1.VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM
Spanning four centuries, the V&A’s Fashion collection is the largest and most comprehensive collection of dress in the world. Key items in the collection include rare 17th-century gowns, 18th-century ‘mantua’ dresses, 1930s eveningwear, 1960s daywear and post-war couture. Plus a growing number of pieces from 21st-century designers.
2. Fashion Museum
The Fashion Museum (formerly The Museum of Costume) is one of the world’s great museum collections of historic and fashionable dress. Designated as a collection of outstanding national significance, the Fashion Museum was recently listed by CNN as one of the world’s Top 10 fashion museums.
3. Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York City, NY
The newly re-named Anna Wintour Costume Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art comprises a collection of more than thirty-five thousand costumes and accessories represents five continents and seven centuries of fashionable dress, regional costumes, and accessories for men, women, and children, from the fifteenth century to the present.
4. The Yves Saint Laurent Museum
On October 3, 2017, the Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Paris opened its doors on 5 Avenue Marceau, inside a hôtel particulier, housing the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent. The space spans almost 5,000 square feet, with a retrospective collection of 50 designs, sketches, photographs and videos, as well as hosting thematic exhibitions. The highlight of the visit is surely the ancient couture rooms and Yves Saint Laurent’s studio, a vivid flashback to the origins of the Parisian fashion house, founded in July 1961.
5. Musée Galliera
The collection’s focus is on clothing and costume design, covering key moments in fashion history and showcasing iconic french designers. The museum’s collection includes dress and accessories that run the gamut from basic streetwear to haute couture. The 18th Century department is home to one of the world’s largest collections of clothing from the Age of Enlightenment.
6. Kyoto Costume Institute
KCI’s collection currently ranges from the 17th century to the present day, with holdings of 12,000 items of clothing and 16,000 documents. The institute has received donations from some of today’s top designers and fashion houses such as Chanel, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and was presented with a gift of approximately 1,000 sets of clothing from Comme des Garçons.
New York City, NY
Housed at Manhattan’s famed Fashion Institute of Technology, The Museum at FIT is known for its innovative and award-winning special exhibitions. In July, it earned accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums, the highest national recognition possible for a museum. Founded in the late 1960s, it is visited by 100,000 people each year. With a permanent collection of 50,000 garments and accessories from the 18th century to the present, the Museum at FIT places an emphasis on “aesthetically and historically significant ‘directional’ clothing, with an eye toward contemporary avant-garde fashion.
8. The Bata Shoe Museum
This is the place for anyone obsessed with shoes! It was founded in 1979 after Mrs. Bata’s own extraordinary shoe collection grew too extensive to be housed under her own roof. Today, it is far from simply a frivolous display of footwear. Their principle aim is ‘to establish an international centre for footwear research’. This has resulted in the publication of academic papers such as the Spirit of Siberia: Traditional Native Life, Clothing and Footwear. So if you are a true shoe fanatic this fashion museum should be your dream destination…
Los Angeles, CA
The museum is located on the ground floor of the Los Angeles campus of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and houses a collection of over 12,000 costumes, accessories and textiles from the 18th century through the present day, including film and theater costume. The FIDM Museum also houses the early Hollywood Costume Collection on loan from the City of Los Angeles, Department of Parks and Recreation. It presents the annual Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition at the galleries.
10. The Gucci Garden
In January 2018, Alessandro Michele pulled his fantasy into the realm of reality, opening the doors to the Gucci Garden in the heart of the Palazzo della Mercanzia in Florence. Helmed by the designer himself, the museum is entirely dedicated the fashion house, with numerous exhibition halls overseen by Maria Luisa Frisa as well as a boutique filled with exclusive products, and a restaurant led by one of the world’s best chefs, Massimo Bottura.