The 10 best fashion museums

  1. Victoria and Albert Museum. London, England.                                                                                                         

Although the V&A Museum mainly focuses on fine arts and design work, it also showcases a variety of decorative art pieces ranging from sculpture to ceramics, glass and furniture. Fashion, of course, is no exception and throughout its 18 galleries, one can see the historic evolution in the design of not only suits and dresses but of accessories as well including shoes, bags, glasses and hats. Their fashion collection exhibits five centuries of design demonstrating the changes our society underwent throughout history.




2. Fashion Museum. Bath, England

Fashion designer and historian Doris Langley Moore founded the Fashion Museum Bath in 1963 after donating her own private dress collection. Followed by many more contributions, the museum collection has reached over 30,000 artifacts that historically range from the sixteenth century until today. Due to the museum’s limited exhibition space, only 10% of the entire collection is in rotation making each visit a unique experience




3. Metropolitan Museum of Art. NYC, United States

In 2014, the Costume Institute, reopened its doors after an extensive renovation which unites the technological and the historical aspects of fashion. Now, visitors can walk away with a more profound understanding of the exhibit. Over 35,000 garments and accessories each representing five continents from the sixteenth century until now will satisfy even the most insatiable fashion experts.




4. Musée de la Mode et du Textile in the Louvre Museum. Paris, France

While established in 1986, the museum’s collection currently holds: 16,000 dresses that range from the eighteenth century until today, along with 35,000 fashion accessories, 30,000 woven textiles, and over 81,000 works reflecting the evolution of trends throughout fashion history. The frailty of many pieces do not allow for long-term exhibits, therefore, they are shown throughout various seasonal exhibitions. A center that houses the documentation of each garment is available to the public by appointment only.




5. Musée Palais Galliera. Paris, France

One of the most prominent fashion museums in the world is the Pallais Galliera in Paris. Located in a 19th century palace, this museum holds over 100,000 pieces of clothing and accessories that reflect the ever changing customs and traditions of French society from the eighteenth century until today. Aside from exhibits, it has an impressive library and documentation center.




6. Kyoto Costume Institute. Kyoto, Japan

This museum illuminates the origins of fashion: the influence of provincial costumes and their relationship to who we are and what we wear today. This institute exhibits diverse collections of traditional costumes from various areas of the world and from different historical moments in time from the seventeenth century until today. You’ll also find documents and articles relating to said garments but the main showcase is the marvelous collection of established Japanese designers who have brought praise to Japanese style in international fashion.





7. MFIT. New York, United States

Founded in 1969, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology holds a spectacular high fashion and prêt-àporter collection. Not only will you find pieces by famous designers but you can also learn all you wanted to know about corsets, women’s shoes throughout time, how many articles of clothing were part of a man’s ensemble in the 19th and 20th centuries and much more. The museum’s background is a compilation of over 50,000 objects that reference clothing garments and the world of fashion.




8. Museo del Traje. Madrid, Spain

This museum, born in 2004 from a compilation of funds deriving from other cultural and fashion institutes, houses a magnificent collection filled with historical and contemporary works. It is located in a building designed in the 1970’s which once housed a contemporary art museum and now serves as a multi-disciplinary art space, screening room and event space.




9. FIDM. Los Angeles, United States

The FIDM Museum in L.A., as anyone would imagine by its location, centers much of its collection on the relationship between fashion and cinema. In addition to iconic pieces of the seventh art, on its walls you will find jewelry, textiles and even perfume from the Golden Age of filmmaking. It has over 15,000 objects relating to the fashion world, history, art, society and North American technology.




10. Mode Museum. Antwerp, Belgium

With designers of the stature of Raf Simons, Martin Margiela and Ann Demeulemeester, Belgium is home to a wonderful fashion museum. Every six months the permanent exhibit changes and pieces from over 25,000 works in its collection get rotated. This collection is constantly growing thanks to their designers’ generosity.



Lobao Studio’s work in fashion strives for respectful labor relationships and promotes the return of traditional craftsmanship while continuing to research new trends, textiles and designers. To know more, click here.


(cover photo ©RobinSchreiner)