• Home
  • News
  • Culture
  • In Pictures: V&A prepares for Diva exhibition launch

In Pictures: V&A prepares for Diva exhibition launch

By Rachel Douglass


Scroll down to read more

Culture |In Pictures

Credits: V&A. Imagery from the 'Diva' exhibition.

The term ‘diva’ typically refers to a female, or sometimes male, personality that has achieved astronomical success, and has become known for both their abilities and their fashionable appearance, both of which have often made waves across industries. It is these individuals that are set to be celebrated in the latest exhibition coming to the Victoria & Albert Museum, in London.

Suitably dubbed ‘Diva’, the exhibition, spanning June 24 to April 7, 2024, and supported by Net-a-Porter, will play host to over 250 objects spanning fashion, photography, design, costume, music and live performance, formed to highlight the stories of some of the best-known divas, from opera stars to modern global “megastars”.

Credits: V&A. Imagery from the 'Diva' exhibition.

Spanning two ‘acts’, the contents on display will look into how the Diva has intersected with society and driven change through their platform for social good, while also delving into the origins of the term and exploring how the word has been embraced and reclaimed overtime.

Pieces worn by Marilyn Monroe, Tina Turner and Shirley Bassey on display

Over 60 looks will be present, many of which the institution said were rare or being exhibited for the first time. Among them is a stage ensemble worn by Maria Callas in the Covent Garden Opera Company production of ‘Norma’, a fringed black dress sported by Marilyn Monroe in ‘Some Like it Hot’ and a dress worn by Clara Bow.

Credits: V&A. Imagery from the 'Diva' exhibition.

Costumes designed by Bob Mackie for the likes of Tina Turner, P!nk and Cher will also be on display, as well as a wig and train worn by Elton John for his 50th birthday and a Julien MacDonald look adorned by Shirley Bassey on stage at Glastonbury in 2007.

Further items shown will be a selection of posters, song sheets and handwritten lyrics as well as personal objects and accessories owned by divas.

In a release, curator of the exhibition, Kate Bailey, said: “The V&A with its world class collections of art design and performance and its mission to inspire creativity in all its forms is the perfect stage to celebrate the multifaceted Diva.

“Today the word diva holds a myriad of meanings. At the heart of this exhibition is a story of iconic performers who with creativity, courage and ambition have challenged the status quo and used their voice and their art to redefine and reclaim the diva.”

Credits: V&A. Imagery from 'Diva' exhibition.
Credits: V&A. Imagery from the 'Diva' exhibition.
Credits: V&A. Imagery from the 'Diva' exhibition.
Victoria & Albert Museum