, International Woman suitcase, 2004. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. DACS
Ocean Legend backpack by Stella McCartney
Stella McCartney x Parley for the Oceans, ‘Ocean Legend’ Falabella Go backpack Spring – Summer 2018, London. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
17th century purse in the shape of a frog
Frog Purse, 17th century. © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Events

Features

V&A shop

Bags: Inside Out exhibition tote bag

Bags: Inside Out exhibition tote bag

Our exhibition tote bag is fair trade, made from organic cotton and printed in the UK. The witty two-sided design features a handbag illustration, and the contents of the handbag on the other.

£10 Buy
Bags: Inside Out

Bags: Inside Out

Bags: Inside Out is a short history of bags, as told through 40 highlights from the V&A's spellbinding exhibition.

£10 Buy
Bags illustration Vogue print

Bags illustration Vogue print

An elegant handbag plays host to a colourful cloud of butterflies, taking flight and alighting on the magazine title in this Vogue cover, created by Eduardo Benito for the February 1924 issue

£10 Buy
Bags: Inside Out
Background image: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London