When Es Devlin was designing the set for Lady Gaga's Monster Ball world tour a couple of years ago, she found that the only subject Lady Gaga wanted to discuss was her tights. Actually, the fashion-focused pop star's way of thinking makes complete sense. If she hadn't decided what she was wearing, how could she possibly know what kind of space she might need on set?

This story is just one of many insights into performance design that will be revealed in Transformation and Revelation: Gormley to Gaga at the V&A this month, as part of its bigger spring show, British Design 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age.

The exhibition focuses on more than 30 set, costume, sound and lighting designers who have worked on productions from ballet and opera to drama over the last four years.

Rae Smith's initial drawings for the National Theatre's War Horse can be seen alongside the set model, and Antony Gormley's sketches for the dance work Sutra at Sadler's Wells is displayed next to a video of the artist. There are photographs and models of Devlin's creations for Lady Gaga's tour.

"The opportunity to put the designer centre stage doesn't happen often," says curator Kate Bailey. "Plus, it's rare to exhibit the process behind the designs."

Transformation and Revelation: Gormley to Gaga, V&A, London SW7 (www. vam.ac.uk) 17 March to 30 September