History and works of art tend to take center stage when it comes to museums, but in most cities you can also find more specialized collections and exhibitions if you know where to look. In honor of New York Fashion Week starting up now, here’s a round-up of world’s the best museums for fashion lovers.
Musee Galliera, Paris
Why: Because if you’re going to visit a fashion museum in any city, it might as well be Paris.
What: Known as the City of Paris Fashion Museum, the Musee Galliera is located within the Palais Galliera and has 70,000 designs dating from the eighteenth century to the present day. Originally built to hold the private art collection of the Duchess Galliera and her late husband, the Palais Galliera housed several types of exhibits before transforming into a fashion and costume museum in 1977.
Where: 10, avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, Paris
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Why: Because after browsing the collection, the museum’s gift shop is equally worth of a visit.
What: The fashion collection is one of the highlights of London's Victoria and Albert Museum (or the V&A to those in the know). As the world’s largest collection, it encompasses everything from 17th-century gowns to 1930s eveningwear to modern haute couture.
Where: Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL
The Costume Institute, New York City
Why: Because as a department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Costume Institute is an NYC institution.
What: Renowned fashion editor Diana Vreeland is credited with helping to bring the Costume Institute to its current bar-setting standard with exhibits such as The World of Balenciaga (1973) and Vanity Fair (1977). Today, it’s a center of fashion and art in American pop culture, with its annual Gala Benefit garnering world-wide media coverage, thanks in part to the leadership of Trustee and Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour.
Where: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY
Mode Museum, Antwerp
Why: Because the presentation of the exhibits is a work of art in and of itself.
What: Over the last few decades, Antwerp, Belgium has emerged as a fashion hub, partly due to its acclaimed fashion school at the city’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts. The Mode Museum has no permanent exhibits, which keeps it fresh for both tourists and locals alike. One thing that does remain consistent, however, is the museum’s creative approach to presentation.
Where: National Road 28, 2000 Antwerp
Museum of Bags and Purses, Amsterdam
Why: Because a collection of 4,000 bags and accessories is a sight to behold.
What: This Amsterdam museum began as the personal collection of Hendrikje Ivo, who opened the doors to her home so the public could admire her enviable handbags. Popularity grew (as did her collection) and eventually an official museum was opened in a new location. Today, the museum is curated and led by Ivo’s daughter, Sigrid Ivo, and now houses thousands of bags, pouches, purses, suitcases and accessories dating back to the 16th century.
Where: Herengracht 573 1017 CD Amsterdam The Netherlands
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