7 Museums for Fashion Lovers

I’ve viewed classic Chanel pieces, marvelled at Dior and closely examined centuries-old garments which influenced modern designs. However, I’ve never been to a couture fashion show in London or Paris and obviously, I’ve never travelled back in time. At least not literally because museums do have a way of transporting me to another era and leaving me in awe.

I love fashion museums and fashion collections in art and history museums. I figure if I’m intrigued by them, other people may be as well. Hence, this post. It pains me that I can’t list a Caribbean museum here but I’m hoping someone can point me to at least one place in region where I can see our fashion on display.

A couple posts back I recapped my visit to Brussels’ Fashion and Lace Museum. Now I’m highlighting seven museums which I believe fashion lovers from anywhere in the world should visit. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit three of them and I hope to get to the others someday.

1. Victoria & Albert Museum – London

V&A London

The V&A is the largest museum in the world focused on art and design. There’s a lot to see but feel free to start with the fashion galleries and take in four centuries of men’s and women’s clothing. The museum is free to visit but on rare occasions, special exhibitions attract a fee.

2. Bata Shoe Museum – Toronto

bata shoe museum
Shoe styles which were popular in the 1920s.

This relatively small museum looks like a shoe box from the outside and the inside is just as cool. The main collection traces the history of shoes and how sociocultural factors shape footwear. When I went back in 2013 there was a special exhibit on sneaker culture which got my attention even though I’m not a sneaker girl. If you’re in Toronto and you want to gawk at shoes, head to the Bata Shoe Museum.

3. Museum at FIT – New York City

TheUniformity exhibit which looked at uniforms as a fashion.

Since then they’ve had exhibitions like Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color and Pockets to Purses: Fashion + Function. The 50th anniversary exhibit is on this year if you want to check it out.

4. Museum of Bags and Purses – Amsterdam

The Museum of Bags and Purses includes pieces from the 16th century onwards and features both men’s and women’s bags. It looks at how they have changed over the years and includes some celebrity-inspired pieces. This is on my list of must-visits.

5. ModeMuseum (MoMu) – Antwerp

This museum opened in 2012 to focus on the Antwerp Six – Walter van Beirendonck, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs, and Marina Yee.

These were Belgian designers who showed together at London Fashion Week in 1988 and made a major impact. The museum now features the work of current designers as well.

6. Christian Dior Museum and Garden – Granville, France

The Christian Dior Museum features both his work and that of the couture house’s other designers including Marc Bohan, Yves Saint Laurent, and John Galliano. It’s housed in Dior’s clifftop childhood home so the views are gorgeous both inside and out.

7. Ferragamo Museo – Florence, Italy

Why wouldn’t there be a museum dedicated to the inventor of the caged heel and the wedge? This space chronicles Salvatore Ferragamo’s work from when he returned to Italy in 1927 until he died in 1960. It also includes designs produce by the brand since Salvatore’s death.

Have you ever been to any of these museums? Which one do you most want to visit?

Natasha Beckles

Natasha Beckles is a freelance copyeditor, writer and content creator. She has over a decade's experience in both traditional and online media. In addition to blogging about fashion and travel, she uses the written word to help brands and individuals tell their unique stories.

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7 Responses

  1. Great post Natasha thanks! Will be sure to add to my bucket list

  2. Laura Cook says:

    Great list! I’ve been to the V&A for a 60s exhibition, it was amazing!

  3. Tara says:

    I’ve never heard of most of these museums before. If I am ever in any of these cities I will have to check them out. Thanks for sharing.

  1. March 17, 2019

    […] (January 25) included The Museum at FIT (MFIT) in its list of “Top 7 Free Things to Do in NYC.” InMyWardrobeBarbados.com (January 26) included MFIT as one of its “7 Museums for Fashion […]

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