Timeshare Travel – Europe’s 5 Finest Fashion Museums

published on November 29, 2012 by

If you’re tired of visiting European cities and checking out the usual art galleries and history museums, why not explore their fashion museums instead? Clothes tell us just as much about a culture as paintings or documents, and many capital cities have costume collections dating back hundreds of years.

London and Paris, in particular, have several great places where you can learn more about the history of fashion and get a glimpse of pieces by Europe’s top contemporary designers at the same time. Here are my five favourites, which includes one in Spain, for you to check out.

1. Museo del Traje, Marid. (see top photo) It may be slightly off the beaten track in Madrid’s university district, but Museo del Traje is well worth the journey. This collection contains 160,000 costumes and accessories dating back to the 16th century, as well as work by modern day designers like Dior and Versace.

One of the museum’s great strengths is how it uses paintings to show how fashion has changed through the years and the explanations of why.

2. Musee Galliera, Paris. As you might expect from the world’s fashion capital, Paris doesn’t disappoint when it comes to museums dedicated to clothing. Musee Galliera is a prime example, documenting French fashion history from the 1700s to the present day with over 70,000 pieces on rotation.

Some of the highlights are actual clothes worn by Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, as well as contemporary costumes by Jean-Paul Gaultier and Yves Saint Laurent.

3. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. London’s epic V&A museum has literally thousands of objects on display and a dedicated Fashion department. Here you’ll find the most comprehensive costume collection in Britain, with thousands of pieces once belonging to wealthy people and spanning the last several hundred years.

The museum regularly holds fascinating temporary exhibitions – including the largest retrospective on Vivienne Westwood – and live fashion shows bringing clothing into the 21st century.

4. Musee de la Mode et du Textile, Paris. Located in one of the wings of the Louvre, Musee de la Mode et du Textile houses an impressive private collection of costumes, accessories and textiles including silk, cloth and lace. Witness how French fashion has evolved over the years through textiles dating back to the fifth century and costumes from the Regency period.

This experience is enriched by regular exhibitions from contemporary French design houses like Dior, Chanel and Sonyia Rykiel.

5. Fashion and Textile Museum, London. London’s other famous fashion attraction is the quirkily designed Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey. This converted warehouse is home to an array of contemporary pieces from 1947 to the present from the likes of Christian Dior, Mary Quant and Vivienne Westwood.

You’ll also find frequently changing exhibitions of textile and jewelry design, and a comprehensive educational programme.

The museum, which was set up by eccentric fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, gets just as much tourist attention for the outrageous colour scheme on the outside!

Stay in a Europe timeshare rental where you can vacation in luxury while enjoying the high fashion of these unique museums.

Guest Author: When Matt isn’t globetrotting around Europe, you’ll find him in the U.K. blogging for Miinto where you can find fashion clothing and inspiration.