From one of New York’s largest art galleries to the childhood home of Christian Dior, the combination of historic architecture and curated fashion masters has made these museums among the 12 most beautiful fashion museums in the world and a must-check for fashion fans.
1 – Palais Galliera – Paris
The legendary Paris Fashion Museum (Palais Galliera/Musee Galliera) is housed in Duchess Galliera’s palace; The Duchess decided in 1978 to build a museum to house her art collection. Architect Leon Ginain was responsible for the project, which was officially opened in the 16th arrondissement in 1894. However, it was not until 1977 that Palais Galliera became a fashion museum in Paris and around the world, and has since presented exhibitions such as Alaia, Dalida, Les Annees 50 and Margiela-Galliera 1988-2018. The museum, which was closed for renovation for about two years, will reopen in late 2020 with The Gabrielle Chanel Rooms, a new permanent exhibition space and an exclusive partnership between Chanel and the museum. Chanel will also sponsor an exhibition in an underground tunnel space that traces the history of fashion since the 18th century. The 7,200-square-foot Palais Galliera, designed by architect Dominique Brad and currently directed by Miren Arzalluz, becomes France’s only permanent fashion museum.
10 Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, 75016 Paris
2 — Musee des Arts Decoratifs — Paris
Originally opened in 1905, the Musee des Arts Decoratifs (Paris), located in the Marsan du Palais of the Louvre, was designed by architect Gaston Redon and houses a monumental collection of art deco and design works. Its collection of more than 150,000 pieces of fashion, donated by Paul Poiret, Madeleine Vionnet, Elsa Schiaparelli, Cristobal Balenciaga and Christian Lacroix, History can be traced back to the 8th century to modern times. Christian Dior’s iconic tailor bar design, and the way it shaped the New Look in 1947, received special attention. There are also special exhibitions, such as Dries van Noten and Tenue correcte exigee! ; And the 2017 Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams exhibition, held to celebrate the French fashion house’s 70th birthday, attracted more than 700,000 visitors from all over the world, a record for the museum.
Address: 107 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
3 – The MET – New York
Located on Fifth Avenue, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) is one of the largest art galleries in the world and the heart of New York’s art scene. Opened in 1872, the museum houses more than two million works of art from around the world, including ancient statues, paintings by famous French artists and a large amount of American art. Its themed exhibitions are often record-breaking, and the museum has a room dedicated to Anna Wintour, called the Anna Wintour Costume Center.
Address: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028, US
4 – V&A Museum – London
One of Europe’s largest museums, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London opened in 1851 and focuses on decorative art, with a collection of jewellery, clothing, furniture, tapestries and glassware dating back to antiquity. Fashion, however, is an area where the V&A excels. Following the success of the Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris, the V&A has followed suit with a tribute to the French designer, exploring the history of the brand through a British lens.
Address: Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL, United Kingdom
5 – Yves Saint Laurent Museum – Paris
The Yves Saint Laurent Museum opens in a hotel on 5 Avenue Marceau, where the Yves Saint Laurent Foundation is located, in Paris on Oct 3, 2017. Spanning nearly 5,000 square feet, the space features a retrospective of 50 designs, sketches, photographs and videos, as well as thematic exhibitions. The highlight, of course, is the venerable fashion house Yves Saint Laurent and its studio, which vividly recalls the origins of the Parisian fashion house founded in July 1961. Nathalie Criniere is responsible for the set design and Jacques Grange is responsible for the decoration, both of whom are dedicated collaborators of the Foundation. The space, designed by architect Jean-Michel Rousseau, allows visitors to immerse themselves in the original ambience of the fashion house, where L ‘Asie revee d ‘Yves Saint Laurent, a resident exhibition, has also been shown in Nice. Following last year’s tribute to Betty Catroux, the Yves Saint Laurent Museum’s new exhibition this year is Yves Saint Laurent: Behind the scenes of haute couture in Lyon.
6 – The FIT Museum – New York
Since its opening in 1969, the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) has been home to some of the world’s most explosive and innovative fashion exhibitions. To celebrate its 50th birthday, Exhibitionism takes a look back at 33 of the museum’s most memorable exhibitions from its blockbuster history, from the first dedicated to Hollywood costume designer Gilbert Adrian, to Denim 2016: Fashion’s frontier and Black Fashion Designers; A Queer History of Fashion in 2013, among others. The museum traces more than a century of fashion and reflects how fashion has evolved with our society, displaying historical masterpieces such as Elsa Shiaparelli’s surrealist jumpdress and Alexander McQueen’s sculptural designs.
Address: 227 W 27th St., New York, NY 10001, US
7 – The Christian Dior Museum – Granville
Christian Dior grew up in the cliffside Villa Les Rhumbs in northern France in the early 20th century. Typical Norman architecture, painted in pink and grey is always a source of inspiration for designers. “My life and style were influenced by its architecture and environment,” he wrote in his memoir. His childhood home is a creative well from which he draws style and elegance into his designs. Naturally, it became the Christian Dior Museum in the late 1990s, with exhibitions dedicated to the history of the French fashion house and its connection to the figures who wore the designs, including Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and others.
Address: 1 Rue d ‘Estouteville, 50400 Granville
8 — The Cristobal Balenciaga Museum — Getaria
The Cristobal Balenciaga Museum, which opened in 2011 in the Spanish designer’s birthplace, pays tribute to the fashion designer. The museum is housed in modern buildings of the Aldamar Palace, an ancient royal palace designed by architect Julian Argilagos, and a short walk from San Sebastian. Its six rooms trace the history of the fashion house and contain a rich collection of haute couture designs, some belonging to the Balenciaga Foundation and others inspired by the designers themselves.
Address: Aldamar Parkea Parkea, 6, 20808 Getaria, Gipuzkoa, Spain
9 – MoMu – Antwerp
Founded in 2002, MoMu is a shining example of Belgian fashion. Though closed for renovation before 2020, Antwerp Nationalestraat has more than 30,000 works that will be on permanent display when it reopens, earning a reputation for professionally curated exhibitions, Specifically Dries van Noten in 2015 — Inspirations or Margiela in 2017: The Hermes Years.
Address: Nationalestraat 28, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
10 – The Gucci Garden – Florence
In January 2018, Alessandro Michele brought his fantasy to life when he opened the doors of Gucci Garden in the heart of the Palazzo della Mercanzia in Florence. With the designer himself at the helm, the museum is entirely brand-exclusive, boasting numerous galleries overseen by Maria Luisa Frisa, as well as a boutique full of exclusive products and a restaurant headed by Massimo Bottura, one of the world’s best chefs. This year, the brand celebrates its 100th anniversary with a new exhibition called “Gucci Garden Archetypes” and an online virtual reality exhibition that allows you to look back at the unique aesthetic and advertising design Alessandro Michele has brought to Gucci over the past 6 years at home.
Address: Piazza Della Signoria, 10, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
11 – The Museum of Lace and Fashion – Calais
The Boulart factory, formerly a lace factory founded in 1870, enjoyed a fashion Renaissance in June 2009. Its gallery displays 3,200 designs from 1850 to the present, as well as a fabric library with more than 500,000 design samples and 30,000 pieces of lace, providing an understanding of the history of lace and how it was produced. Among the best shows was Haute Dentelle, which showcased a range of haute couture and ready-to-wear including Chanel, Dior, Valentino, Jean Paul Gaultier and Margiela, Witness the exquisite expertise of fashion brands and their ability to constantly transform lace. The Hubert de Givenchy retrospective uses films, sketches and anecdotes about the late designer, Examines the history of the brand and its most iconic designs (Bettina T-shirt, Audrey Hepburn’s black jumpsuit in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Jackie Kennedy’s pink blazer), March 10, 2018.
Address: 135 Quai du Commerce, 62100 France
12 – The Salvatore Ferragamo Museum – Florence
Located in the heart of the Palazzo Spini Feroni in Florence, the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum has been paying tribute to the Italian fashion house since 1995. The first showroom, dedicated to the brand’s extraordinary craftsmanship and inspiration, revolves around its selection of films and photographs; The walls of another showroom are covered from floor to ceiling with shoes from the 1950s and 1960s collections. Older models from the 1930s are displayed in glass cases. In May 2015, the museum paid tribute to Florence, where the brand originated, with a retrospective curated by Stefania Ricci and Riccardo Spinelli, tracing the 150-year history of the Palazzo of Florence through artworks and rare documents donated from museums and private collections worldwide. From the laying of the foundation stone in 1289 to the installation of the Luigi Bellini Gallery in the 1920s, the exhibition touches on key moments in the medieval palace’s history.
Address: Palazzo Spini Feroni, Piazza Santa Trinita 5/R, 50123 Florence, Italy